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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: "What types of policy/guidelines do you have for office events during business hours? For example, does the admin plan the event or should a committee plan it? How involved is the senior management staff in planning an event?" — Anonymous

Question: "Is there a rule of thumb when it comes to determining severance for an employee?  What factors should be considered when calculating severance (length of service, position in company, etc.)?  What seems to be the “norm” in this economic time?" — Sheri Thomas

Question: “My boss just piles work on his desk willy-nilly. I organized it once, but now he expects it again. How do I get him to tidy up his own desk?” — Anonymous
Question: “What is the best way to find out what is new in computer software used in most offices, since it seems to always be changing?” — Anonymous

Question: “How can I get across the fact that I’m very busy without seeming like I’m not a team player? I’m the executive assistant to the CEO and two partners. I’m also the CEO’s personal assistant. The attitude in my office is that I can’t be doing much since I don’t support a team.” — Anonymous
Question: “An ergonomic consultant recommended a narrower wrist/palm rest for several staff members. Their current rest is about 2.5 inches wide. I am having a hard time finding a narrower one. Any suggestions?” — Peggie Frost
Question: “I just started as the executive assistant to the senior vice president. I have administrative assistant experience, but this is my first time being an executive assistant. When I sit down on a one-on-one meeting with the boss, I feel really tense and can’t seem to think straight. I don’t say a whole lot because I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing. He is a very nice guy, but I just feel intimidated by his title. How can I feel more comfortable around him?” — Anonymous 
Question: “Does anyone know of a way to always have the BCC field populate with a specific e-mail address?” — Anonymous

“I’ve seen references to “tickler” files.  Can you please explain in detail, what they are and how you create and manage them?” — Valerie R. Butler
“Does anyone have an easy checklist available for putting together a conference for 100-plus people? I have started one, but I’m not sure if I have included everything needed.” — Michele
Question: “An employee went on maternity leave and some of her duties were redistributed to other admins during her leave. I was given the responsibility of reviewing the company's wireless phones.  In reviewing the contracts, I discovered the company could save about $10,000.  However, the employee has returned to work and changed the online account password to prevent me from further access. I told my bosses, but they have not done anything about it. The employee is an executive assistant to the president. Should I just let it go?” — Anonymous
Question: “We would like to create a work-order form for our custodian. This form would be used to assign work that is outside his regular duties. Is there anything available?” — Anonymous
Getting ready to create a website, business card or brochure? Think twice before you “save money” by using a template — it could end up costing you $100,000.
Question:  “My immediate supervisor recently left the organization. As a result, I now report to the agency director. In our one-on-one meetings, he often seems bored or distracted. I always take extra time to prepare adequately for the meetings.
I come ready with possible resolutions to any problems and facts to back up my recommendations.  All this preparation is usually met with a very brief response or a push off to another manager.  When I asked whether he’d like me to run everything through another manager before coming to him he responded, “No, I want you to report directly to me.”
I am a very independent worker. Despite this independence, I would like some direction once in a while. I can’t help but feel devalued as an employee by his actions. What can I do to make our meetings more engaging?” — Anonymous
Question: “This year, we had a number of employees bring their children to the office for “Take your child to work day.” The employees expected our admin assistant to “baby sit” their children, which interfered with her daily tasks.
I work for a small family-owned firm and don’t want any animosity with our employees, but having a bunch of kids (none of them belonging to the owners) running around the place is very disruptive. Years ago I worked for a large firm that had restrictions on the age of the children who were allowed to participate, as well as a limit to what hours they were allowed at the workplace. I want to approach the owners of the company to set guidelines for next year and would like some “workable sample guidelines” to present.” — Monica Kulawiak
Question: “Does anyone have administrative professional books or web sites they can recommend?  I'm always looking to add to my personal "library of information." The recommended reference books that I’ve been using are: “How to Say It,” “How to Say It at Work,” and “Katharine Gibbs Handbook of Business English.”  — Lisa Stich
Question: “I am an administrative assistant in a manufacturing setting. How do I keep up morale after finding out that our site is closing?” — Anonymous
Question: “I am thinking about taking a two-day seminar for HR assistants. I have been an administrative assistant for 17 years and recently went back to school and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. I would like to become an HR coordinator or administrative assistant in an HR department. Has anyone taken a SkillPath seminar and can you recommend it?” — Rick McCarter 
Question: “We took a collection to buy gifts for our managers, thanking them for contributing to a celebration they funded out of their own pockets.  Only some of the people in our department contributed because some couldn’t afford it, and others just simply refused.  What is the proper etiquette for signing the card?  Do I have the contributors sign, or should I sign on behalf of the department?  I don’t want to leave out the people who couldn’t afford it, but I don’t want those who refused to give to get credit, especially since those who did give, gave substantially.” — Amanda
Question: “I need to type job application refusal letters. What is the best way to type these letters?  Is there a good web site with samples?" — S. Foltz
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