Admin Pro Forum

Share best-practices with your administrative peers. Pose a question, offer advice, or just be a fly on the wall.

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Question: "I have two daughters in college and am looking for ways to use my skills at home to earn some extra income. I have gathered information from the Internet on  virtual  assistants. It looks like a possibility for me, but was wondering if anyone is a virtual assistant and if they would give me some advice (pros, cons, pay, reputable organizations to join, etc.). Thank you."  -- Connie

Frustrated AA

by on January 20, 2006 3:30am
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: It's review/bonus time at my company. I'm the AA to the HR/OM (and everyone else). That's the least of my issues.

I automatically took on the marketing assistant position and have been doing that work since the beginning of May. I do it only because it needs to be done, not because I'm learning anything that has anything to do with my job.

I feel that, because I've automatically taken on this role (with zero compensation), no one is worried about hiring someone for the job.  How do I get the raise and bonus I deserve?  -- Frustrated LD

Question: On and off, stationery items like staplers, calculators and such disappear from our office. Writing our names on them seemed a good idea until someone said that would help only if it was "borrowed" within the office, but was useless if the item was being taken home.

Other than locking the items away every day, is there any effective way to deal with this?

The scary part is, whoever is taking these items could also be picking up other things that are impossible to track (pantry supplies, paper, etc.), so we're looking for ways other companies have addressed this issue. Thank you!  -- Sharmane

Question: Annually, our division has a special doctors lecture, and we invite a prominent physician to speak. I've been assigned the task of creating the program and invites for this event. The invites mailed out need to request that the invitees RSVP and select their preference for dinner.

Does anyone have any samples to e-mail me for programs and invites? Any information would be greatly appreciated.  -- Sherry A. Cobbins, Chicago

Gum popping!

by on January 13, 2006 4:00am
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: I work in a nice office with a lot of nice people around. Sometimes, however, the lady next to me in her cube will chew gum ... then, she will pop it. Not too loud that the whole office hears it, but enough for me to cringe each time. It makes me mad, and I want to yell: "Please stop! For the love of all that is good in this world, stop popping your gum!"

But I am a professional and would like advice on how to politely bring this issue to light. Any suggestions?  -- Eau Claire, Wis.

Question: Does anyone use a Travel Request Form for the people you support? I have used them in the past, and they make life easier. This would include "Must arrive by," "rental car/size" needs, etc.  

I could create one.But if someone has one they like, it would save me from reinventing the wheel.

Thanks!  -- Jen

Question: I have been asked to start a monthly newsletter for our plant.  Since I have never done this before, I need all the help I can get such as a sample newsletter, what program to use (I was thinking Microsoft Publisher).

My goal is employee involvement. Should I send out a memo asking for ideas and input or, after the newsletter is started (hopefully), just rely on word of mouth? 

Thank you.  -- Susan Kifer, Newark, Del.

Question: Someone on the Forum suggested using a controlling calendar. Where can I find information on/templates for this type of calendar?  Is there an electronic version? It sounds like it might be of great assistance to me.

I have To Do lists. I have my planner. I have my calendar at home and at work. How does everyone else try to keep track of their duties for work and home? I don't feel comfortable putting my personal items on my work calendar. Yet, I've read in several places that it's best to keep all the information in one area. How do you accomplish this?   

Thanks for your help.  -- An overwhelmed Jeannette

Lunch & learns

by on December 30, 2005 4:00am
in Admin Pro Forum

Here’s a painless way to boost in-house training, from Kim Thompson, executive assistant at Harris Williams & Co. in Richmond, Va.:

“The administrative staff get together once a month,” says Thompson, “and one of us will give a presentation on something that has been useful to us, or that we have expertise in, over a lunch that the company brings in for us.”

Example: One program dealt with jargon used around the office that newbies might not understand. Another month, the program tackled Excel shortcuts.

“We all sat around with our laptops and everybody got a chance to share their knowledge,” Thompson says.

Added benefit: “It also fosters work relationships.” It can grow competitive in the workplace, Thompson says, “but not here. We really have an atmosphere of sharing rather than competition.”

Question: "I support two groups of five (off-site) regional managers. Each of these groups has a set of weekly, bi-weekly and monthly reports that are due regularly. (There is some overlap.)

I am trying to put together some sort of report-tracking grid or calendar so I can track the dates that each manager submits each report. My problem is that the report seems to be "three-dimensional" (Report x Manager x Due Date).

Does anyone have a concise, easy-to-read and -manage spreadsheet or table that tracks this sort of thing?

Thank you!  -- Jennifer

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