my team’s assistant is grumpy and impatient

A reader writes:

My team’s administrative assistant, Olga, is incredibly impatient, and expects me to quickly complete things that I don’t have any control over. For example, I work often with her on finalizing the contracts for freelancers that we work with. She will create the contract and I will email it to the freelancer, as I’m their main contact for the organization.

Freelancers have other clients and may take a few days to get back to us, but Olga is impatient. She will ask me if something has been returned to me only a few hours or one day after I’ve sent it out. I will say, “I understand that we need to have Fergus’s contract returned for him to be paid, but we just sent it to him on Friday and it’s now Monday. I am planning on following up with him later this week if he doesn’t return it.”

Her response to this is often defensive, like, “Okay, but all he needs to do is sign it.” I understand, but I’m not in the same room with the contractor and I can’t force them to complete a task for us immediately!

This happens not only with contracts, but with many different tasks. She will demand to know why someone hasn’t responded to my email, or why I haven’t finished a non-urgent task she asked me to do only an hour prior.

I think that Olga is just grumpy and is taking out other frustrations on me. I don’t know what to do to stop being the target of this, and even though I tell her that I can’t control what another person does, the problem isn’t going away. It also feels awkward that although I’m senior to her, I’m also much younger. What should I do?

I answer this question over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

{ 157 comments… read them below }

  1. Magenta Sky*

    To quote a friend, who is a lawyer who has had clients call him to see if he’d read emails that would be dozens of pages of complicated legalese if printed – before his email program even finishes downloading the message:

    “Instant gratification isn’t fast enough.”

    1. Joan Rivers*

      Another one:

      “Attitude is all.” You can get away with a lot if your attitude is correct.

      The inc. link is out so I didn’t read the answer yet.

  2. jm*

    this sounds like every executive admin i’ve ever worked with. no social niceties, just “gimme the thing or i’ll cut you”. kind of bullying, i guess, but i’ve always taken it as simply the nature of a position defined by keeping a ton of plates spinning at all times.

      1. Wintermute*

        I mean, you could see it as bullying but I think the point is that someone who has way too much to do and too little time to do it in is going to look a little rude because they need what they need and they need it now. I work with a lot of developers that are in the same boat, yeah they can come off as abrasive but when you put it in context of the fact they’re working way too hard and they have high-visibility projects that need inputs and support urgently, that context makes you realize that it’s not bullying, just urgency.

    1. Gritty is my co-pilot*

      Really? Huh. The EAs I know are all very emotionally intelligent– they are pretty much the masters of nicely convincing people (often very senior people) to get stuff done with minimal hassle and delay. I’ve actually learned a lot from the ones I work with. An EA with Olga’s attitude wouldn’t last five minutes at my company.

      1. Environmental Compliance*

        Yeah, the vast, vast majority of them I’ve ever worked with have been very nice, but also won’t have any of your BS. Even the ones who to be honest haven’t been fun to work with haven’t been bullies, just very needy.

        1. Gritty is my co-pilot*

          “but also won’t have any of your BS”

          Yep. They support executives– they definitely aren’t impressed by anyone lower on the totem pole who’s trying to throw their weight around. The ones I work with are relentlessly professional, but unfailingly polite and often very kind if you get to know them and treat them like actual people rather than servants.

      2. Beth Jacobs*

        I agree. When I worked at the law firm, the EAs were ace. I liked them from the moment I met them. They had to be good: it’s a hard and underappreciated job. I know I wouldn’t have the level of social skills needed for that kind of position.

      3. Goldenrod*

        Nor at my mine! I’m an EA. I would never, ever treat anyone like Olga. To be honest, she sounds like a bit of a dim bulb.

      4. NotAnotherManager!*

        This has been my experience, too. You can’t excel in the job without knowing how to deal effectively with demanding Type As, and a great EA is worth their weight in gold. (One of my former organizations once tried to pilfer my exceptional team admin for an EA role with the CEO because they knew how good she was.)

    2. Joan Rivers*

      If they ALL were like that, the common denominator is YOU. Did you ever think about that?

      Plus, they are a reflection of who they work for in many cases. They may be as assertive as they think they’re allowed to be. Maybe the boss makes it clear how s/he feels about you. An assistant has access to a lot.

      1. Mr. Jingles*

        Your first sentence is golden. I will stitch it on a cloth, frame it and put it up in my office!

    3. WoodswomanWrites*

      That’s a really broad brush. Executive admins have a very tough job and for every single one that I’ve worked with, I’m awe of the skill, tact, thoughtfulness, and overall ability to juggle a gazillion things at once. There’s no way I could manage that job nearly as gracefully.

      1. Goldenrod*

        “I’m awe of the skill, tact, thoughtfulness, and overall ability to juggle a gazillion things at once.”

