But, What Do You Really Do?

August 30, 2011 at 11:54 am | Posted in Interviewing, Position Description, Resume | Leave a comment
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I think when it gets down to it; an Administrative Assistant is the person in the office that is truly a “jack of all trades” and maybe even a master of few.  It’s a different kind of challenge to meet when I’m asked about my job duties during an interview.  I want to be brief and stay within the constraint resumes and cover letters afford.
The shorter more formal explanation of these duties on my Resume/Skills page.

So if I had the chance to tell a prospective employer I would tell them “what I really did”  Some, maybe most, will sound like small or trivial things, but if you work in an office, think about those small things you couldn’t do without, your administrative assistant does.
Additional duties as needed:

  • Team cheerleader.
  • Surprise breakfast or lunch provider.
  • Coverage for co-workers so they can talk to mom, spouse, or kids on the phone.
  • Offer shoulder to cry on.
  • Provide pillow to bitch in to.
  • Live and interactive business calendar and task list
  • Holiday decoration specialist
  • General understudy/pinch-hitter/relief-pitcher
  • Staff early warning system
  • Wheel re-greaser

I was able to roll all these skills into one, making me the  ever-present and always ready assistant.

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Websites for the Week of August 28th

August 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Previous weekly website lists can be found here.

This week’s theme is directed toward the residents of the East coast of the U.S.

Since I live in the Mid-Atlantic and have been through both an earthquake and a hurricane in just this past week, I thought it helpful if I had sites about cleanup and natural disaster preparedness when you don’t have a lot of money to spend.

For everyone in those areas I hope that you got through things safely and with the least amount of problems.

  • For a reminder of one effect of natural disasters, your finances.  This site offers information on low-cost and fee-free help from FEMA to the Red Cross for everything from attorneys to finding medical care.
  • To take care of your health afterwards.   This site you find low cost health provider in areas effect by a natural disaster.  This include substance abuse treatment to elder care.
  • To help you organize and assess what you’ll need after a hurricane.   This site tells you in general what you need to do next and is a good place to start getting your life back on track.

Finally a quick list of agencies that can help you before and after natural disasters. Much of this information will be helpful at any time.

Rising To The Occasion?

August 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Normally I would be extremely happy that I got a phone call to come in for an interview, but I’m not today.  I’ve gotten sick over the past couple of days and the office wants me to come in for an interview tomorrow.  I’m sure anyone reading this can understand that these days you jump at this, not put it off a week.  To make matters worse, I have a personal appointment late tomorrow morning that I can’t cancel.

In a job interview you want to show yourself off.  You want to show enthusiasm.  You want to just plain look good.  I don’t think that’s going to come across, not matter how much I’m going to try to fake it.

Finally, if anyone has any advice I would certainly appreciate it.


Websites for the Week of August 21st

August 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Posted in Economy, Weekly Readings | Leave a comment
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Previous weekly website lists can be found here.

This week is another theme week.  I’ve learned after almost six months of being unemployed that one of the largest budget areas is food.  I don’t know whether a lot of website have popped up because of the need or I just never had the need. This week’s list is became longer than earlier ones so I will probably be doing a Part Two next week. All these websites are now in my bookmarks.

Last week I mentioned a site for planning inexpensive meals.  This week I’d like to add to that list and expand to frugality in general.  Remember once you do get a job, these ideas will continue to help you save.

  • To improve your frugality skills .  Tips and tricks for living the good life on a budget.
  • To have a one-stop website for saving .  This site describes itself as, ‘cheap is good, but free is better’. Tips, tricks, ways to get free samples and printable coupons.
  • To get and share ideas about saving money .  There are two sections to the site that are helpful, the forum for sharing ideas and the blog for learning .
  • To  make saving money as painless as possible.  This site provides help on everything from saving during the holidays to baby care to swapping.
  • To focus on  finance, family,and career.  The site claims to make frugal cool and covers things like 0% credit card transfer to frugal ways to teach your kids to love school.

That’s it for this week. See what you like here.  I’d love to hear from you about it.  This week’s list is on a subject that I really think people can contribute to.  Remember you can submit a website for the Sunday Readings on my How-To/Forum page.

Work Scenario #6 – Cash

August 18, 2011 at 9:38 am | Posted in Business Ops, Work Scenerios | Leave a comment
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Disclaimer: So that some work scenarios make more sense, I’d like to describe the organization I worked with. A mobile mental health team served severe and persistent mentally ill people in a county in Maryland. Some descriptions may seem vague or cryptic; it is to preserve the identity of clients, organization, and co-workers. Some documents are redacted via pixilation. My specific duties will always remain intact.

As I mentioned in my check scenario nothing needs more attention to detail and protocol than handling money, this time the money involves internal spending, petty cash.  As in my last scenario, this responsibility was purely mine, therefore I could create what worked for both me and the organization under very little supervision.

Our petty cash was not just for office use, but also to be used as loans to our clients.I was responsible for the fund’s disbursements and subsequent replenishment once it reaches near-depletion.   In addition, I had a second ledger to keep track of loan repayments.

I quickly developed and implemented the following process:
When petty cash was paid out I there were two options for tracking:

  1. Create a receipt, included the company code for the reason the money was paid.  Since this was from a booklet, copies were created when written.
  2. Used a store or Internet receipt that was given to me. Copies of these were done on the office equipment.

Two to three times a month I made the reimbursement request.  The original receipts had to be presented to the Accounting department.  Information from those payouts were entered into a spreadsheet I decided that the most helpful data for validation would be, Internal code, payee, date, amount, and any notes needed for clarification.  Loans were designated in red.  These procedures had to be observed for fund disbursements, which include the documentation required for the approving authorities.

The spreadsheet was printed out and turned into the accounting department along with the receipts.
When ready, since I was the designated custodian responsible for disbursing the fund and safeguarding its physical security, petty cash checks were made out to me.  I cashed the check.  I never requested bills over twenty-dollars.  More often than not our payouts from petty cash were ten dollars or less.  Then the process started all over again.

When training temps and new administrative assists I would include my process and sent the spreadsheets to them to keep our petty cash protocols consistent.


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Suggested Websites for the Week of August 14th

August 14, 2011 at 11:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Previous weekly website lists can be found here.

  • To increase your chance for finding a job.  Fed up looking for a job? Move to one of these states for a better chance
  • To smile, or gasp, or freak out about your next employer’s interview.  This site is totally off the wall about interview questions, they sound to me more like a Cosmo quiz.
  • Just because there’s always a silver lining.  Learn about why unemployment is the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
  • A tasty way to stretch those dollars and make your unemployment check go further.  This is a newer recipe site that not only has good recipes, but how much it costs, and a link to see if ingredients are on sale in your area.

That’s it for this week. See what you like here. I’d love to hear from you about it. Remember you can submit a website for the Sunday Readings on my How-To/Forum page.

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