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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: “I am in that no-man's land where my boss likes my work so much that he treats me as his administrative assistant even though I am not his assistant. Are administrative assistants supposed to clean their bosses' desks?  I personally don't want to do this. He is a messy person and his desk is always a mess.  I don't know what to do with most of the paperwork on his desk other than to move it to a cabinet. What are the official nonbusiness duties that an administrative assistant should do for a boss? Should I get his coffee? I do get it occasionally, but he asks politely.” — Beatrice
Question: "My boss bad-mouths me to his direct reports. This puts me in an awkward situation and undermines me as a person and his executive assistant. How should I handle this?" — Christina
Question: "My boss bad-mouths me to his direct reports. This puts me in an awkward situation and undermines me as a person and his executive assistant. How should I handle this?" — Christina
Question: “I cannot figure out how to create macros in MS Word 2007 using Visual Basic. Every macro I type saves fine, but when I go to run it I get an invalid error, and it takes me back to the Visual Basic page. What am I missing here?  This used to be so easy in MS Word 2003.” — Laura
Question: “I cannot figure out how to create macros in MS Word 2007 using Visual Basic. Every macro I type saves fine, but when I go to run it I get an invalid error, and it takes me back to the Visual Basic page. What am I missing here?  This used to be so easy in MS Word 2003.” — Laura
Question: “Our director often takes personal or vacation leave without giving the staff advance notice. This causes problems because he sometimes sends out information to customers that need to be returned while he is out. We don’t always have the information needed to respond to any questions customers might have. How do we tactfully ask the boss to reveal his plans to us?” — Gina
Question: “Our director often takes personal or vacation leave without giving the staff advance notice. This causes problems because he sometimes sends out information to customers that need to be returned while he is out. We don’t always have the information needed to respond to any questions customers might have. How do we tactfully ask the boss to reveal his plans to us?” — Gina
Question: “I enjoyed quick successes and promotions at my previous employer, and the company agreed to pay for my MBA degree. Near the end of my schooling, my employer worked out a deal for almost two-thirds of the staff to be acquired by another company. Everyone was transferred into a similar role with the same pay. Since then, there has been a pay and promotion freeze, pay cuts and a few layoffs. I enjoy the work I do and the people I work with. However, I'm questioning if accepting the same (reduced) pay and position for more than two years after receiving my MBA will reflect negatively on me concerning goals and motivation. Is it better to 'hang in there' and hope the promotions and pay increase, or should I be looking for other career opportunities?” — Linda
Question: “I enjoyed quick successes and promotions at my previous employer, and the company agreed to pay for my MBA degree. Near the end of my schooling, my employer worked out a deal for almost two-thirds of the staff to be acquired by another company. Everyone was transferred into a similar role with the same pay. Since then, there has been a pay and promotion freeze, pay cuts and a few layoffs. I enjoy the work I do and the people I work with. However, I'm questioning if accepting the same (reduced) pay and position for more than two years after receiving my MBA will reflect negatively on me concerning goals and motivation. Is it better to 'hang in there' and hope the promotions and pay increase, or should I be looking for other career opportunities?” — Linda
Question: “When I plan to be out of the office, I put it on several people’s calendars by submitting a meeting request for the affected dates. Unfortunately, this causes their calendars to appear “busy” during those times, rather than just informing that I’m out. What am I doing wrong and is there a better way to do this?” — Lynn
Question: “When I plan to be out of the office, I put it on several people’s calendars by submitting a meeting request for the affected dates. Unfortunately, this causes their calendars to appear “busy” during those times, rather than just informing that I’m out. What am I doing wrong and is there a better way to do this?” — Lynn
Question:  “I asked for time off to take a vacation to Hawaii this past spring. My company has offices in California and New York. While on vacation, I received a barrage of e-mails very early each morning (4 a.m. Hawaii time), most of which needed my reply to approve a document or comment on a proposal. Is it really a vacation day if I end up spending five or six hours each day answering e-mail? It seems like I just moved my office a few thousand miles west.” — Chris
Question:  “I asked for time off to take a vacation to Hawaii this past spring. My company has offices in California and New York. While on vacation, I received a barrage of e-mails very early each morning (4 a.m. Hawaii time), most of which needed my reply to approve a document or comment on a proposal. Is it really a vacation day if I end up spending five or six hours each day answering e-mail? It seems like I just moved my office a few thousand miles west.” — Chris
Question: “For several months, we have been receiving collection calls for employees and one employee in particular. Most of our employees are on the road, so they’re not available for phone calls. Lately, we’ve received “automated” calls, where anyone could answer the phone, answer the automatic questions and receive personal account information. I don’t want to give this employee a hard time since he is already having financial difficulties, but we really shouldn’t be receiving calls every day for him either. Any suggestions?” — Anonymous
Question: “For several months, we have been receiving collection calls for employees and one employee in particular. Most of our employees are on the road, so they’re not available for phone calls. Lately, we’ve received “automated” calls, where anyone could answer the phone, answer the automatic questions and receive personal account information. I don’t want to give this employee a hard time since he is already having financial difficulties, but we really shouldn’t be receiving calls every day for him either. Any suggestions?” — Anonymous
Question: "Our small company has a paid time off benefit for full-time employees. However, we do not have a policy addressing how much unpaid time off a part-time employee can request. We have a couple of employees who are requesting an inordinate amount of time off. Are there industry guidelines on developing a policy?” — Dawn
Question: "Our small company has a paid time off benefit for full-time employees. However, we do not have a policy addressing how much unpaid time off a part-time employee can request. We have a couple of employees who are requesting an inordinate amount of time off. Are there industry guidelines on developing a policy?” — Dawn
Question: “We’ve always printed our reports on one side of the paper but are considering switching to printing on both sides to reduce paper usage. However, I’ve never prepared multipage reports for duplex printing. Some  pages still will only have printing on the front side;some pages will have a letterhead. Are the changes done both in the printing process and in the copying process? What part is done in the Word document, what part is done through printing, and what part is done by the copier? How do I get started on this? Is there a web site I can go to?” — Diana Chase
Question: “We’ve always printed our reports on one side of the paper but are considering switching to printing on both sides to reduce paper usage. However, I’ve never prepared multipage reports for duplex printing. Some  pages still will only have printing on the front side;some pages will have a letterhead. Are the changes done both in the printing process and in the copying process? What part is done in the Word document, what part is done through printing, and what part is done by the copier? How do I get started on this? Is there a web site I can go to?” — Diana Chase
Question: “I am the Director of Human Resources in a small (fewer than 20 employees) software company in California. Whenever the company fires an employee for either not performing to company standards or violating any of the company’s code of ethics, my boss informs everyone why the employee was terminated. Is this a lawsuit waiting to happen?” — JJ
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