        Hey Woodswoman Writes – That is so cool of you to say. At my company, EA’s (of which I am one) get zero respect. It’s so nice to hear that some people feel differently!

    4. SheLooksFamiliar*

      Are you referring to true Executive Assistants, or department admins who drown under demands because everyone thinks the admin is there to do everyone’s bidding?

      If you’re referring to true EAs, is it possible you’re unhappy to find out they are higher on the company totem pole than you think they should be, and your vision is distorted by a bitter lens?

      If you’re referrng to department admins, are you confusing direct communication with ‘gimme that’ rudeness, because you expect administrators to be overly solicitous or motherly to you? Because that’s how department admins are ‘supposed’ to act?

      Just curious.

    5. SJJ*

      My experience is that the mean ones are rare.

      Most I’ve dealt with are angels on earth who make all the bad things go away.

      1. TardyTardis*

        My husband’s a retired teacher, but while he was working, he treated school secretary like the wonderful people they are and somehow, just somehow, his needs were taken care of before Rude Guy (though my husband didn’t do it for that, it was a nice bonus).

  3. Anonymous Hippo*

    Is there any merit in making them the contact person? Seems you might be an unnecessary intermediary between the person providing the information and the person that needs it?

    1. The Rural Juror*

      That seems like a bad idea. You don’t want to give this person more power over relationships with contractors if they’ve already proven themselves to be impatient and unable to determine what is priority and what isn’t. That’s a recipe to chase away all your good contractors!

      1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

        yes, thank you. As a freelancer, I would hate having that woman ring me up and ask why I haven’t signed her document!

      2. Joan Rivers*

        Couldn’t access the answer but —
        It’s tempting to be sarcastic: “Well, maybe you should call him and TELL him to sign it.”
        To remind her that she has no authority to do so. But not appropriate.

        Really, letting her complain this way is rude re: the client and also re: you.
        If you’re her supervisor, why not sit her down when she does this?
        If you’re not, still tell her when she says it that you don’t need her to advise you on what’s needed. Don’t be defensive, be firm. But calm.
        “Do you really think people have nothing else to do but get this contract back to us? Why do you tell me we need it? We both know that.”
        I’d be interested if she has an insight into her patterns.

      3. The Rules are Made Up*

        Agreed. Bad idea that would just annoy people. I had to deal with an assistant ask that didn’t work for my org and wanted confirmation on the status of something that was so low on the priority list that I know it would have just annoyed my coworker, who is higher up than me, if I had given him their contact. So I told them that wouldn’t be a good idea and that I was their best point of contact. Without saying what I was really thinking which was “Oh trust me, I’m your best bet to relentlessly contact about this insignificant thing. We have 10 fires happening at once and anyone else I connect to you with will not be as patient as me about why you keep emailing about this when you’ve been told the ETA multiple times.” So I just took the annoying daily emails and acted as a buffer. People like this kinda need to be contained (if getting them to stop doesn’t work) so they don’t annoy everyone else.

    2. I'm just here for the cats*

      Yeah, an admin assistant wouldn’t be the first choice for contact. It sounds like Olga just writes up the contracts. She’s not in any position to answer questions, negotiate, etc. Plus she obviously doesn’t understand how contractors have multiple clients and would probably put off the good contractors.

        1. Raine*

          Yeah, and not understand that it’s more than “just signing a document.” Usually people like Olga don’t understand the “big deal” around signing a contract, especially if they’re just processing the stuff on their task list – and that contract is nothing more than a task on a list and they don’t either care or have reason to care about the process.

          1. Self Employed*

            I am a freelancer and I would be very irritated if I felt a client was pushing me to sign something I hadn’t had time to review. If it’s a new client, or something seems unusual about the contract, I might even want to stall till I can get an actual lawyer to review the contract. If I’m working on another client’s job, it’s not fair to THEM to put their work on hold just to expedite signing a contract for a different client. I’m sure Olga (and the actual boss of the contract) would be annoyed if I missed THEIR deadline to review a third party’s contract so their admin could check that off her to-do list.

    3. Kella*

      I could be reading this wrong but it sounded like in some of these instances, Olga’s work *isn’t* dependent on the task being done, she’s just being pushy and impatient on making sure it got done if she initiated it.

      I do wonder if she may on some level believe that it’s her responsibility to make sure these things get done, perhaps due to a bad boss in the past, but regardless she’s expressing that in a very unproductive way.

      1. Anonymous Hippo*

        That’s kind of where I landed. Maybe a conversation then about appropriate deadlines? I just know in my line of work I am often held to deadlines, that are dependent on other people providing me information, and they aren’t held to deadlines and it makes everything so very stressful. Granted, my frustration is mostly inhouse and not related to contractors/vendors, but I can get how something similar could be really frustrating. I’m not good with the whole responsibility without control.

