Admin Pro Forum — Page 2
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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: "Recently I received an email from a manager reprimanding me for some work I’d done that was 'not the best use of your time.' He pointed to other projects that would be 'a better use' of my time. What upset me was that he also cc’d my direct supervisor. It was demoralizing. What happened to approaching someone directly with criticism? Now I don’t trust this manager. Has this happened to anyone else?" —Deflated by a cc
Question: "We have a member of our senior management team who never has anything positive to say about any of our employees. How do you counter someone over you that is negative day in and day out?" —Sandra
Question:  “I’ve been at my job a little over a year and have been told performance reviews will be coming up 'sometime soon.'  I want to be prepared and would appreciate advice. Since the economy is so bad, I’m curious if any of you are receiving raises?  Who brought it up—you or your boss? How do you know how much to ask for? Should I accept the offer or try to negotiate? I’d like to stay in this position—I’m still learning things and taking on more tasks, but I’m only making ends meet.  I’m not job hunting; does that take away my leverage?"  –I’d like a raise
Question:  “In this ‘jobless economic recovery’ many cut jobs were not replaced, including those of both managers and admins. My question:  Does your company have an ‘official’ admin team?  If so, what is the scope of the team? Do managers pitch in with admin tasks and vice versa? Which ones? Are there tasks you have dropped? Thanks for sharing.”  – Carolyn
Question: "This time of year everyone is resolving to get a handle on their calendars—and make sure managers  know about competing priorities. My question: Doesn’t anybody use Lotus Notes anymore?  All the calendar planning/time management advice seems geared toward Outlook? What about Lotus Notes users? Any new tips for us?" —Diane
Question: “Has anyone noticed how often food is used as a reward at work? I’m trying to eat healthy and be more active to set a good example for my kids. But it’s hard. I’m in a sedentary job and treats often appear (vendors bring in lunches and cookies, we celebrate co-workers birthdays with cakes, the kitchen is often full of goodies especially over the holidays, the vending machine calls my name). Can anyone share tips for avoiding temptation at work or suggest ideas I might suggest for non-food rewards/recognition? Employers have a stake in keeping us healthy, too. Do any of your employers encourage healthy eating and exercise? How? I used to take a brisk walk at lunchtime, but ‘Baby, it’s cold outside!’ Thanks for sharing.” —Trying to down-size
Question: "I have a college degree, and $20,000 in student loan debt to show for it. I’ve now been in the workforce seven years and I’ve noticed that the degree (I'm still paying for it) gives me a level of respect that others—even those who have years more work and life experience—don’t get. Do you think there’s a bias against those who don’t hold degrees? This is the second place I’ve worked where I see someone working longer hours, producing more work than others who hold degrees, yet in meetings she gets no recognition while the “professional” workers (who pile the work on her) get recognized.  Should I suggest she take the time to earn her degree after hours or online? Knowing she’s already stressed out—and that she doesn’t actually need one to do her job well? I think she hesitates to put her foot down because she fears job hunting (many good jobs screen out people without degrees). Or is there something else going on?" —Why the disrespect?
Question: “I work in a small organization and often say that I find out things about myself from co-workers before I even know them! I have stopped socializing after work hours, especially when alcohol is involved, because of the rampant gossip of co-workers. What is the best way to handle—and minimize—office gossip?”  —Not a gossip

Question: “I am the type of Admin who wants to find a great boss/career to stick with by following the boss as he gets promoted. I thought I had finally found a boss to lead my career path. We had a very good relationship in the beginning, and I enjoy working with him. But when I mentioned I wanted to follow him as he gets promoted, his response was, "Don't hitch your cart to my horse!" So now I wonder if he even wants me as his assistant. He constantly tells me to keep my eye out for something better and don't let him stop me from moving forward. I have received multiple 'above average' evaluations, so it's not anything I'm doing wrong. Others say he’s the type of manager who looks out only for himself. How should I handle this? Should I start looking for something else in hopes of landing the right, understanding boss? I don't want to work with a new boss all over again. I'm ready to settle down.  –Following the wrong lead

Question: "I feel chained to the job and out of the loop at home and everywhere. My job is a good one, and I've been here about a year. It involves recruiting so I’m constantly reminded how lucky I should feel that I have a job at all in this economy. But I'm just sad that I can’t seem to find a better balance. There are never enough hours in the day. Working part-time is not an option—since we have three teens to get through college. Any advice for finding a better balance and a sunnier outlook?" –Working mom
Question: "What are the most important attributes for a combined office manager/receptionist position (for both co-workers and customers)? Specifically, I’m asking for a small, busy dental office. Thanks!"  —Kimberly
Question:  "Can I ask: Exactly what is the advantage of LinkedIn?  (And I want specifics, not just for general business networking.) Many people I know are on it, but no one can say what they get out of it. Is it kind of like Facebook? I joined reluctantly because I was asked so often, but really, I don't need one more thing to check. All I see is a limited number of people showing off (by getting their friends to recommend them). Is it just me? What’s the advantage of having 'connections' if most are silent anyway?" —I don’t get it
Question: "What do you do when you offer to help everybody in the office and no one will give you a chance to show them what you can do? For example, my manager asked me to do a simple table.  After I did it, she remarked, ‘I didn’t know you knew how to that.’ Should I just not offer to help?  It is a no win situation if they keep refusing. Thanks for letting me blow off some steam." —Frustrated
Question: "As an EA, scheduling meetings is one of my more challenging duties, especially when the participants are all C-level executives. I'm in the process of scheduling several meetings for next month. Has anyone come up with a ‘better mousetrap’? Is the old-fashioned method of offering a few dates and using a basic chart to narrow down a mutually convenient date and time still the best way? I’m looking forward to hearing some new tricks to make this easier!" —Trisha Heil

Question: “How do you train employees who can’t (or won’t) think and act on their own?”  —Frustrated they don't 'get it'

Question: "I am starting a new job next week as an executive assistant.  My first job will be to organize my boss who is the president of the company. Where do I start?  Also, do I get him his morning coffee?"  —EA-to-be
Question: "I am starting a new job next week as an executive assistant.  My first job will be to organize my boss who is the president of the company. Where do I start?  Also, do I get him his morning coffee?"  —EA-to-be
Question: “Our company just reorganized and changed our job titles from Administrative Assistant to ‘Office Assistant.’ None of the job functions changed. Should we go to our manager and speak to him about our displeasure or just be quiet and not say a thing? I feel demoted and inadequate.”
— Unhappily 'Reorganized' Admin
Question: “I work for the president of my organization, and he has a strict policy against meeting with sales people —ever. We have directors that can handle things for their departments, so he doesn’t need to get involved with these types of visits, nor does he have time.  How do I tell pesky sales people that there is no way they are getting a meeting, phone call or anything with him without being rude? I’ve even said point-blank that he doesn’t meet with sales people, and that doesn’t deter them from trying to sweet talk their way into his schedule.” —Amy
Question: “I’m an EA. Two years ago, I filed a sexual harassment complaint. My boss immediately retaliated by changing my hours, banning me from the kitchen and restricting my entry into the main office while he kept an open door policy for men. I filed a grievance and now I can enter the kitchen, but I am still not allowed to eat there. Prior to the complaint, my personnel file was squeaky clean; I was praised and given a classification increase and raise. My complaint changed everything. My boss set new work demands that are impossible to meet. He drilled me on why I am documenting gender disparity issues with my union rep. I explained that documentation is not a personal attack against him. I don’t want to be anyone’s doormat and I know I have to take this to resolution, but I need some tips to help survive. The hostile work environment is affecting my health but I cannot retire for four years.”  — The dog my boss kicks
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