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Admin Pro Forum

Admin Pro Forum

Share best-practices with your administrative peers. Pose a question, offer advice, or just be a fly on the wall.

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Question: "In this office, to lend anything out to a co-worker is to have it disappear. Has anyone come up with a good system for lending out things like staplers, folders, chairs, rolling carts, etc., to guarantee these things actually come back?" - Joleen, Reservations Systems

Question: "I've taken to using a simple whiteboard to keep track of ongoing tasks. I just take my black marker and eraser and mark the board at will, always having it within view. This has replaced a lot of Outlook reminders and other digital doodads that failed for me. So now I'm thinking of going 'old-school' with other things to get me to focus differently. Does anyone else use any supposedly outdated tools that happen to work wonders for their productivity?" - Nancy, Assistant Bookkeeper

Question: "When I look back on all the pay increases I've gotten in my career, I realize that I'm excited about them for about two days, but the novelty of having a little more money fades quickly. Have any admins gotten a pay raise that really made them much happier in the long-term, or does the extra bump always quickly disappear into the daily onrush of bills and so-called necessities? Why do I feel no more content as I make more and more?" - Thula, Data Processing Lead

Question: “From performing simple acts of kindness to saving human lives, heroes walk among us every day. Who are your workplace heroes? The producers of Admin Pro Forum 2018, taking place May 23-25 in Orlando, Florida, want to know. Tell us a little bit about your workplace heroes—fellow admins, managers, delivery people or IT folks, executives or cleaning staff—so we can bestow upon them the honor they so richly deserve.” - the editors of Administrative Professional Today

Question: "Every time I turn around I read how terrible sitting for long periods is for our health. How are admins coping with this? My job gets me up and around sometimes, but surely not often enough to counteract the evils of my chair!" - Nika, Auto Leasing

Question: "Once or twice a year, I wake up and just really, really don't feel like going to work. But it feels like the system is set up to make us lie about our absences if they're not illness-related or scheduled well in advance. Does anyone work in a place where you feel free to tell your boss, 'Not today, sorry, it's been rough recently and I need a mental health break?' How often do other admins escape for a day, and do they feel the need to be less than honest about it?" - Jane, Departmental Aide

Question: "Where I work, there are six admins, but in the ten months I've been here, we've never met as a group once. Everything gets done and nothing falls through the cracks, but I think it would really help us all get on the same page if we have regular meetings just like any other department. Before I talk to my boss about this, what's an efficient (and enjoyable) structure and frequency for an admin team this size? Any tips to make our meetings productive?" - Barbara, Wholesale Operations Team

Question: "What do you worry about most during the workday? Is it a specific task, dealing with a specific person, or maybe fear for losing  your job? What's the one pressing concern you can't ever quite shake?" - the editors of Administrative Professional Today

Question: "How do you tell your corporate office, kindly, that the holiday wreath they send each year doesn’t survive the shipment? We are located in Florida and every year the corporate office in Louisville sends us what was once a beautiful wreath with fresh fruit, nuts and berries. I am sure in the colder weather they hold up great ... but here in Florida the fruit is already molded by the time I open the box!" - Jeannie, EA

Question: "As soon as I got my new admin job, I was deluged by office supply vendors with deals and offers to switch, and I've also been asked to explore ways to save money in catering, shipping, courier services, etc. But I have no experience in dealing with vendors and I don't want to wind up making some deal I later regret. Does anyone have any advice on how to make (or refuse) new deals, and what I should be suspicious of?" - Margaret, School Board EA
Question: "Recently I found out that my boss is clearly engaged in some things at work that aren't illegal but are unethical. I'm not supposed to know about them; I came across the information completely by accident. I'm not sure what to do. I think he's a decent person who's just gotten desperate about keeping his job, but I don't know him very well. Any advice?" - Shaina, Executive Assistant
Question: "Our admin team is planning a little awards ceremony during the holidays. Some of the awards will go to those who have done great work, but others will be more tongue-in-cheek so we can all have some fun. I'm wondering what some good, clever awards categories would be to reflect what admins have to face each day." - Bonnie, Admin Team Leader

Question: "I am responsible for keeping the keys and the scheduling calendar book for our two company vans. I constantly have employees walking into my office, e-mailing me or calling me to see if a van is available. They are used by employees for going on sales calls, running company errands or attending meetings, conferences, etc. I would like to automate this process so everyone can view a calendar on their computer to check availability and reserve a van on their own. Could we use Outlook or SharePoint? What method would you use?" - Lisa, Administrative Assistant

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

Question: “How do you open the door to a conversation on work ethic with a co-worker? How do you help co-workers improve their work ethic?  Is there training?” —An administrative secretary
Question: "As the song goes, ‘There’s never enough time to do the things we want to do once we find them’ … so, what's your favorite time management tip?" —The editors
(Are you not yet a member of our Admin Pro Forum? Share your best advice with your peers:  Click here to join, it's free!)
Question: What's your biggest technology challenge? Chances are, you're not alone in your frustrations. Please share your greatest tech challenges (and any solutions you've found) in a comment below. We've found that peer-to-peer advice is often the best to help admins work smarter, save time and master new skills. Thanks for sharing! —The editors

(Are you not yet a member of our Admin Pro Forum? Share your best advice with your peers:  Click here to join, it's free!)

Question: "Have you ever experienced age discrimination in hiring? My significant other and I have each been required to fill out background check forms that include our full birthdates and our college graduation dates. Even though the forms state that age will not be a factor in interviewing/hiring, it’s now obvious that we are over 50 years old. I see no good reason why these forms can’t wait until the company has made an offer or is about to. Do you? How would you handle this?" —Over 50  (Are you not yet a member of our Admin Pro Forum? Please join and share your advice with your peers:  Click here to join, it's free!)

Question:  “I am thinking of upgrading my phone and would like feedback on how your smartphone has made your job as an EA more productive and efficient? I would love to get as many specifics as possible to help with my decision. Thanks!”  —Amber Shumperd
Question: "I work for three directors who are all very busy. Their workloads have increased over the past year, thus increasing my workload.  I am able to complete my critical tasks, but I am unable to find time to do the less important tasks or projects that I have been asked to work on or take on additional tasks.  We are going to request an additional assistant to work for two of the directors, while I am assigned to the busiest of the three. I would like to track my time so that we have justification for the request, but I’m at a loss as to how to do that. Any suggestions or ideas from anyone who has done this in their executive assistant role?" —Busy E.A.
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