        1. The Rules are Made Up*

          I think it should be a convo about priorities. Her manager needs to sit down with her and tell her that certain tasks are not priority, that she should expect them to take a few days to be completed and that she doesn’t need to follow up on them unless it’s taking an extraordinarily long time. Like if it usually takes 3-5 days and its been 2 weeks, or something. She should be able to figure out what is priority and what isn’t on her own but some people think EVERYTHING they are tasked with is of the utmost importance and can’t fathom that other people aren’t as concerned about it as they are.

      2. Sparrow*

        This was my guess, as well – that she doesn’t like her tasks sitting incomplete and is taking measures to wrap things up asap (whether that’s a personality/control issue or whether it’s something ingrained from a previous job, who knows). I think she’s missing that other people’s priorities may differ from hers, and that she doesn’t get to decide that something is drop-everything-this-second important to someone else just because it’s that important to her. I think that needs to be expressed to her clearly and that Alison’s advice about setting clear expectations on reasonable turnaround and appropriate timelines for follow up is the best plan.

        1. Paulina*

          That sounds like something I’ve observed in some of our admin assistants: they can be too focused on checking items off their to-do lists, when items or others’ work for them are not fully ready. We had a fill-in for a while who tended to do the most superficial work on an item, apparently just to get it off her list, and I had to keep giving items back to her to do more on them. Also, our long-term unit admin coordinator frequently tries to grab plan items to implement when we haven’t finished developing the plan, seemingly too focused on trying to get her bit done when what we’re looking for from her is feedback (which we regularly explain). It’s frustrating, but we also have some who understand contexts much better and are amazing. Explaining the process and our expectations clearly can help redirect their strong “must tidy up the to-do list” impulses somewhat, but it’s problematic to have to keep doing it.

        2. Elsie*

          I was thinking something similar, I wonder if she’s concerned that she will forget things and they will fall through the cracks. If that’s the problem, she can create a list of items she is waiting on and when she should follow up if it hasn’t been done. That might help her relax and not hound people to do things immediately

      3. Seeking Second Childhood*

        We have someone in another region that had until recently been working on a ticketing system with a one-week sprint cycle. I’ve tried to point out that it’s counterproductive to hound people for responses in that time frame given that we’re on projects that last for several months — and his project is only one of the ones the rest of us are juggling. It’s compounded for us because we’re scattered across several time zones with two different standard work weeks and three different sets of holidays. He’s coming across as abrasive and clueless, especially when we come back to work on Monday to find multiple requests, voicemails, and missed IMs sent after we left Friday night.

      4. Esmeralda*

        Or she has a crap-ton of work to get done and check off and she’s following up to be sure it gets done. But she’s misunderstanding WHEN to follow up.

        Many years ago I had jobs like Olga’s, where it was on me to make sure that a whole bunch of different kinds of documentation got done in a timely fashion. It was my ass if it didn’t get done, grandboss did not care if Bob didn’t sign off because he was out on a bender again. I always clarified with folks the date I needed things done (= actual deadline minus X days, where X was larger or smaller depending on the person, I gave Bob on a Bender very short turn-arounds), the date they thought they could get it done, and when I could give them a little poke/reminder.

        I’ve also been in OP’s position, so I do understand why Olga is annoying.

        Alison’s scripts are good. Really, I would set a date for when you (OP) expect to have the contract back to Olga, and let her know that she will hear from you on Date + two days (or a week, or whatever is appropriate = give yourself some wiggle room and don’t let her know about it). Then if she asks about a contract, OP can say, I expect to have it back to you by X, no need to ask. Continued prodding from Olga? Grey rock — same response every time, only maybe add, As I have said before, I expect…

  4. Dust Bunny*

    Your senior to her: Tell her to knock it the Hell off.

    She’s being ridiculous. If she has this much time to fret and complain, maybe she needs more work to do. But either you or whoever is responsible for supervising her need to tell her to cut it out and mind her own business; the stuff will get returned when it gets returned.

    1. Esmeralda*

      Well, I think OP can be nicer about it than just “knock it off and mind your own business”, Olga no doubt has to get stuff turned in and I think she’s doing this not because she has lots of time to gripe, but because she has so much to do and be responsible for. Having been an admin asst myself in the distant past.

    2. Rusty Shackelford*

      The OP does not necessarily have the authority to manage Olga. I’ve been in a similar situation, as an individual contributor with an admin managing contracts, and I absolutely did not have the authority to tell her to knock anything off. (Luckily, she wasn’t an Olga.) Also, it is, at least partially, Olga’s business.

