Question: “I always quietly fix my boss’s grammar errors in print documents, but that doesn’t seem to help his speech much, and he often commits very basic mistakes that make him sound unprofessional. If I dare to correct the way he talks, even in subtle ways, is he likely to take it as a personal judgment and resent me?” – Caitlin, Grand Island, Ne.
Question: “For the company policy guide, our team is submitting a set of three rules—just three—that administrative assistants should keep in mind as they go about their work in order to be the best they can be. Does anyone have any good ones that we should make sure to include?” – Toby, Receptionist
Question: “I’ve been given an interesting assignment—my boss wants to start an ‘alumni club’ for ex-employees as part of a program to improve our office culture. His idea is that the club will make everyone seem more like a part of a family, and be useful in keeping contact with people who might again be valuable. To me, this seems like a lot of effort for little payoff when management is busy trying to keep everyone here happy so they won’t leave. What do you think?” – Sinead, Client Services Assistant
Question: “Every time I try to teach someone a new admin process at work, they seem to struggle with it and have many more questions than I anticipated. Now I’ve noticed that people seem to be going elsewhere to learn what I used to explain. I thought I was an effective trainer, but what does it really take to be a good one?” – Samantha, Concessions Supervisor
Question: “I might be a Scrooge, but I always roll my eyes when it comes time to decorate the office and plan little events for the staff during the holidays. Between the time it takes away from our usual duties and the fact that we’re bombarded outside of work with holiday imagery and revelry (and sweets!), wouldn’t it be kind of a relief to come into the office and not be overwhelmed by yet another layer of yuletide spirit?” – Kendra V., Receptionist
Question: “I always leave my interactions with the IT department feeling a little foolish about tech, and with the sense I’ve interrupted them with my needs. Since I always have to ask IT’s help for everything from reviving a dead keyboard to getting the network to behave, are there ways I can present my daily problems to them so that both our jobs are made easier?” – Ronald, Mail Coordinator
Question: “The company I’ve started working for can’t afford to give me a dual monitor setup to work with, and after using two for so long I suddenly feel stymied. Does anyone know some ways to keep as many applications as possible easily visible and flowing smoothly given only a single screen?” - Patti, Word Processing Specialist
Question: “Since layoffs hit our office, people have been understandably down. Now my boss has asked me for ideas about a possible good will gesture toward all employees. The problem, of course, is that we can spend virtually no money! Does anyone have any budget-conscious notions that might restore a little trust in management?” – Danny, Point of Rocks, Md.
Question: “I’m about to put a friend of mine forward as a job candidate with my firm, but despite my confidence in her, I wonder if the downside of recommending someone I know is too great. Sometimes people don’t work out, and this could reflect on me. Am I being selfish, or am I justified in hesitating to commit myself to her cause?” – Jen, Email Marketing Representative
Question: “I’ve heard the phrase ‘assertiveness training’ quite a bit over the years, but only recently did I become aware of the program’s use by admins to kickstart their confidence level at work. What does this regimen consist of, and does it get results?” — Cora, Court Transcriber