Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bored to Tears at Work - Help!

We have a new reader with a question today!

Hi! I'm so glad I found your blog. Very informative and I spent hours reading your former posts. I want your advice on my situation and how you would handle it. I've been the EA to the President of a local t.v. station for almost 2 years. Prior to this role, I supported 4 Executives at a Security company for 8 years and loved it but they relocated the division to another city so that's how I ended up where I am currently. My current role bores me to tears, I only have 2 hours of work at most per day and spend the rest of it sitting waiting on something to do. My boss seems oblivious. I make an incredible salary so when I tell my husband and friends I want to explore other avenues, they think I'm crazy. Couple the lack of work with the fact that this is a very isolating position. We are in an executive wing which is just my boss and I. No one and I mean no one comes into this area unless they have an appointment with my boss. This position doesn't fulfill me at all and I can't believe they pay me what they do just in case he needs something. There is only so much surfing you can do on the net before you start to go crazy. I also have a 50 minute commute each way which isn't helping. How would you discuss this with your boss without sticking your foot in your mouth? Many people think working at a t.v. station is glamorous but it's just like working anywhere else. If I had more work to do and would be learning along the way, I would stay. Right now I just put things on his calendar and order food. Any advice you give me would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Resenting Your Boss & How to Overcome It

“Hi there,

I've been a Personal Assistant for a C-level executive for 2 years now (where I received some great advice from you before I started, thank you!) and I could not be more thankful and grateful for all that I've gained from that position. I have developed both a great professional relationship and personal friendship with my boss and have enjoyed working with him and the company. He's expressed his appreciation for my hard work and his desire for me to move up in the company once I've decided where I want to be, which I am still figuring out. I also handle his executive calendar and work in the office with him.

But recently, I've been getting annoyed with my daily tasks that never used to faze me before: getting his lunch, coming to my desk to ask me something, driving his car to run an errand, etc. It's getting to the point where I feel as if I'm starting to resent him and get angry for all the little things I have to do for him, even though I know it's my job to do them. I don't want to do anything beyond my regular position (when I didn't mind before) because I rather not spend extra time with him. He hasn't been anything but his usual friendly and appreciative self me so I feel guilty for feeling like this.

I'm still figuring out what my next move is so for the time being (a few months at least) I will still be his assistant, but I wanted to know how you've dealt with these feelings of annoyance towards your boss if you ever have and how you've overcome them. I would talk to him about it, as a friend, but I don't want to cross any lines professionally and make things awkward.

Please let me know your thoughts, thank you!”

Monday, April 28, 2014

How to Book a Table at French Laundry


I've been trying to get weekend reservations for the French Laundry for my employer, to no avail. I've been using Open Table, pre-loading all of the pertinent data and upon the click of midnight, at 2 months out for the desired date, I'm consistently a nanosecond too late. How can I get these reservations? Is there a backdoor, handshake with a $100 bill? If so, who do I give the $100 to to guarantee this reservation? Help!

I've been following your blog this past year and your candid and useful info is so wonderful to know: The unspoken rules that rule loudly.

Kind Regards,

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Top 10 Differences Between Secretaries & Admin

Happy Admin Day, everyone!  I'm sure you may have seen the below already, though I never have and thought it'd be fun to share.  Not sure who wrote it.  Keep up the good work!


10. Secretaries make coffee, administrative professionals procure international resources to motivate and empower staff.

Friday, April 4, 2014

How to Work for A Difficult Boss

Today’s question comes from a new reader!


Came across your blog while doing some research for a position I'm interviewing with on Monday.  I've been an EA on and off for years to pay the bills between various contracts.  My background is in management, but a girl has to pay the bills...

As I mentioned, I'm interviewing for a very high profile position next week for a Chairman of a major international company.  I seriously want this job.  I have a strong personality and don't like to take crap, but I've been warned that this guy is a serious hot head.  Just wondering if you have any advice on how to cope with a boss who is basically a rude ass, and there's nothing you can do about it.  I've experienced this before... these guys who probably have personality disorders or some undiagnosed mental condition (OCD, bi-polar, etc...) and no matter what you do, they seem to get pleasure blaming you/me... any female in the room.  I've also noted it's never a man... Whatever...  I'm certainly not a sucker for punishment, but if I could land this job and make it work without feeling like I've completely lost all self-respect, it could be my ticket.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Books & How to be a Better Assistant Through Suggested Readings

Hello New and Old Readers,

Today I am answering a question from a new reader!  They write:

“Greetings, I hope this email finds you well.  My apologies, for not using a first/last name, but I didn’t want to assume anything based on email addresses or handles and address you by an incorrect name.

I came across your blog about a week ago and have read several entries which I found to be very helpful.  Most of which posses powerful insight on situations which EAs face often and even some delicate topics which you handled beautifully.  I plan on continuing to read through your blog and use it as a valuable resource.  I am truly thankful for you because of your expertise and poise but also for being gracious enough to share this with the rest of us.

Some background:  I was recently offered a position which I start this week.  I am absolutely thrilled, as I have been away from the workforce for a few years.  As I said I am very excited, but I am also somewhat nervous.  Even though I have confidence in my skills, I feel nervous about going back into it.  Performance jitters maybe.  I will be supporting the President and VP of a company which has been established for quite some time and has a great reputation.  I truly feel the position will offer many great opportunities for me to shine, but also have some challenges, much like anything in life.  That being said, I started looking to motivate myself, get some updated information/perspective/techniques/best practices and so on, on how to become a better EA and that is how I found your site!  As I said, I took away many great things from reading through it.  It inspired me to dig deeper.

Although I have found some other resources out there, I’ve gotten very mixed reviews from Amazon on certain titles which they’ve offered.  I would like to start some books this week, to give myself those refreshers.  So, this is why I am turning to you, perhaps with all of the knowledge you’ve garnered in your time as an EA and an avid reader, you’ve come across some valuable books that truly affected how you perform your role.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How to Navigate Temptations of Career and Life

Hello New and Old Readers,

I’ve realized it’s been over 2 months since I last posted.  Life at work and at home has been grand, busy, and so much fun.  I love getting comments and hearing that people are enjoying the previous posts.  Today, I wanted to take a holistic view of career.