Admin Pro Forum — Page 20
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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: “At my office, we are bombarded with e-mail, multiple phone lines ringing, interoffice instant messaging and people walking in and out of cubicles all at the same time. When we describe the office scenario in interviews, job candidates nod and say they can handle it.  Then they get here and say, “Why didn’t you say it was this busy?” — Kristin Patterson
Question: “I supervise a young secretary/receptionist who has been with the agency for two years. She is a pleasant person, but I have to constantly remind her how to properly handle security procedures, how to ask questions so she doesn’t send people to the wrong department, how to handle the front desk when more than one person is waiting, how to do basic purchase requests and the list goes on. I have given her a detailed SOP and sent her to admin training classes to improve her skills. But she doesn’t improve and she continues to mishandle situations. What do I do next — I truly want her to succeed?” — Jo

Question: “I work in a health and safety department and need to purchase a software package that will track training and annual due dates, etc. Can anyone recommend a good one?" — Anonymous
Question: “I have worked with my boss for 20 years, and he will retire in June after 33 years with the organization. He is moving out of state. He will receive a clock as the traditional retirement gift from the organization. I would personally like to give him a gift, but I have no idea what is appropriate. A gift certificate would have to be from a national chain, and a present would have to be small enough to transport to his new home and not become clutter. Any suggestions?” — Anonymous
Question: “What do you use to easily remove old labels from file folders designated to be re-used?” — Karen Dow
Question: "I need a user-friendly org chart software that will convert or copy easily to PowerPoint. Any suggestions?" — Alicia Vandgrift

Question: “I work for a government agency that coordinates our service delivery with private industry partners. Because of this partnership, we have staff in our building who are not state employees and answer to different management. The dress code in our building is “business casual,” and the partners agreed to this policy. How do I address women who wear inappropriate low-cut blouses and very short skirts?  Approaching the appropriate supervisor hasn’t helped.  The “corporate culture” in that company is different from our state agency. Should I go to our administrator?  Am I making too much of this?  The purpose of this partnership is to help lower-income and unemployed people find jobs, or career advancement, through job search activities, training, résumé and interviewing skill coaching. I don’t see this as setting a good example to our clientele. — Rita
Question: “I work for a small firm and we receive calls from telemarketers who use the president’s first name, asserting that they know each other.  My boss has given me the liberty to gain as much information about the call in order to prepare him for it, or to end the call.  How do I achieve this task nicely and  professionally?” — Designated call screener
Question: “I currently work full time, but I would like to reduce my schedule to 32 hours per week, working four, eight-hour days. (I am 65 years old.) I am able to complete my duties in this time frame, as I know what is needed and how to get it done in the shortest time. I have presented this proposal to my manager twice in less than six months, stating that I would be willing to "occasionally" work more hours or five days a week when needed. My manager has not responded.  Do you have any suggestions or comments?” — Anonymous
Question: “I have enrolled in a community college to obtain a project management certificate. Looking at job bulletins, I find that some companies are seeking administrative professionals with this type of training. Do you think this is an in-demand skill that will accelerate my career?  Do you have this type of training or are thinking about professional development in this area?” — Sharon
Question: Administrative Professionals Week is April 19-25, and we’re collecting a list of the craziest things bosses have asked administrative assistants to do. What’s the most unusual or bizarre thing you’ve been asked to do?  Give us your best stories. We’ll compile the best and publish them in our Administrative Professional Today newsletter in April.— Forum editor
Question: “I want to let a new employee know that his predecessor’s work was below our standards. Should I give the new employee a sample of previous work and tell him or her that is our standard expectation?" — CJM
Question: “I have been trying to find an administrative manager job description, but I'm not having much luck. I would like to work with my company on changing my position to an admin manager. Does anyone have a sample that I can use?” — Anonymous
Question: “I have been in my position for 14 years. It has evolved tremendously, due in part to my suggestions for improvement, desire to be a team member, and dedication to the mission of our agency and to the four administrators I work for. I will be looking at retirement in a few years and would like to develop a “standard operating procedure” so that my successor (most likely from outside the agency) will have something to fall back on. Where and how do I begin? Are there any guides?”— Jean Shutts
Question:  “During my annual review, my boss suggested a membership in an administrative professionals’ organization. I've found a couple of them so far but am wondering if one is more reputable than another or has better benefits and resources. Any suggestions?” — Amy
Question: “I need an easy way to print out or give my boss the meeting schedule for the day. Previously, we have tried 3x5 index cards with appointments and small notes about each appointment (very small and crammed).We have tried printing out the actual calendar for the day (very bulky). Any ideas?” — Anonymous
Question: “We have a meeting with all the administrative assistants every two or three months.  The office administrator usually takes the lead in deciding what subjects we are going to discuss. Now, she has given the ‘privilege’ to each individual admin to take charge of the meetings. I dread my turn. I’m just a humble ‘secretary’ from the old school and some of the admins have more education and experience. Can you give me some suggestions as to what topics to discuss?  I know that there are a lot of great articles in the Administrative Professional Today newsletter, but I don’t want to come out as if I’m teaching these gals.” — Lydia
“Last year I gave my boss a nice, monogrammed business-card holder for his desk. He never acknowledged it and doesn’t use it. What now? Food, fruit or something for the entire family?” -- Diane
“The association I work for will be moving to another state sometime in the next six months. Knowing that our jobs are ending has made it difficult to do our jobs and remain professional toward the people who made that decision. I feel we need to serve our members the same as we did before. But other employees have copped an attitude. What's the best way to deal with the anger of co-workers and still maintain good customer service and remain professional?” -- Janice
Question: “Since starting my current position more than a year ago, I have implemented a lot of new projects, creating duties that I felt the position should include. Now that things have slowed down and everything is implemented, I find myself with lots of downtime. I feel like I’ve run out of ideas and I’m sick of updating mailing lists since it’s slowed down. Any ideas to keep me busy?” — Anonymous
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