Mary Ellen Slayter

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


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


Question: “I don’t mind doing a lot of the repetitive and humdrum things that need to be done as an admin, but once in a while things come along—like cleaning the windows of my boss’s office or running out to buy ice cream for a meeting that went on longer than it should have—that make me feel like they’re really just personal favors I’m obligated to do. Does anyone else get frustrated with the truly petty tasks?” – Barb, Customer Service and Fulfillment


Question: “I need to start breaking down my time to show my boss exactly how much I spend doing the 30-40 different tasks I perform in a week. Is there a software tool that people prefer to make this easy, or is doing it by hand really the simplest way to go?” – Marion, Laboratory Professional


Question: “I have been an administrative professional for the last thirty years. Unfortunately, I was laid off three years ago and have not yet found a job. I’m quite fearful my technical skills and abilities are falling behind. What should I be up to speed on?” – Sheryl 


Question: “I have been trying to get other admins to use instant messaging for basic communication instead of phone and email. It is an easy way to contact managers and others even while they are in meetings. What are the benefits of using something like Lync instant messaging for the office?” – Mary Lou


Question: “It seems like every new hire at my company has been naturally raised with all the new technologies out there, while I have to really set aside time to concentrate on learning them (and sometimes it just doesn’t happen!). Does anyone else share my fear that everyone younger than me has more general tech savvy, and that as the years go on, I just won’t be able to keep up with what they know?” – Gail, Assistant to the CFO


Question: “I know only the very basics of Excel—data entry, sorting and the most basic formulas, so it’s not much more to me than a calculator. If I want to take a tiny step forward in it and learn something snazzy but actually useful, what would be a good (and simple) thing to attack?” – Beth, Receptionist


Question: “As of January 13, I’m going to be supervising two other admins for the first time. I’ve never worked with them directly, and I want to come in that Monday and accomplish two things: First, I want to tell them I’d like to be a fun boss, but I also need to let them know that I have some very specific ideas about how we should approach the things we need to get done. Should I sit down with them as a group and lay it all out, approach them one by one, or wait and see how they react to me in the first week—or even the first month?” – Rich, Records Administrator


Question: “I am now so completely dependent on my Outlook reminders and calendar alerts that it’s almost a little scary, but with so much going on and so many people to support I really need these crutches! Has anyone but me reached the tipping point where you’re pretty much at the mercy of the computer to remind you of exactly what needs to be done, and when?” – C.J., Administrative Specialist


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