Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1413531 times)

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LazyDaisy

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5505 on: March 05, 2014, 06:18:20 PM »
Yes, there are incompetent secretaries, but those who are not have far more power than their pay grades would indicate, because they are the gatekeepers, and they have influence.

I disagree. An administrative assistant's job is not to decide for themselves what or who is important. Their job is to carry out what the company leaders, managers and any higher ranking coworkers have decided is important so they can do their jobs effectively.

The admin assistant has no authority to decide which customers or employees are worthy of her time. That's up to her manager. There are certainly managers who are weak and ineffectual who let admins have more influence than they ought to, but that's not the same. Admins don't get to decide they're not going to file/submit reports, refill supplies, and schedule appointments or approved leave requests in appropriate time slots. My office just got rid of our little "gatekeeper" that thought she could. She thought she was greatly underpaid -- we all thought she was grossly overpaid.
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ladyknight1

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5506 on: March 05, 2014, 06:46:05 PM »
I request we return to PD stories.

Ceallach

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5507 on: March 05, 2014, 07:03:52 PM »
Yes, there are incompetent secretaries, but those who are not have far more power than their pay grades would indicate, because they are the gatekeepers, and they have influence.

I disagree. An administrative assistant's job is not to decide for themselves what or who is important. Their job is to carry out what the company leaders, managers and any higher ranking coworkers have decided is important so they can do their jobs effectively.

The admin assistant has no authority to decide which customers or employees are worthy of her time. That's up to her manager. There are certainly managers who are weak and ineffectual who let admins have more influence than they ought to, but that's not the same. Admins don't get to decide they're not going to file/submit reports, refill supplies, and schedule appointments or approved leave requests in appropriate time slots. My office just got rid of our little "gatekeeper" that thought she could. She thought she was greatly underpaid -- we all thought she was grossly overpaid.

Hmm, actually now you mention it I do have a similar problem with my PA.    There's a few things she's done recently that have waaaay overstepped her authority.    For example, asking all of the admin staff to give her their computer passwords (in direct contradiction to company policy), presumably because she thinks she might need them if they're away.     Also personally handling a client referral that should have been given to our Managing Director to follow-up on - a huge client referral - which is not part of her role.

I'm hoping it's not PD in the making as I really like her.   The things she does for me are amazing, whether it's big projects (auditing and fixing data, reporting) or little things (buying formula or dummies and dropping them off at my son's daycare!)  but when it comes to the rest of the staff she seems to think her authority and ability is far greater than it really is.  Hopefully no more major incidents or I'll have to start performance management even though she's good at her role, but because of the things she is attempting to do that aren't part of her role!
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KenveeB

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5508 on: March 06, 2014, 12:30:32 AM »
POD.  I agree it does not speak well of a person to be rude to support staff, but it doesn't speak well of support staff to retaliate either.  I have had significant experience with administrative assistants, both working for me and working for my colleagues.  Some have been wonderful to work with; others clearly are irritated that they have to do their job, which includes being subordinate to people who are younger than they are, with "less experience."  I think some (not all) administrative assistants forget that their job only exists because of the people they support.

A lot of tasks have a great deal of discretion built in, no matter what level the job is at. Convincing someone choose to exercise that discretion on your behalf is a big part of getting ahead in the business world. Putting through a phone call where the boss doesn't have an absolute "forward everything" or "forward no one but these people" policy is a big example. Or offering help or suggestions of how to do something more quickly or easily, like the earlier example of telling you how to put through expense requests. And giving your honest opinion of someone -- "this person was a total jerk to me" vs "I really liked this person" -- is the biggest example of how a secretary can have a huge impact beyond their job title. None of those are "retaliation". Like any saying, "secretaries rule the world" is hyperbole, but it has a lot of truth to it that most young professionals need to learn to do well. And treating support staff poorly is often a quick route to PD.

lilfox

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5509 on: March 10, 2014, 10:28:19 PM »
This happened recently at my company:

John, who works for Company, paid his coworker Dave $X to update John's resume and submit it into Company's resume database so John could be considered for some new positions.

John's wife (who does not work for Company) saw a copy of the resume that Dave updated/submitted, was upset by a number of errors and typos in it, and wanted a refund from Dave.

When Dave refused, John's wife called Company's ethics hotline to complain.  The resulting investigation proved that Dave had been taking money in exchange for updating various coworkers' resumes and submitting them using the passwords provided to him by the coworkers.  Oops.

Carotte

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5510 on: March 11, 2014, 07:35:58 AM »
Why would you pay someone to update your resume in a company you already work for?  ???