      1. Insert Clever Name Here*

        Meh. I write contracts and deal with a lot of other departments who come to me with questions because I’m the contact for the contract. I don’t have authority to manage them, but I do have authority to explain a process to them. I’ve taught a *lot* of AP folks that just because my name is on the contract doesn’t mean I can willy-nilly add funds — 7/10 of them remember.

    3. JayNay*

      yes, I agree. The wording Alison suggested is very “soft”. Could be that this is US communication style vs. European, but I certainly would be more direct. She works *for* the OP’s team, after all. It’s her job to support OP’s work, and right now she’s causing unnecessary hassle with her constant check-ins. Spelling that out clearly could lead to a much improved workflow.

      1. Caradom*

        Precisely, she’s low down in the pecking order. Explain clearly once then go to management and HR.

  5. NotAnotherManager!*

    I’d be really hesitant to put someone grumpy and impatient in charge of managing relationships with outside parties.

    1. ArtK*

      Yes! If OP is annoyed, imagine what a contractor or customer might feel. “Guess company X isn’t one I want to work with.”

  6. learnedthehardway*

    Who manages Olga? Because – beyond the OP’s responses to specific instances of Olga being impatient – the manager needs to have a discussion about Olga’s communications skills, time management skills, and teamwork.

    a) Olga is there to support the team, not manage/supervise them.
    b) Olga hounding team members for responses, etc. creates unnecessary work and wasted efforts for everyone.
    c) Olga is alienating team members with her aggressiveness, which is counter-productive.
    d) Olga should be using better communications techniques – eg. requesting responses by a certain date/time in her emails, rather than following up unnecessarily; realizing that other people have their own priorities, etc.
    e) Olga should be managing her time so that she can work on other things while awaiting responses.

    1. EPLawyer*

      All of this.

      Olga’s job is to SUPPORT you, not supervise you. her job is to make your job easier, not harder.
      This is very much a case of Use Your Words.

      You are hung up on the fact she is older than you. But you need to be firm. “I’ve got this. ” I think even the softer “Did you need it sooner?” gives her too much authority over you. Yes you all need to work together, but Olga is not doing that. You need to firmly make it clear you don’t need to be checked on every five minutes.

    2. Rainy*


      We had a receptionist who decided that, because she was the first point of contact for most people approaching our office, she was in charge of assigning work to the professionals in our office, and it went poorly. Things actually fell through the cracks because she didn’t know very much about what we did, so she’d just fail to pass on important information because it didn’t look important to her. She’d schedule people with the wrong professional for their needs because she was punishing or rewarding people in our office who did or didn’t kiss her ass enough. She also wound up coming close to denying interns in our internship practica enough hours to complete their degrees before she was spoken to, because she was punishing professionals by directing certain kinds of appointments to them before the interns rather than vice versa.

      Our Olga’s supervisor wasn’t assertive at all, and so the whole situation went on for much longer than it should have and was a significant source of hassle for our entire office. Not to mention the interns whose degrees could have been held up because she was too busy playing scapegoats!

      1. Mockingjay*

        Good grief! Jeopardizing degrees of interns? I assume (hope!) from the past tense that your “Olga” did not last…

        1. Rainy*

          She ended up leaving on her own for another job, because she wasn’t sufficiently fulfilled in her role with us. Believe it or not.

          I was one of the first people to realize that she was shorting our interns their practicum hours, and I raised a big stink about it, which did not endear me to her.

    3. I'm just here for the cats*

      I wonder if Olga is impatient with other team members or if she is just this way with the OP? Maybe because of the age difference Olga thinks she can bully and manage the OP? It almost sounds like she doesn’t think that OP is doing their job right.

      I would say if she continues acting the way she does, even after multiple conversations, to bring it up to whoever manages Olga, or at least to your direct supervisor.

      1. Caradom*

        I had this in my job. A few people were so jealous of my success (at a relatively young age) they thought I would put up with crap. They learnt the hard way (apart from one cow who got away with it when I was clinically depressed).

  7. ArtK*

    “You don’t need to ask for updates. When things change, I’ll let you know.” Repeat *every* time she asks about something. Then turn away/leave/whatever you need to do to end the interaction at that instant.

    1. Richard Hershberger*

      Not only repeat, but be sure to use the exact same words in the exact same intonation, every single time.

    2. SomehowIManage*

      I think it may be worth establishing a project tracker with all items listed, requested date, SLAs, date due from freelancer based on agreed SLAs, etc. Give her read-only access. This is a best practice and might be helpful with Grumpy too.

      1. Caradom*

        Life does not work that way. I’m a university lecturer and apart from the strictest submission date (i.e. if you are late your mark immediately drops to 40/100) the students do what they like! How many businesses would dump clients because they didn’t sign something on time?

