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 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

Question: I recently applied for a new position within my company.  I have worked in my current position for a very long time, and without going into a long story, I have never had a "real" interview.  Our company does panel (3-5 people) interviews now for all positions.

Can any of you help me out with what kind of questions are being asked at interviews?  Most of the resources I find seem to be geared toward technical positions.  -- Anonymous

Question: I work in an office with 19 other people and I am in charge of turning on the dishwasher each night before leaving.  To some, this translates to me also being in charge of cleaning up after everyone.

Often, there are dirty dishes in the sink or the counter, crumbs on the table, empty food containers left out, etc. ... and it's left for me to clean up.

Several memos have been distributed to the staff to remind them to take responsibility for their own housekeeping, but it has not been successful.  Any ideas?  I'm tired of being known as the office maid. My name is not Hazel!  -- Anonymous

Peer meeting

by on December 19, 2005 4:00am
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: I would like to meet with my peers from our 11 other plants and other persons such as A/P, A/R and any other persons  who may pertain to our job from the corporate office.  We have plants from Delaware and from Illinois to Kentucky.

Apparently, admins don't travel from here (or so I've been told); it isn't part of the job description.

What can I say or do to be able to meet these people? I work with a lot of them every  day and would really like to meet them in person.  I would really like to know the "guts" of the corporation and why I do what I do and if I'm the only one being micro-managed by my super or if it's a corp. thing!

Thank you.  -- Susan

Question: "I co-chair a committee with someone who's unwilling to plan. I'll want to discuss the next meeting or upcoming priorities, and he'll say, 'I can't talk about that right now. Catch me later.' Of course, he doesn't have time 'later,' either.

"How can I force this person to focus?"  -- Jean, Michigan

Question: "Last week, one of our newer employees  -- let's call him 'Nat' -- asked me to show him how to compile a monthly report that I've been doing as part of my job for years. Nobody had mentioned this to me before 'Nat' approached me.

"I showed him how to compile the report. He thanked me and went back to his desk. But now, I'm worried that I'm going to start losing responsibilities.

"I don't know how to bring it up to my boss.

"How would you approach this situation?"  -- Rhoda, Virginia

Staff letters

by on November 18, 2005 4:30am
in Admin Pro Forum

A staff newsletter is one of the most powerful and creative tools an organization can use to communicate with its employees. Do you help produce one for your organization? If so, what makes it outstanding or unique? What tools and sources do you use to pull it together?

Tell me about it, so I can include your story in an upcoming issue of Personal Report. Either post here or e-mail me directly at (If you post on the Forum, make sure you leave your e-mail address, so I can contact you.)

Alice Bumgarner
Personal Report for the Administrative Professional

Question: I would like to know how other assistants/receptionists/whatever your title deal with disruptions.  I 'm not talking about the phone ringing, sales people coming in or clients.  I 'm talking about people just stopping at your desk asking you how your weekend was, what did you have for lunch, how's this, how's that.

I' m not even centrally located to the rest of the office (to the managers, I am), so it's not like they really come to talk. How do I politely (since I have to work with everyone every day) say I 'm too busy to talk about lunch/dinner or the weekend?  -- Anonymous

Question: Has anyone put together a group program for the administrative assistants at their company to promote communication, education, training, etc? I have been asked to organize a quarterly meeting and I need a starting point. If anyone has done this and has suggestions or ideas, I would greatly appreciate the help!  -- Anonymous

Question: Our company has been through four major acquisitions in the past 8 years, most recently a year ago.  All employees have lost faith in the executive team due to corporate flavor of policies and standards being changed constantly with each new acquisition.

Most recently, an employee who is well liked by all tendered her resignation after 28 years of service because she disagreed with her supervisor's review of her. (She thought she should have received "Above Standard" ratings on each item but didn't.)  This started a rumor that the executive team (of which HR is a part) fired her, which was not the truth. She gave the executive team an ultimatum and they did not meet it because the review was a good and fair review.

There was a silent protest with all employees not of the management team wearing a circle with "28" inside on their shoulders. The employees are very vocal in their displeasure,  stating that they will never believe what the executive team says ever again, and there has been quite a lot of gossip and innuendo, with most of the executive team being ostracized.

How do you approach this?  The employees whom HR has spoken to state that there is nothing that HR can do to make this better.  Do we review standards for comportment in the workplace again?  Get in front of them, send out a questionnaire so they can voice their grievances?  (They will not use the suggestion box.)  How would YOU handle this situation?  -- Anonymous

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