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5511 on: March 11, 2014, 10:40:04 AM »
Why would you pay someone to update your resume in a company you already work for?  ???
John wanted to apply for other positions in his company. Since his original hire, he could have taken on new responsibilities that he wanted his resumé to reflect. Maybe he'd taken college classes on the side, gotten an award of some sort, or done relevant volunteer work (an accountant who became treasurer for a non-profit, for instance.) Perhaps he worked in a technical field and had new publications in a technical journal. Perhaps he did creative work and had been featured in a newspaper or magazine. Maybe he had married the CEO's duaghter and wanted to just happen to mention it.

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wolfie

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5512 on: March 11, 2014, 10:41:44 AM »
Why would you pay someone to update your resume in a company you already work for?  ???
John wanted to apply for other positions in his company. Since his original hire, he could have taken on new responsibilities that he wanted his resumé to reflect. Maybe he'd taken college classes on the side, gotten an award of some sort, or done relevant volunteer work (an accountant who became treasurer for a non-profit, for instance.) Perhaps he worked in a technical field and had new publications in a technical journal. Perhaps he did creative work and had been featured in a newspaper or magazine. Maybe he had married the CEO's duaghter and wanted to just happen to mention it.
Yeah - but since he already works for the company it makes more sense for him to make his own updates instead of hiring someone.

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5513 on: March 11, 2014, 10:47:16 AM »
Quote
Yeah - but since he already works for the company it makes more sense for him to make his own updates instead of hiring someone.
Assuming he's comfortable doing resumés. The fact that he hired someone who riddled his resumé with typos suggests that John was truly clueless about doing them. Unfortunately, many people are--a brief Google search will turn up all sorts of "worst resumé" lists.

Nutrax
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magicdomino

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5514 on: March 11, 2014, 11:26:26 AM »
Why would you pay someone to update your resume in a company you already work for?  ???

A person in the same company would presumably know how to phrase things to match Human Resources' requirements.  For instance, the U.S. federal government used to require KSA's (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities, I think): paragraphs describing how your skills match the job requirements.  From what I heard, the people screening applications looked for certain buzzwords, and graded the application according to how many they found.  An applicant who wrote lousy KSA's could be perfectly qualified, but still not get chosen for an interview. 

So, it was pretty common to ask someone who knew the magic words to look over your KSA's.  I never heard of paying anyone -- usually it was a friend, and at the most you might buy lunch -- but that doesn't mean that there weren't some entreprenuers who did it for pay.

Hillia

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5515 on: March 11, 2014, 11:40:56 AM »
The real PD in the story is not that he was updating other people's resumes, but that he was using other people's logins/passwords - this can be a termination offense in some companies.  Big PD for the people who released their credentials, too.

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nutraxfornerves

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5516 on: March 11, 2014, 12:04:20 PM »
The keyword thing makes sense. These days, a lot of companies use software to screen resumés to look for keywords. If Dave was involved enough in resumé screening that he knew the keywords, and was using his company position to help make others more competitive, and getting money on side for that help--well, that's pretty good PD.
 

Nutrax
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LazyDaisy

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5517 on: March 11, 2014, 02:12:33 PM »
If Dave was using his position and getting paid on the side to give any candidate an advantage, wouldn't it also be PD for John since he participated in this scheme?

quote: "The resulting investigation proved that Dave had been taking money in exchange for updating various coworkers' resumes and submitting them using the passwords provided to him by the coworkers."

All of those employees should be punished, not just Dave.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." — Douglas Adams

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5518 on: March 11, 2014, 02:58:23 PM »
I always took the thing about secretaries as being more of an etiquette issue: do not treat badly people who are in a lesser position.  I always treated the administrative staff with respect and courtesy, and they have always been wonderful to me, and treat me with respect and courtesy.
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DollyPond

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5519 on: March 11, 2014, 03:22:41 PM »
Here's a ticking time bomb of PD...

New Hire's first day of work was yesterday.  In this first day he managed to accomplish the following:

 - ask to schedule several weeks of vacation time around major holidays because he's "used to" taking that time off
 - say to a group of co-workers (mostly women) "I guess I need to watch that I don't offend the LAY-DEES because there's a lot of women here."
 - spend time talking about his extensive knowledge of pron movies

All of this and more on Day One.  I'm getting some popcorn.

End of Week One update:

In addition to the above he has...

Said to one female co-worker: "I'm a tool - so use me."

Told a group of co-workers (both male and female) an "off color" joke where no one laughed and just stared at him.

Will post more as it occurs as I doubt the clue-by-four has yet to (or ever will) take effect.

Week 2+
New Hire was "spoken to" today concerning his sitting around literally twirling his thumbs instead of actually doing work
Also his interpretation of "confident" is what a lot of others call "arrogant"

Apparently no one told this guy that in the first 90 days of work he can be fired for ANY reason...cause is not needed.