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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New editor

by on June 27, 2005 6:30pm
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: Not really a problem; more of a call for advice. Starting with the August issue, I’ll be the new editor of Personal Report for the Administrative Professional. I’d like to hear from you as to what you’d like to see more of — and less of — in the newsletter each month. What tough issues would you like me to tackle in the coming months? In the coming year?

Thanks, in advance, for your guidance.  -- Alice Bumgarner

Question: I have a co-worker who does very little work and is constantly on the phone (personal calls). When this co-worker took medical leave, I did both my job AND the co-worker’s job, with extra time left over.

The owners are aware of this and have commented that they need to do something with this person but, to this day (it’s been two years), they have done nothing. The owners’ answer is to just add more work to my job, which I feel is unfair since this other person just does nothing.

I think I have intimidated this co-worker, because we no longer have the friendly relationship we had before the medical leave.

How do I keep from getting so frustrated?

HELP!  -- Anonymous

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

Question: I am in charge of archiving documents within our office. I use storage boxes for the papers, but what is the best way to group them by appropriate topic (i.e. financial reports, board members’ backgrounds, etc.)?

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

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