    3. Firecat*

      Nah. I had to handle an admin like this. Answering the “why” or inviting them to say why they were worried just led to them repeating: “It needs to get done. It’s important. Why haven’t you done this yet????” Ad nauseum.

      I recommend OP try Alison’s approach but if that doesn’t work the only solution is to ignore their follow ups.

      For my pita admin I created a folder for them that I only checked once a day. Usually when I checked the folder I would have an email with a simple non urgent request and 4 to 5 replies asking where it was. I’d reply to the original, “Thanks! Itll be ready by Tuesday” and ignore the follow ups, and send it to her when I said I would. Sometimes she would cc bosses, but unsurprisingly they were ignoring her emails too. So if they responded that would hit my inbox and I would get it done otherwise I ignored them all and never answered her “why’s” (she doesn’t get to prioritize my schedule after all).

      It worked great. Eventually she stopped pestering me and started it up with another person on my tier (she was our mutual bosses admin).

  8. AthenaC*

    Any chance Olga is trying too hard to “show initiative” and “take ownership” of tasks?

    Not that it materially changes the advice, but when you tell her to stop, and she responds with, “Well I’m just trying to help!” or something similar, it may help if you can redirect her enthusiasm. Maybe the office pet rock needs some googly eyes and some nurturing conversation?

  9. Betty (the other betty)*

    “Okay, but all he needs to do is sign it.”

    Ha! As a freelancer, all I need to do if a client sends me a contract is:
    1. Read it. 2. Contact a lawyer. 3. Pay the lawyer a retainer. 4. Have the lawyer read the contract. 5. Talk about the contract with the lawyer to decide what changes to request. 5. Send it back to the client to request changes. Or sometimes sign it after going through steps 1 through 4.

    It’s much easier if the client will sign MY contract instead, although I’d expect them to go through the same steps on their end.

    1. Bostonian*

      I had the same thought. A contract takes time to review. Still, even if all the contractor had to do was sign (say, it’s the same exact contract as last year or whatever), Olga has no idea what other things this contractor has going on and what their priorities are. She seems to not understand that people have other responsibilities besides responding to her requests.

      1. Dave*

        Even with the exact same contract as last year, you should do your due diligence to make sure the info is the same. Just signing things without reading can be dangerous. Sure some mistakes are accidents but companies will try to sneak things into contracts like you waiving a series of rights you don’t actual want to waive, or they changed some payment term amount from last year and forgot to mention it to you.

      2. KateM*

        And I understand it’s the signing person themselves whose money is waiting until they do so? So why does Olga worry?

        1. New Jack Karyn*

          I can see someone at OP’s company wanting to make sure these things are done in a timely manner, to make sure the monthly/quarterly books balance. “Why are we $647.83 off?” “Oh, Fergus never got his contract back to us, so we haven’t paid him>”

          But that’s not Olga’s job or her problem, and a day or two isn’t close to being an untimely manner.

          1. Paulina*

            “Is there a deadline we should be aware of?” might get at the process issues (which often admin assistants will know while hardly anyone else does) while also direct her to not breathe down the OP’s neck so much. Eg. if they get the contract signed and submitted by next Friday then the contractor could start being paid X weeks later. It can be a politer way of saying where’s the fire.

    2. pleaset cheap rolls*

      I was having a similar thought – that it’s more than just signing. It has to be reviewed carefully and, perhaps, changes should be suggested.

      BUT I have to ask.
      A. Do you actually engage the lawyer for every contract?
      B. If the lawyer is on retainer, I thought that meant they are available and are paid on a regular schedule or pre-paid. So I don’t get #3 in your list. Do I misunderstand what a retainer is?

      1. pleaset cheap rolls*

        Also, it sounds like in the OP’s case they may be contracts with the same organization. Perhaps that is true in yours. In which case they much of the contract will be the same, with only the Scope of Work/ description of the task and details on payment dates, etc will vary. In such cases, the review of the “legalese” part of the contract need only happen once, perhaps by the lawyer, and then in subsequent cases the contractor can review to make sure that part has not changed, and look at the substantive description of the work. So yeah, review is needed.

      2. Yes?*

        I think it goes hire lawyer, pay retainer as down payment on the work, lawyer does work, lawyer bills if retainer is not enough to cover. Essentially the retainer is just pay for service before it is received.

        1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

          That’s my understanding. My typical retainer (specialist paralegal) might cover up to ten hours a month at preferential rates. If I do more than ten hours in a month, you’re billed usual rates for the time in excess of ten hours.

      3. Caradom*

        I wouldn’t need a lawyer but work goes into a queue. If people think they can jump the cue they can whistle for it

    3. GiantPanda*

      After signing
      6. update my files (client, project, bookkeeping etc.)
      7a. schedule the project or lock the already scheduled project in my calendar
      7b. if necessary, reschedule other things
      7c. estimate availability for more projects
      8. …

  10. Seashells*

    Are you sure there’s not someone hounding Olga? I ask because we have a similar situation/set-up where I work and often the accounting department is hounding someone because they have arbitrary deadlines when they want things completed.

