Mary Ellen Slayter

Question: “Is there a particular boss from your past whose antics absolutely drove you up a wall? One whose behavior was off-the-charts annoying, and whose methods made you wonder how a person like that could ever become a boss in the first place? We’d love to hear your story!” – the editors of Administrative Professional Today

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Question: “I was really looking forward to working for the company that hired me a few weeks ago, but right away I got the sense that no one was very interested in making me feel like I was a valued part of a team. I wasn’t introduced to anyone but my boss, and no one sitting near me has introduced themselves. I won’t be working with them directly, but it still feels uncomfortable to go into work each day with strangers who seem to want to remain strangers. What course of action would you recommend to a person who’s shy and doesn’t want to walk around telling people who I am?” – Maddy, Customer Relations

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Question: “My boss has asked me to find someone to deliver a one-hour motivational talk at a company retreat—it could be anyone with a lot of business experience who will basically put a charge into people to reach for the kind of career they dream of. With a budget of only a few hundred dollars, where should I begin to look?” – Ilene, Assistant Conference Coordinator

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Question: “Five months ago I was hired as an admin at a telecommunications company. Recently I’ve come to realize that while my boss and I do get along, he’s kind of a classic jerk—and everyone warned me about it. He’s rude, condescending, argumentative and sometimes just plain mean, but he seems to get away with a lot because he’s apparently terrific at bringing in profits. Does anyone but me feel there’s something not right about working so hard for someone you find personally offensive, even if you need the paycheck and your work relationship is perfectly functional?” – Valerie, Administrative Assistant

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Question: “As soon as I got my first admin job, I was urged by everyone I know to get on LinkedIn right away. That was easy, but aside from having a profile and a bunch of contacts, I’m not sure what I can really do with LinkedIn. Where are the admins gathering when I go there, and how are they helping each other?” – Wallace, Purchase and Audit Coordinator

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Question: “Our admin team is compiling one list each month of 10 tips to get better at a certain skill. We simply post these on our walls at work to always keep us in learning mode. This month’s list is about time management. For the first time, we’re not filling up a list very quickly—we keep rejecting ideas because so many of them haven’t really helped us that much in the past. Does anyone have any gems they can share?” – Samantha, Customer Service Dispatcher

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Question: “I have worked as an administrative assistant for seven years with the same boss. I have constantly asked for more responsibilities, as I feel I could do more—I’ll be graduating with my master’s degree in December. My boss seems to just brush my request off. At what point should I start seeking opportunities elsewhere?” – Natarsha, Administrative Assistant

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Question: “A situation has arisen in our office involving a lack of raises for admins going back three years, while other departments get steady increases. We believe that only the whole admin team presenting our grievance at once will work to get a change made, because individual complaints just haven’t had any impact. I’m looking for guidance on the best way to present a ‘unified front’ when an issue needs to be addressed this way. Should our concerns be in writing? Should one of us act as the leader who presents them?” – Daphne, Conference Center Assistant

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Question: “I am planning to move out of state this summer. When would be the appropriate time to let my current employer know of my plans? I would like to give them enough notice so they can find a replacement, but I’m concerned that if I let them know sooner rather than later, they might replace me. I would like to work as much as I can.” – Nancy

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Question: “I go to work every day suspecting I could actually do the job of the supervisor I’m assisting—and maybe even do it a little bit better. I’m trying to be as patient as I can, but I’m finding it harder and harder to stay motivated when I feel this way. How do other admins manage it when they have these thoughts?” – Ivana, Shipping Logistics Assistant

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