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Is this what I think it is?...Re: Pink Ghetto and Male Coworkers  Actions...
Posted: by Jillian_Marie on Fri. 30 Sep., 2011 at 6:15:03 PM
Hi.
I am an admin assistant who is co-chair on a committee along with an assistant prof who is also a co-chair.  For the committee, we have agreed on a number of projects we will take on and have divided them in 2 and work on them more-or-less by ourselves. I have said that I can help out with his events if needed and expect the same in return.

The last time we had a meeting, he asked me to handle the scheduling. [I told him it made more sense to me for him to schedule since he was probably crazy busy (and thus had only a few spots) but he said it was because he was busy that he was asking me to do it. So I did it but was feeling like his secretary although I realized I did say I would help. So I received another email today to please craft an email (on one of his initiatives) to send out to our members something related to one of his initiatives. I have to keep in mind that I did help revise his poster for this initiative and sent out a notice for it before. But now I feel like I am being mistaken for his own administrative assistant, or at least thought of as "only" support staff. Did I get myself into trouble by initially helping? Is he just taking me up on my offer to help? Or is he using me and I need to nip this in the bud?
Thanks!!!

Jillian_Marie
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hmm,  Actions...
Posted: by __Don__ on Fri. 30 Sep., 2011 at 10:21:22 PM
In reply to: Jillian_Marie "Is this what I think it is?...Re: Pink Ghetto and Male Coworkers"

> I am an admin assistant who is co-chair on a committee

> along with an assistant prof who is also a co-chair. 

So, ah, pardon a delicate question but 'admin assistant' to whom/what?  If you're admin assistant to someone like an assistant prof or around that level, that's one thing.  If you're admin assistant to the college's Dean, that's quite something else.

>  I have said that I can help out with his events if needed and expect the same in return.
> ... he asked me to handle the scheduling.  ... I received another email today to please craft an email (on one of his initiatives) to send out to our members something related to one of his initiatives.

> But now I feel like I am being mistaken for his own administrative assistant,

You've not mentioned all the times that you've asked for his help on this or that portion of your events that you're handling.  Now, if there have been no instances of those, and you're just sitting around doing your stuff, you've openly declared that he's "very busy" (way more than you, apparently), while being receptive to his requests for help on his stuff.  Well, I think you will get what you bargained for (acting as his assistant for his portion of this co-chairmanship).   

If this were the case, while technically you may not need any of his help with your events here, tactically and politically, I think you may be wise to aggressively enlist his aid at a level that at least offsets the amount of help that you've been giving him.

Don

editted to add:  You're sounding a bit like the sort who would need a 'reason' to stop assisting him.  Well, if he declines to fulfill your like requests for assistance on your events, surely that's reason enough to no longer be so helpful with his (imo).

 

__Don__
edited Fri. 30 Sep., 2011 @ 10:24:34 PM by __Don__
 
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My take...  Actions...
Posted: by TheCoho on Sat. 1 Oct., 2011 at 11:59:13 AM
In reply to: Jillian_Marie "Is this what I think it is?...Re: Pink Ghetto and Male Coworkers"
Work out who you answer to in the hierarchy and then go to that person and say you have made a mistake and ask that person to intervene. Your mistake was: I can help out with his events if needed and expect the same in return. If he is as "crazy busy" as you suspect then it would be wrong to assume that he would help you out.

By the way....I am a secretary and I might "only" be support staff in some people's eyes but I also know that I keep my organization running. One thing I never do is to "offer" my services to others in the organization. If somebody other than a person for whom I work comes to me asking for help, I direct them in the first instance to my boss to request permission for the use of my time.


 

Coho salmon are prized for their excellent fighting abilities and acrobatics

TheCoho
edited Sat. 1 Oct., 2011 @ 12:00:21 PM by TheCoho
 
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nip it in the bud  Actions...
Posted: by Cree on Sun. 2 Oct., 2011 at 2:06:23 PM
In reply to: Jillian_Marie "Is this what I think it is?...Re: Pink Ghetto and Male Coworkers"
I am guessing you work in a post-secondary setting, and post-secondary institutions are some of the most hierarchical places you can find.  They are designed that way.  I worked as support staff in a university for a number of years, and I've learned that you have to be very clear to faculty (in particular) about what you will and will not take on, otherwise you absolutely run the risk of burning out pretty quickly.

 

nehiyawiskwew ~ true north strong and free

Cree
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Conclusion  Actions...
Posted: by Jillian_Marie on Wed. 5 Oct., 2011 at 3:31:06 PM
In reply to: Jillian_Marie "Is this what I think it is?...Re: Pink Ghetto and Male Coworkers"
Hi.
Thank you, Cree, The Coho and Don for your time in helping me to sort this out. Thinking about what you all have said, I've realized that the problem is more about the Nature of what he is asking me to do. What we are talking about here is a simple email basically sounding like this: "I would like to draw your att'n to the seminars attached" that would be sent to everyone involved. This is not like asking me to help come up with ideas or something of that nature; rather, it's like he is passing on something of a clerical nature, the typical thing a prof gives to his assistant. I AM a clerical worker in my regular job but not in this committee. In the committee I wear a different hat and I'm not sure he realizes that it's the same hat as his. I wonder if he would ask the same of an Assistant Prof or Prof in the same situation. Perhaps this is a totally different world (he's a bit younger than me) and he wouldn't think twice about asking anyone to do anything if they are willing. That could be and I may be too hyper-vigilant. Maybe he either doesn't know who to send it to OR doesn't know how to send it from our Committee email address. (I had asked him before when he asked a few of us members to get the word out about something but didn't use the easiest way to do that, i.e. the Committee email address.)
***In any case, what I did was pop into his office, tell him I couldn't help with crafting the email but I could help him with gaining access to the Committee email address. He said he didn't have time and I left the option open.

Jillian_Marie
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To my mind....  Actions...
Posted: by TheCoho on Wed. 5 Oct., 2011 at 11:28:33 PM
In reply to: Jillian_Marie "Conclusion"
you did the right thing. You told him you couldn't do the work he is responsible for but you did offer to help him with the technical side of getting the work done (and in the process he would have learned something too!). So you've met him half-way.

When he said he "didn't have time" I wonder if he was suggesting that he was too busy to do his committee work. In any case, it's not your problem.

It gets easier and easier to say no the more you say it!

 

Coho salmon are prized for their excellent fighting abilities and acrobatics

TheCoho
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