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Thread: Terrible secretary

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Terrible secretary

    I have a planning board secretary at work who acts completely incense when it comes to any conversation with her regarding board meetings. She starts shouting and yelling a week before board meetings even though we prepare reports for board members on time etc. She likes to scold and show how powerful she is having good relations with board members etc.

    She has been on her position since 20 years and now since I am a planner in the office only for a year, she thinks she is a boss or something... I don't want to fight with her but its intolerable now and it affects my work and mental condition. Should I complain to the administrator or director? Or I should shout back to her whenever she shouts? I don't think itís a good professional environment if everyone shouts at work!

    Please advice. I like my job and want to create a better work environment.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I don't even know where to begin - but I will tell you to confront her often in the office about this and be firm, calm, and consistent on it - does she report to you? if she does, set the standard with her now and put it in writing - talk to your manager first to get advice and support. also, talk to the Chair of the Board and explain that you know change is hard but you are the professional.

    PM me if you want to go more in depth - I just got rid of my problem in this area so I hear what you are saying!

  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veggie View post
    I have a planning board secretary at work who acts completely incense when it comes to any conversation with her regarding board meetings. She starts shouting and yelling a week before board meetings even though we prepare reports for board members on time etc. She likes to scold and show how powerful she is having good relations with board members etc.

    She has been on her position since 20 years and now since I am a planner in the office only for a year, she thinks she is a boss or something... I don't want to fight with her but its intolerable now and it affects my work and mental condition. Should I complain to the administrator or director? Or I should shout back to her whenever she shouts? I don't think it’s a good professional environment if everyone shouts at work!

    Please advice. I like my job and want to create a better work environment.
    Are you her boss? If so, kindly remind her of it.

    If you are not her boss, then talk to the immediate supervisor/boss above you and her and explain the problem.
    Last edited by mendelman; 27 Sep 2006 at 3:24 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  4. #4
    Well, being an ex-pat Jersey boy, I'd give her a good dose of what for.

    Luckless and mendelman have both given pretty good suggestions. I affirm.

  5. #5
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Luckless and mendelman have both given pretty good suggestions. I affirm.
    I agree with their approach as well.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    If you are not her boss.
    Then document - keep a journal - cc her boss on any correspondence (emails, nasty notes, the like) - that way you can first approach her, then bring her boss in on it - you have a paper trail.
    I would bet, if she's been there 20 years, she may already be keeping paper trails herself.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I wouldn't shout back, but if she starts shouting I would just tell her that I will finish talking to you when you choose to be calm and respectful and walk away. Nobody has probably stood up to her and that's why she acts the way she does. If that doesn't work, start the paper trail and move it up the chain.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  8. #8
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I think we've all had experiences with office managers/secretaries who truly feel they run the show, and can be very bossy and irritating. But my advise is a little different from everyone else's. Her boss may really like her and think she is doing a wonderful job. They may have a working relationship that goes way back. And for someone who has only been there a year to start reporting on how she is an awful person to work with may reflect poorly on you. You could really bring on a bad situation for yourself, particularly if the two of you share the same boss. You may appear to be the person who is hard to work with.

    Chances are, if she is so loud and obnoxious, the higher-ups have already taken notice. If she is in the union, they have to work long and hard to build a case against her, and as far as you know they are in the process of doing that. I'm guessing that whether it is by her own accord or not, she's probably a short-timer and you should probably just wait it out. If you find like-minded co-workers to vent with, that may make it a little easier to bare.

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