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Mary Ellen Slayter

Question: “Is anyone out there not recognized on Administrative Professionals Day (I’m not)? How do you handle it?” - Sally, Administrative Assistant

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Question: “Last week’s question on calling in sick reminded me that I’ve gotten so busy at work this year, taking a day off just doesn’t seem worth it to me—all I think about is the pile of papers that will be waiting for me the next day, to say nothing of the emails. Asking people to cover for me involves some careful arranging. Is it sad that even when I’d like to take a mental health day, I wind up preferring to go into the office to avoid the consequences?”  – Liz-Ann, Executive Assistant

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Question: “I’ve noticed that when the people in my office call in sick, they always seem to be playing it up a little with an over-the-top weak voice, as if they feel the need to ‘sell’ their illness somehow. And to be honest, I’ve caught myself doing it too, because I think maybe my boss or co-workers just won’t believe me. I bet lots of people are like me, but I’d like some reassurance!”   – Jill, Office Manager

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Question: “I know that I make my fair share of grammar mistakes, but it just makes me crazy when people get ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ confused in a document (although it’s not nearly as bad as seeing ‘for all intensive purposes’). Do other people get irrationally irritated by certain little grammar goofs as much as I do?” - Marilu, Tax Processor

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Question: “I was given a project last week to transcribe a very long speech, and I’ve never done this before. Without any special tools at my disposal, does anyone know the best way to tackle this? It seems like it’ll take forever!” - Suzanne, Curator’s Assistant

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Question: “I’d like to hear some team-building event ideas from other administrative professionals.” - Sandra

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Question: “At my job, 25% of our day is spent on administrative tasks, and 75% is spent making outbound sales calls to customers who are almost never happy to hear from us. Because of this, the staff is always stressed out and unhappy, and people quit all the time because of it, which makes it even harder on the rest of us. Since management isn’t much help with trying to boost morale, what can we do amongst ourselves to make this job more tolerable?” - Jennifer, Customer Service Representative

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Question: “I think it would be interesting to attend one of the larger conferences for admins and office managers, but I’m sure it would involve some travel, missed time from work and the company footing the bill. Can anyone tell me if it’s been worth it to them to dive in and make appearances at events like these?” – Thea, Legal Librarian

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Question: “I tend to move on from a job every two or three years because I get bored with seeing the same building, the same people, making the same commute day in and day out … I tend to do well and my bosses always come up with new challenges for me, but it’s hard for me not to daydream about what else might be out there that’s simply different. I worry that as I get older, this attitude might begin to really cost me a good career. If I feel at my core that my working life should be a constant journey of discovery, how do I keep from wanting to be anywhere but where I am?” - Millie, Event Coordinator

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Question: “When I was asked to put together the company newsletter, I was sad to find out it was just a sheet of paper showing upcoming holidays, a list of sales goals, and reminders from HR about this and that. In my previous job, we would write offbeat articles, interview people about their hobbies, even have a haiku contest! Everyone looked forward to it. Shouldn’t the point of a company newsletter be to tell employees something they don’t already know, and create a sense of camaraderie?” - Dale, HR Documentation Assistant

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