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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 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
Question: "I'm researching Document Management Systems.  I had a few companies came in to play show and tell. Now I would like to type up an outline of what needs to be done first, second, third, etc.—but I'm stumped. I don’t know where to begin. Can anyone help?" — Carol
Question: “I constantly feel like I’m left out of the loop! When I need further information on anything I have to dig for it! How can I get management to pay attention to me? If I ask questions, I get the ‘don’t bother me’ looks or I'm told to come back later. I need help." —Sandra
Question: "I am a new front desk supervisor in a small town hospital. Two admissions associates constantly make power plays to keep ahead of one another. I have spoken to each individually. Two weeks ago, I had them sign an agreement stating they would follow a specific set of standards for appropriate workplace behavior. But then I had to bring them together to air out some new issues. This meeting turned into an emotional yelling match.  I told them future infractions would result in disciplinary action. HR referred me to my director who is unavailable to help. Can anyone suggest what to do when this comes up again?" —Not a referee
Question: "My boss and I have had a great working relationship these past three years. She just informed me that she is moving to a different position. I am devastated and an emotional wreck! I pictured working with her for so much longer; it didn't even occur to me that she might go someplace else. How do you cope when your favorite boss is leaving you? How do you pick up the emotional pieces and move on?" —Barb
Question: “I'm an EA to a CEO and office manager. Although I get paid well ($85,000/year with nice bonuses and generous company shares), I want to work in another field, such as producing. (Ultimately, we are the producers!) How can I start working in this career path, besides volunteering?” —Sandy
Question: “I am an admin who has two programs that are supposed to be used for conversion and editing: Adobe Acrobat and ScanSoft (OmniPage 16 and PaperPort 11). I have not been able to understand the concepts or even stumble through the ScanSoft Suite. I called ScanSoft but they want to charge for help. Can someone give me a first grade view of how this system works? Or help me figure out how to convert and edit in Adobe Acrobat? I am desperate!” – An admin, not a techie
Question: "I am an executive admin assistant with two senior-level admins below me.  One admin appears to get all the work thrown at her, because her bosses have the biggest teams. I want to level the load between the three of us, which won’t be the problem. My problem is how to communicate to the directors that they will not get the support they typically received, as we are spread too thin. How can I word an email to the directors that their teams must start being more self-sufficient?" —Terry
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