    I’m an admin and I often get called and asked if so-and-so is there, are they answering their phone/email because even though the invoice/approval is not needed until next Friday, they would like to get it done now.

    Maybe not the case with Olga, but worth checking it. Maybe she used to work with someone like this and it’s become here default.

    1. Sylvan*

      +1. I’ve been in that situation. While there might not be deadlines that seem pressing on your end, there might be deadlines that someone else is pushing Olga to meet. Also, in that old job, I often found people dropping the ball and I learned not to assume that anybody wouldn’t do that.

      1. KnopeKnopeKnope*

        I bet this is it 100%. People who get annoyed at EAs or support staff for following up are usually oblivious to how much responsibility they have and how many people they answer to. When OP points out that they are younger than Olga yet senior to her, it strikes me as someone relatively junior overall who does not appreciate Olga’s work. OP needs to get to know Olga and show some appreciation and I bet things would change on both ends. If OP really is senior, then they can be the one to push back on arbitrary or unrealistic deadlines that Olga has to face. I doubt Olga is just making them up.

        1. Observer*

          No. If this is what is going on, it’s on Olga to tell the OP why she needs the thing. “All they need to do is sign the contract” is NOT an appropriate type of reaction here. “Big boss asked me what the status of the contract is” would be the correct answer.

        2. Seeking Second Childhood*

          And like Observer said, if Olga’s being hounded by another department, she should say she’s trying to get the contract done & filed with Accounts Payable before (for example) their senior person retires in 2 weeks to raise llamas.

        3. Claire*

          In the original post, the OP didn’t mention being younger than yet senior to Olga–Alison followed up asking if OP was senior to Olga, and she said that she was, but added that because she’s younger, she felt weird about asserting authority over her. So it’s still true, of course, but maybe you’re being a little uncharitable about OP’s attitude

    2. Baska*

      I’m also an admin, and I’ve learned that there’s a fine art to handling people who are hounding you, especially when you already know the answer. For example, if HR / Accounts Payable were hounding Olga for the freelancer contract because they need to ensure the freelancer gets paid, but Olga knew that the contract was only sent one or two business days ago, she could answer something like, “Freelancer has only had the contract for one business day so far, so I don’t expect that OP would have heard back yet. Is there a final date that you need the contract to ensure that Freelancer gets paid on time?” And then Olga could convey that information to OP, so that OP can follow up if necessary. (“Hi OP, just wanted to make sure you knew that HR needs Freelancer’s contract by [date]. Thanks!”)

      It’s a delicate dance, for sure, but it’s one of those soft skills that I’m paid for lol.

      1. Alice's Rabbit*

        Yes, that’s the job of a good administrator assistant: to ask the right questions and make sure everyone knows the pertinent information to get things done on time. Preferably without ruffling feathers or leaving anyone feeling hounded. You sound like a joy to work with.

    3. kittymommy*

      This is exactly what I’m wondering. I’m an EA and 10 times out of 10 if I’m having to “hound” someone it’s because I’m being asked (and sometimes blamed) by a higher-up for it not being done in the time they think it should be done. (and this is currently what I’m having to deal with right now).

      1. Caradom*

        Then Olga is more than capable of opening her mouth and saying that. But instead, she responds with (because there is nothing else) ‘I need it signed’. In all the occasions this has happened (Sounds constant) she couldn’t say 1 time the reason behind the request? How bizarre, if you don’t give me a reason I can’t help!

    4. Project Manager here*

      My first thought was exactly this! Is there someone higher up who is hounding Olga for updates? If so, it would be in OP’s best interest to figure this out and then provide proactive updates back to Olga and/or the other person to minimize how much the OP is bothered.

    5. Esmeralda*

      Yep, that’s my read on the situation. Now, Olga could work on her communication skills, but otherwise I’ll bet that’s what’s behind it.

      Olga’s the admin asst for the whole team AND may also be answering to someone higher up.

  11. Susana*

    Is there a gracious way to say… I DON’T WORK FOR YOU? Because that’s the other thing, here. This is the admin for the team chiding team member for … what? Not needling people about emails sent to her/him? Things that are not the business of the admin?
    I get not wanting to escalate, but what about saying, my manager and I are Ok with the pace/response time/whatever. I’m sure MANAGER will speak to me if she/he has a problem with me.

    1. Esmeralda*

      No, there’s not. And in fact OP works WITH Olga, and needs Olga for various support tasks. That kind of response — you’re a lowly peon, go away — even when couched nicely, is not nice and is frankly counterproductive.

