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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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Over explainer

by on September 2, 2005 6:00am
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: I work with a person who has recently been promoted into the management ranks. My problem is that she over explains the simplest thing. I hate to interact with her because it is time-consuming. How can I handle this situation? Last week, she started to go into a detailed explanation and I cut her off by asking what the answer was. FYI, she isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.  -- Karin

Question: I recently applied for a position as executive assistant.  I was not selected for the position and one of the reasons was that I did not provide any examples of my work.  The person I interviewed with suggested that I create a portfolio with various samples of my work using different software programs.

Has anyone ever create such a portfolio? How would I get started?  -- Karyn,  Buffalo, N.Y.

Question: My friend was sent on an interview by a placement agency.

She felt uneasy about the position after the interview because they told her that she would have to work overtime frequently. She, unexpectedly, was offered the position although she let the company know that she needed a set schedule.

When the agency called my friend, she told them that she was concerned about the overtime that she was told would be expected of her. She told the agency that, to make an informed decision, she wanted to speak to the interviewer again to get clarification. She was told that she could not contact the employer directly.

The agent told her that she had spoken w/other people whom she had placed with the company, and none had worked overtime in the past few months. The agent also told her that if she was concerned about not being able to pick up her kids up from daycare on time, most daycares are open until 6 p.m., so a little bit of overtime shouldn't affect her.

Is it me or does this sound suspect? I realize that these placement agencies are salespeople and will make the position sound as great as possible to get their fee.

My friend doesn't want to take a position and end up having to leave soon after. Should she go against what the placement agent said and contact the company directly, or just refuse the job and risk not being sent on another interview again? The agent was very upset about her apprehension.  -- Vita, Pittsburgh

Question: I have been given a project that defines the position expectations for the roles of a secretary, executive secretary and admin assistant.  Would you have anything like this request? I have attempted to start this spreadsheet and I think this is the direction that the executives are looking for. I would deeply appreciate any assistance you can give me.  -- Joy Lepper

To view Joy's spreadsheet, please visit www.nibm.net/descriptions

Question: I would like some advice on how to train and make my co-worker independent.  He is a complete fresher in this line (admin) and although he has been with the firm for almost 6 months, had a very good orientation, training and also a chance to work things out, I have spent (and still do spend) a sizeable amount of each day correcting his mistakes. I have called him in to watch what I am correcting, hoping that he gets the hang of what exactly is required by the company, but he still hasn't got the idea.

I keep stressing that he must concentrate more, check things more, get into more detail, but all to no avail. I feel drained and am losing focus on my jobs in the process. Am I being over-bearing, and should I just let him figure it out? I am worried that if I do it that way, I will be left either to do the reports myself or to correct them when he hands them in, almost like doing it again.

He seems enthusiastic and hard working, so I ruled out disinterest in the job. I tried asking him if he has a personal problem or any issue that makes him lose focus, which he denied. How much more time do I have to spend on him? Am I doing something wrong? What should I do instead?  -- Anonymous

Question: Our company’s administrative assistant team will be creating a company-wide notification system to remind each department of critical deadlines that could result in a business penalty if missed. Do you know of a good software or computer program to use for this notification?  -- Anonymous

Question: I have a new boss who does not "own it" when she makes a mistake. We often have to communicate with notes, since she is out of her office in meetings most of almost every day.  This is a very busy office with lots of deadlines to meet, so time management is essential.

Recently, she left me a note requiring an answer. I responded by note and returned it to her in-box. A few days later, we were talking about the note contents and I mentioned to her that I had responded and put the note in her office.  She said she "never" got it.
I told her I put it in her in-box, but she once again said she never got it.

When I again gave her the info she was seeking, I looked in her in-box and there was my note to her. She had not even bothered to go through her box.

This happens a lot and it makes me very frustrated with her. When I brought the note to her attention, she just talked over me and said the matter was a "done deal."

Any ideas how I can forgive and forget and not get so frustrated?  -- Anonymous, Wyoming

Questions: Does anyone have any forms or guides for administrative staff to use or send out for annual reviews? I am a new senior admin and have two employees to supervise who have annual reviews coming up.  -- David Kaulbars

We'd like to hear from someone who has coordinated and successfully pulled off an office-wide move. What sort of checklists did you use? What tactics worked well in tackling all the details? And what sort of unexpected pitfalls did you encounter? If you've got a good story to tell, I'd like to interview you for an upcoming issue of the newsletter. Contact me directly at alice.b@earthlink.net.

Alice Bumgarner
Editor, Personal Report for the Administrative Professional

Question: I have a co-worker who is considering applying for an admin job working for someone who she used to support as her secretary. My friend stopped working for this boss because the boss never stood by her, was demanding and expected her to stay long hours. I don't think it's a good idea to go back to the old boss.

The old boss told my friend (in front of the boss's new assistant) that she never got over my friend quitting on her, even though it's been 4 years.

While my friend worked for her, the boss did things such as hide my friend's coat so she couldn't leave the office and would stay late. But the boss is also a good leader. My friend said she really encouraged her to do her best and take classes. She also would do great things like take her out to lunch and give her gifts for her hard work.

What do you all think? Do you think it's a good idea to go back to a boss you didn't like working for?  -- Anonymous

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