Admin Pro Forum — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 97
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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: What do you do when you have a highly responsible position working for a company that has very limited internal structure or rules and a boss who is sometimes deceitful and difficult to work for?

I have no internal resources such as a human resources department (I'm the person who handles that function), and I work in an "at will" state, where an employee can be fired for any reason at any time.  When I voice my opinions on improvements that can be made within the company, they are usually rejected.  When I request assistance with my position (which is a catch-all of office management, hr, receptionist, admin. assistant), it falls on deaf ears.

My boss has never been straightforward with the employees and behaves in a somewhat deceptive manner.  I have co-workers who would rather "back stab" than attempt to have productive working relationships with each other.  I can't rely on what I have been told and never know what to expect on a daily basis.

The biggest problem is that I desperately need the job for the money.  I realize that resignation is always an option, but I haven't been able to find another job with comparable duties or pay.

The latest event is that I have been advised my position is being restructured, yet somehow, that really meant I was being demoted.  Recently, I received a raise, but got even less respect due to a lower job title.  I really think I'm being kept around only for my skills and knowledge, and I feel I'm being used.  Now what do I do, or what recourse do I have?  -- Anonymous

Question: I have been working as an HR and admin coordinator for more than a year and have been much appreciated for my dedication and commitment, to the extent that I am up for a promotion.

Recently, a new employee joined the company in the same position and, although I have gone out of my way to make her feel welcome and shared all my tips and so much of my experience, when I spoke to her regarding a small issue, she responded in a rude and loud manner. I tried to talk it over with her and make it work, but she continued shouting and acting obscene. I approached my manager about the new person’s behavior, but my manager told me that I have to be more polite, since I may have come across as rude to the new person, who is probably sensitive.

Hello!! I was the one being shouted at while trying to be diplomatic and polite!!

I need advice urgently because I would hate to ruin the relationship I have with my manager, and I also don’t want to be falling over myself to be nice. I am, after all, the senior one here!  -- Anonymous

Question: How can I think on my feet when talking to the boss, without looking rather inept?  -- Anonymous

Question: Our problem is that, when various offices have items that need to be surplused, many times, they end up in the basement entry-level alcove right in front of the elevator area. It doesn't block the walkway except on rare occasions when too many items are left there.

These items should be surplused by individual offices, but it just seems convenient to roll them to this area. I usually end up having to fill out surplus forms for each item to have them picked up. They've been told but they eventually start again. How would you handle a problem like this? Thanks.  -- Annette

Question: As a young person in a demanding and competitive industry, what is the best way to stop co-workers from being angry as I succeed in my career?  -- Anonymous

Question: Two of my managers come to my desk frequently and read my computer screen and anything else within view of my desk. I do not report to either one. They both report to my boss, who is the department head.

One manager is somewhat harmless, and overly friendly; the other is often looking for information to either use to someone's disadvantage or he is trying to stay in the loop where he used to occupy a more prominent position. He was seen rummaging through other people's trash some time ago, and I suspect he checks over my desk when he is in the office alone.

How can I stop the trash-rummaging manager, and what can I do about the overly friendly manager?  -- Anonymous

New editor

by on June 27, 2005 6:30pm
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: Not really a problem; more of a call for advice. Starting with the August issue, I’ll be the new editor of Personal Report for the Administrative Professional. I’d like to hear from you as to what you’d like to see more of — and less of — in the newsletter each month. What tough issues would you like me to tackle in the coming months? In the coming year?

Thanks, in advance, for your guidance.  -- Alice Bumgarner

Question: I have a co-worker who does very little work and is constantly on the phone (personal calls). When this co-worker took medical leave, I did both my job AND the co-worker’s job, with extra time left over.

The owners are aware of this and have commented that they need to do something with this person but, to this day (it’s been two years), they have done nothing. The owners’ answer is to just add more work to my job, which I feel is unfair since this other person just does nothing.

I think I have intimidated this co-worker, because we no longer have the friendly relationship we had before the medical leave.

How do I keep from getting so frustrated?

HELP!  -- Anonymous

Question: For the second time, my department has lost its office manager. Being the AA for that position, I have stepped up, above and beyond, to fill the void as much as possible. This time, I decided to ask for the position. I was pretty much denied the opportunity. I feel like I've been cheated because I've taken on a lot more responsibility — HR, office management and supervising roles — and am not compensated or respected for it.  What should I do?  -- Anonymous

Question: I am in charge of archiving documents within our office. I use storage boxes for the papers, but what is the best way to group them by appropriate topic (i.e. financial reports, board members’ backgrounds, etc.)?

I now have them in closed manila envelopes, some in hanging folders (which hinders closing the lids) and others in plain flat file folders.  Suggestions?  -- Terri L. Michael
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