  12. NotQuiteAnonForThis*

    “Just has to sign it”?! Granted, maybe a separate industry entirely, but if I ever “just signed” a contract without reviewing it, and possibly sending it to legal to review it first, even when the terms were “negotiated first”? I would no longer HAVE a job. You just do not sign a legally binding document without reviewing it first.

    Olga sounds like a serious pain.

    1. fhqwhgads*

      I’m also sort of puzzled that it seems like the person is maybe doing the work first and signing the contract later? All the business with “we can’t pay them until they sign”….well yeah, but I wouldn’t expect to them do any work until the contract were agreed upon and signed. So it shouldn’t be holding up a payment?
      Like, I get it, Olga’s being weird and unreasonable if she wants something as important as a contract back from two steps away in an hour. But that’s not the weirdest aspect of that particular example.

      1. NotQuiteAnonForThis*

        I will say that in the particular industry I’m in, sometimes “Letters of Intent” are issued in order to get the ball moving. Its a paperwork heavy industry, and sometimes getting the loads of paperwork through in a timely manner, in conjunction with the schedule for deliverables, is im-freaking-possible. I have NO idea the ins and outs of this legally, as IANAL nor am I in the legal department. I know that typically they are not used with a new partner/client/customer, but one with whom we have a standing relationship, and that the legal department here is involved with any such letters.

        From wearing multiple different hats during the 2009 financial mess, I know that frequently, the only way we could get change orders signed by subcontractors (literally just a “Contract XYZ, which was executed on ::date:: with a total of $$$, is amended by adding $ for ABC Description of New Work, executed on date, for a new contract total of $$$$”) was to not pay them until they signed the ding-danged thing. Because when our customer looked through OUR books, they wanted to see that signed or they wouldn’t pay US for it. I expected a decent delay with contracts. I did not expect one on change orders to signed contracts!

  13. Mina, The Company Prom Queen*

    Ooooh, I hate when PITA people come back with “well, I’m just trying to help.” No, they are usually just sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong. Also hate when people try too hard to “show initiative” or “take ownership” or otherwise prove themselves at someone else’s expense. People like that need to make themselves look good on their own, and not do so by intruding upon others. I agree that OP should have scripted replies that are direct and to the point, ready and repeat as many times as necessary.

    1. Mina, The Company Prom Queen*

      *This was a reply to AthenaC’s comment above. Not sure what happened. :)

      1. NotQuiteAnonForThis*

        Its Monday, my computer is acting up, and I know I’m insufficiently caffeinated, so I am certainly willing to give anyone else that full excuse and its grace :)

  14. KnopeKnopeKnope*

    I am going to take an opposite stance to what I see in a lot of these comments (I can’t read Alison’s response yet because Inc. is down)… Befriend her! As someone noted above, support staff really do keep a million plates spinning. They keep your business running, yet almost everyone considers themselves senior to them. Try asking Olga how her weekend was, see what her interests are, practice some kindness and empathy. If you get to know her and what is on her plate workwise, you might both find your appreciation and patience for one another grows.

    1. Random Commenter*

      They can do that and be clear that following up so much isn’t wanted. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

    2. Alianora*

      Agree – the EA at my office comes across as prickly. Other people have complained about her to me and sometimes they’ll even ask me for help instead of her (we’re both admins, but don’t have a lot of overlap in our job functions). So there is a problem with the way she’s perceived.

      But I’ve gotten to know her and I think she really does wants to help, she just doesn’t choose her words well. Once she came to me and apologized for coming across as brusque. She’s naturally pretty direct. Being friendly, but direct with her in return gets the best results. Recently, I was overwhelmed with my work and she even volunteered to take on one of my more time-consuming tasks. I think people are sometimes quick to judge someone’s demeanor as being unfriendly or aggressive, when they might just be socially awkward. I tend to work well with those people because I’m slow to take things personally.

      1. Ryn*

        Definitely — and I think that, as a woman in a job that some still see as “my personal w0rk maid,” I get why some folks have developed a demeanor that prevents them being taken advantage of.

    3. Observer*

      Please. I mean, sure befriend her if you can. But Olga’s behavior really is out of line.

      She is NOT the manager, yet she’s acting like she is. *AND* she’s saying things that make it clear that she does not understand the tasks and issues at play.

      A decent Admin / EA / AA doesn’t pull this kind of thing. They don’t assign things to people they don’t manage, they don’t make turnaround demands on items that are not theirs to manage, and they don’t dismiss the work others need to do to get whatever tasks need to be done. And when they are actually doing something that they have been instructed to do by someone with the standing to give those instructions (eg BigBoss wants to know the status of every contract waiting for a signature) they let the people they are dealing with who gave the initial request / instruction.

