Question: I read Personal Report for the Administrative Professional every month for career and work tips. But what other resources are out there for an ambitious admin who wants to better herself? -- Josie, Virginia
Admin Pro Forum
Share best-practices with your administrative peers. Pose a question, offer advice, or just be a fly on the wall.
Question: I would like to get feedback about a job description. The job is for a secretary at a real estate office. The job has been open for several months.
A portion of it states: “You need to be okay with being micromanaged and prepared to continuously check in. You need to be "thick skinned."
I showed this job description to a friend who wanted to apply. When she asked if I had considered it, because the salary is about $10,000 more than I make now, I said that I wouldn't apply because it sounds as though you'd have to put up with a lot. She said that she didn't get that impression from the job description and that maybe "thick skinned" means you need to be versatile. I disagree. Just interested in what everyone else thinks. -- Anonymous
Question: One of my co-workers (Co-Worker A) is a good employee and a hard worker. Another co-worker (Co-Worker B), who supports the department head, is very untrusting and controlling. She seems to undermine everything that Co-Worker A does and intentionally tries to make Co-Worker A look bad to their superiors. Co-Worker A is at the end of her rope! I've tried to offer support and advice to Co-Worker A, but I'm out of suggestions.
Talking to Co-Worker B does not yield any results. Any suggestions for Co-Worker A who does not want to leave her role but desperately needs help? -- Anonymous
Question: What do you do when you have a highly responsible position working for a company that has very limited internal structure or rules and a boss who is sometimes deceitful and difficult to work for?
I have no internal resources such as a human resources department (I'm the person who handles that function), and I work in an "at will" state, where an employee can be fired for any reason at any time. When I voice my opinions on improvements that can be made within the company, they are usually rejected. When I request assistance with my position (which is a catch-all of office management, hr, receptionist, admin. assistant), it falls on deaf ears.
My boss has never been straightforward with the employees and behaves in a somewhat deceptive manner. I have co-workers who would rather "back stab" than attempt to have productive working relationships with each other. I can't rely on what I have been told and never know what to expect on a daily basis.
The biggest problem is that I desperately need the job for the money. I realize that resignation is always an option, but I haven't been able to find another job with comparable duties or pay.
The latest event is that I have been advised my position is being restructured, yet somehow, that really meant I was being demoted. Recently, I received a raise, but got even less respect due to a lower job title. I really think I'm being kept around only for my skills and knowledge, and I feel I'm being used. Now what do I do, or what recourse do I have? -- Anonymous
Question: I have been working as an HR and admin coordinator for more than a year and have been much appreciated for my dedication and commitment, to the extent that I am up for a promotion.
Recently, a new employee joined the company in the same position and, although I have gone out of my way to make her feel welcome and shared all my tips and so much of my experience, when I spoke to her regarding a small issue, she responded in a rude and loud manner. I tried to talk it over with her and make it work, but she continued shouting and acting obscene. I approached my manager about the new person’s behavior, but my manager told me that I have to be more polite, since I may have come across as rude to the new person, who is probably sensitive.
Hello!! I was the one being shouted at while trying to be diplomatic and polite!!
I need advice urgently because I would hate to ruin the relationship I have with my manager, and I also don’t want to be falling over myself to be nice. I am, after all, the senior one here! -- Anonymous
Question: Two of my managers come to my desk frequently and read my computer screen and anything else within view of my desk. I do not report to either one. They both report to my boss, who is the department head.
One manager is somewhat harmless, and overly friendly; the other is often looking for information to either use to someone's disadvantage or he is trying to stay in the loop where he used to occupy a more prominent position. He was seen rummaging through other people's trash some time ago, and I suspect he checks over my desk when he is in the office alone.
How can I stop the trash-rummaging manager, and what can I do about the overly friendly manager? -- Anonymous
Question: How can I think on my feet when talking to the boss, without looking rather inept? -- Anonymous
Question: Our problem is that, when various offices have items that need to be surplused, many times, they end up in the basement entry-level alcove right in front of the elevator area. It doesn't block the walkway except on rare occasions when too many items are left there.
These items should be surplused by individual offices, but it just seems convenient to roll them to this area. I usually end up having to fill out surplus forms for each item to have them picked up. They've been told but they eventually start again. How would you handle a problem like this? Thanks. -- Annette
Question: As a young person in a demanding and competitive industry, what is the best way to stop co-workers from being angry as I succeed in my career? -- Anonymous
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