Question: For the second time, my department has lost its office manager. Being the AA for that position, I have stepped up, above and beyond, to fill the void as much as possible. This time, I decided to ask for the position. I was pretty much denied the opportunity. I feel like I've been cheated because I've taken on a lot more responsibility — HR, office management and supervising roles — and am not compensated or respected for it. What should I do? -- Anonymous
Admin Pro Forum
Share best-practices with your administrative peers. Pose a question, offer advice, or just be a fly on the wall.
I now have them in closed manila envelopes, some in hanging folders (which hinders closing the lids) and others in plain flat file folders. Suggestions? -- Terri L. Michael
Question: Does anyone have an effective, politically correct method of getting people to clear their own copier jams? Not a day goes by that I don't find someone else's unattended jam that I have to clear.
The copier has very specific, fully illustrated instructions on how to clear the jam, yet everyone seems to leave it for the next person to clear.
It's not difficult to figure out which admins are doing this (and it's the same ones who spend literally hours at a time chatting with co-workers while the rest of us slave away). What is a good way to address this? -- Anonymous
Question: The last time I submitted a challenge to this Forum, the response was very helpful. It saved time and frustration.
Now, I need help updating Excel formulas, including the wonderful array of formulas that I received help with last time. For example: How to change all sheet references at one time … changing April ’05 to May ’05, for example. Is it similar to a find & replace function? Thanks. -- Valerie
Question: I work for a company that is owned by a very religious person. He has decided to start a "chaplain's program," which consists of a minister coming into the office once a week to talk individually with each employee.
Although we have been told that we do not have to participate, that is very hard to do when the chaplain comes into your office asking "How is your family? Do you have any problems you want to discuss with me?"
I find this to be extremely invasive and do not know how to handle the situation. Can anyone give me any ideas? -- Anonymous
Question: I work in a very conservative and professional setting. But, during the summer months, some corporations where I have worked in the past allow people to wear what they call "relaxed business attire," which in my circumstance means you can peel the suits, hose and ties, but keep a professional, polished appearance.
The question: Do you feel it is appropriate to have a lady in professional attire go without hose and wear professional sandals? Please note I am referring to professional women with the proper personal maintenance, i.e., pedicure and hairless legs. -- Valarie Hayes, Raleigh, NC
Question: Often, we have sales people walk in through our front door, and I am wondering what the best approach is to politely — and quickly — get rid of them. Our office does not accept solicitors, but they all ignore the notice. And like the telephone solicitors do, they want to quickly get me or the receptionist into a conversation, whether they are selling services or a product.
It is annoying and I don't wish to appear rude, but I really want to stop them in their tracks before they even get to the hand-shaking part. -- Cindy, California
Question: I am the supervisor for our Clerical Department. One of our team members (let's call her Erica) is well-liked and energetic. However, she has become very friendly, personally and professionally, with one of the senior administrative assistants.
I have asked Erica repeatedly to check in with me first thing in the morning so that we can discuss “hot” items. Instead, she reports directly to the senior AA. I know there is a lot of gossip being exchanged between the two of them.
This situation has divided my department because, quite frankly, no one trusts her. I think Erica does not respect my authority because she knows she is close to the ear of the senior AA and she uses that as a shield. I feel that my position is being undermined by Erica and the senior AA.
Do I have any recourse? -- Stumped in Seattle
In the business world, in general, how much overtime is expected of a lower-level, salaried secretary? I want to be known as a team player, but don't want the business to take advantage of my goodwill. -- Anonymous
Question: I am the office manager for an HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning) company, We need field people, mechanics and helpers, that type of thing. The type of workers we are looking for really don’t attend job fairs much.
I have tried advertising for help everywhere: small newspapers, large newspapers, the Web and tech schools. Does anyone out there have any scathingly brilliant ideas on how to reach this type of worker to recruit them? I would appreciate ANY suggestions.
Thanks so much. -- Kelly Hogue, Warminster, PA