Mary Ellen Slayter

Question: “I find myself pretty addicted to my smartphone, but not in a good way. I’m always checking my work emails because I want to occupy myself in line, at a restaurant, riding in the back of a car, etc., and I want to be as ‘dialed in’ as the rest of the staff. I realized the other day that nothing on my phone can help me be more productive; all it does is make me feel like I’m at work. Has anyone found the key to breaking the addiction, or at least making this thing complete an admin task faster so I can actually save time with it?” – Roland, A/P Specialist

{ 8 comments }

Question: “I work in a very small office where I am receptionist, administrative assistant, office & kitchen manager and supplies procurement manager. I order lunches, make dinner reservations, coordinate office functions and parties, pick up, handle and distribute mail. I help the accounting department and administer to all who need help. I am fine doing all these tasksbut I hate going into the kitchen to find it a mess! People spill coffee and milk all over the counters, leave bread and cookie crumbs on the counter and on the floor …  what do I do?” — Carol

{ 19 comments }

Question: “I’m starting an admin job soon. The words ‘event planning’ were used during the interview a couple of times, but I neglected to ask for hard details. Is this something that an admin must do regularly, and is it as difficult as it seems? The idea of organizing an event for hundreds of people seems over my head!” – Kristin, Administrative Assistant III

{ 13 comments }

Question: “My department has been sharing space with another one. Their admin support is in a remote location out of state. Employees from this other department constantly interrupt me to ask where other employees are, where office supplies are, for help with a printer or scanner that isn’t working, taking delivery of their packages and lunches, etc. My boss has instructed me not to help them, as they technically have their own admin support. I have made them aware of my boss’s wishes, but they continue to ask me for help rather than relying on each other or the remote admins. I’m struggling with a response I can give when I get these requests that would be polite and friendly, but might help shut the door on future requests.” — Kathy, Administrative Assistant

{ 41 comments }

Question: “How do you tell your co-worker she’s wearing too much perfume? It gives some people a headache—not to mention its effect on people with allergies.” – Andrea

{ 13 comments }

Question: “This is more a vent than a question, but why is it that everywhere I work, people are always complaining about their part of the office being too warm or too cold? Our poor manager spends more time responding to every little complaint about the AC than he does running the business. Doesn’t anyone feel the responsibility to dress appropriately for how it might feel that day, and maybe bring a sweater, or do they expect the place to feel perfect no matter where they sit or what the weather’s like outside?” – L.C., Regional Sales Support

{ 14 comments }

Question: “The people I assist have started to work at home at least one and sometimes two days a week, and often come in at unusual hours because they’ve been putting time in outside the office. They always rave about how much they can get done without distractions—but I can’t tell you how many times I have to go without answers or important discussions because they’re being so “productive” at home. Sometimes I even fall behind on deadlines waiting for them to finally show up. Is anyone but me getting kind of fed up with this trend?” – Jodie, HR Assistant

{ 9 comments }

Question: “I like my job overall, but with it come six or seven things I have to do each and every week, on the same schedule, with no variation, just grunt work. This has been going on for two years, and it’s getting to the point where I almost can’t face opening the same old spreadsheet even one more time. With no real chance to make these little tasks more interesting, how do I mentally push through and not totally go crazy from their tedium?” – Terry, Benefits Administrator

{ 7 comments }

Question: “Our home page features pictures of our entire staff; we each had to submit one. Obviously this is not the kind of thing that gets mentioned at a job interview as a requirement of the position, but it would have been nice to know that my photo and contact info would be broadcast online. I’m not sure I object enough to mention it, but I feel as if I should have control of where my image, title, and general location is posted, since as a first-year admin I’m not exactly a key player the public needs to know. Am I being too sensitive?” – Bonnie, Clinical Project Assistant

{ 17 comments }

Question: “My office produces so much written communication now that is seen by the public that I think it’s time we officially adopted some sort of style guide so that we’re not putting wildly different spellings and meanings out there. Does anyone have any experience with either picking a known one or creating their own from scratch? What’s the easiest route to go?” – Radi, Administrative Assistant III

{ 6 comments }

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