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To endure a chaotic boss, view yourself as a shelter from the storm

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in Your Office Coach

Q: "Although my boss is the president of our company, she is very disorganized. She always carries her cellphone and will drop whatever she is doing to take calls from family, friends, or even a handyman working in her home. She will abruptly leave a meeting if she suddenly remembers an errand.

"My discussions with her are repeatedly interrupted or postponed because of some new 'emergency.' She often pulls me into her office to talk about the latest crisis in her life. All this drama is emotionally draining.

"I’m her executive assistant, and this is a small company, so transferring elsewhere is not an option. I know she isn’t going to change, so should I just leave?" Burned Out

A: Executives who have chaotic, crisis-driven personalities usually hire capable, organized assistants to keep them on track and prevent things from falling apart. These assistants typically fall into two categories. Those with caretaker tendencies enjoy looking after their hapless bosses, but the ones who prefer a calm, orderly workplace go absolutely nuts.

Since you apparently fall into the second category, you must decide whether the benefits of this job outweigh the emotional costs. If you choose to stay, try to regard your hyperactive president as a scattered soul who needs your help badly. Because she really does.

Administrative assistants face a lot of challenges! Here are some tips that can help you succeed: How to Shine as an Administrative Assistant

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