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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: “Our company has an outing every year. I felt very uncomfortable at the last couple that I attended, and I would rather work than be there. The same employees that huddle at the office are the same ones that huddle at the outing. I speak to everyone at the office, but I do not have a certain group that I'm around all the time. I try to be a team player and attend functions that are given by the company, but I really hate going. Any suggestions?” — Angela Murphy
 Question: “What is the preferred (or most common) title for someone who reports directly to an assistant general manager: administrative assistant or executive assistant?” — B.J. Carroll
Question: “I have moved back to my hometown and taken a position that I held 13 years ago. At the time, I was the only secretary/administrative assistant in the office. Now, there is a secretary and an administrative assistant, which is my position. The secretary resents me because she did not get this position. She did not get this position the last couple of times it was filled. She has a good friend in our IT Department and the two of them talk about me and things that go on in the office. The secretary also is abrupt to the public and uses profanity. I don’t like her talking about me and I feel that she should be more professional. What should I do?” — LS 
Question: “I need help in revising our current policy on continuation of medical insurance during the following cases: temporary layoff, permanent layoff, workers’ comp. Currently, the employer pays 100% of employee insurance benefits. Any advice would be appreciated.” — Anonymous
Question: “I have been asked to help arrange a business meeting/workshop in another state. I know that I will need to depend on someone else at that location for assistance. Whom do I work with?  What types of things do I need to do to make this a successful meeting? What things should I pay attention to?” — Anonymous
Question: “I work for a nonprofit board of directors (50 members). Every year, I give each board member a small token gift for our December meeting, and a little nicer gift for the annual meeting in June. I try to keep the budget to about $1 to $1.75 per gift (for the December gift) and a little more for the June gift. I've given coffee cups, clocks, pocket calendars, lunch Koozies, Slinky toys (as stress relievers) and even polo shirts. Does anyone have any suggestions for gift ideas that I could give this year? Any web sites would be helpful.” — Anonymous
Question: “Does anyone have a policy on start/end work times for jobs that don’t require employees to punch time clocks? We polled the staff as to when everyone would like to start work in the morning, and they agreed to 8 a.m. Now, people have started strolling in at 8:15, but they put the usual 8 a.m. on their time sheets. Their supervisors don’t mind, but I’m the project assistant, so how should I address this issue?” — Virginia M. Howard
Question: "My company will be closing its doors within the next two years. I am 61 years old and have worked as a secretary here for 19 years. Our facility is out of the city limits, I have not had to interview for many years and I do not have the early-year career-drive that I did while in my 30s. Does anyone have any advice as to where or what I do to begin re-thinking my current job position and future potential? I find that the job market is keener on hiring the younger and more adventuresome admins. I had hoped to be able to work at this position until I could retire at age 66." — Anonymous
Question: “I am the assistant to our company’s CTO, who is very ‘hands on.’ She is constantly in meetings and on conference calls, which takes a toll on her e-mail inbox. I am tasked with helping to control the outrageous amount of e-mails that come in to her on a daily basis. I have become good at detecting the junk mail, but it doesn’t even put a dent in the total. Does anyone have any suggestions on e-mail management?” — Leslie N. Robus
Question: “The holidays are approaching, and I need help thinking of a nice and reasonably priced holiday gift from my male boss (CEO). Any suggestions?” — Sandy S.
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