      1. stiveee*

        Actually, she’s the manager of tons of processes that she has to answer for with no real authority to get them done. When I was an admin I had to answer to payroll, manage contracts, and it was my literal job to assign tasks. You’d better believe I made demands…that were coming from my actual boss. Contrary to popular belief I had exactly one boss and was not the office helpmeet.

    4. Firecat*

      Honestly, I get along with most admins. Good ones are the best! Olga doesn’t sound like a good one to me. I had an admin who was like this and she was a pain in other ways too (including abusing her email inbox access to big boss to delete complaints about her).

      Yes a lot of the time admins are seen as the bad guy gatekeeper – but there is no evidence of that here.

  15. Temperance*

    I’ve worked with some horribly grumpy assistants; including one who just expects younger attorneys to do her work (she’s very senior, works for an important guy, etc.).

  16. Llellayena*

    The article is stuck behind a paywall, even when I use a private window. Anyone else having this problem?

    1. Reba*

      It’s behind a paywall because that’s how media companies make money, so they can pay writers, such as Alison.

    2. EnfysNest*

      I got an error message from Inc that the site was having difficulties when I went to view it.

      But paywalls themselves aren’t a “problem” – that’s how Inc pays their writers.

      1. Liane*

        I don’t think Inc. is using paywall, since I was only asked to register (which I did with my Spam Magnet email) before I could view the article. I did have to try twice, which might have been due to the site problem.

    3. SG*

      Articles elsewhere are almost always on paid sites, so Alison can provide most of her content for free here.

    4. Sales Geek*

      The site is down and apparently has been for quite some time today. You can check it with this link:

      1. Sales Geek*

        Duh, finger check. Here’s the link:

        And Inc is paywalled but I’ve usually been able to view some small number of articles there…they have a limit of articles you (the individual) can view per month before you’re asked to subscribe. Can’t tell for sure since this information would be on’s web site…

  17. Ben Marcus Consulting*

    “Signing isn’t the only thing he needs to do. This is a contract, he needs a reasonable amount of time to read it, consider it, and seek guidance. I won’t encourage any of our freelance partners to short-circuit that process.

  18. The Starsong Princess*

    I’d create a document with service level agreements and give to Olga. For example “LW will follow up on unsigned contracts after 4 business days.” Then refer her back to the document whenever she hassles you “Olga, please refer to the SLAs and follow the processes as listed.” No other discussion. Then if she keeps following up, it’s a performance issue for her because she isn’t following the process.

    1. SomebodyElse*

      Oh goodness no… too much and overkill.

      “Olga, I’ve told them the deadline to returned the signed contract to get paid. They’ll either return it in time or they won’t… job done”

      “Yes, Olga, I understand you want the TPS report now. But we don’t need it until next Tuesday. I’m sure it will be prioritized appropriately”

      “Olga, don’t worry about it.”

    2. Liane*

      OP can do the same with just Alison’s scripts, which are instructions from a superior. It is a performance issue to repeatedly ignore your boss/senior’s job task direction regardless of whether the directions were verbal, Post It, email, or in an official SOP/SLA.

  19. RebelwithMouseyHair*

    As a freelancer who sometimes gets sent stuff to be signed, thank you for giving us more time.
    Yes, as far as the assistant is concerned, I “just have to sign it”.
    As far as I’m concerned, I don’t sign anything for my work without having read and made sure I fully understand it. Now, it wouldn’t be something I’d need to sign just to get paid, because I wouldn’t have accepted the job knowing I’d need to sign something if I didn’t already have the document to be signed. And if they sprung it on me after I’d done the work, well they’d have to pay me whether or not I signed it.
    I mostly get asked to sign NDAs, and honestly if I’m sent a 7-page document, I’ll need to read it carefully. If I have other work, I’ll prioritise that every time over a client that makes me do some heavy lifting before even giving me some actual work.

    1. Accounting Nerd*

      Maybe OP used the word contract but it was actually something like bank deposit forms etc? Like accounting legit couldn’t pay the contractor without this information vs like an employment contract or something. I’ve had that happen to me before

    1. Liane*

      As others have pointed out, allowing Olga to pester the contractors would annoy them, and they would probably leave or at the very least add a large PITA Tax to their rates.

    2. Alice's Rabbit*

      No! Do not fob an annoying person off on your freelancers just to get them off your case. She’ll just drive away any competent freelancers who can find work elsewhere.

  20. Frenchie too*

    My standard reply to this type of question or to nosy questions is “Why do you ask?”.
    Them: Well, because I sent it and have no reply yet, it has to get done.
    Me: Right, that’s pretty normal. But, you often ask this type of question. Why?
    Them: Because! I need to finish that contract/whatever.
    Me. Correct. But it’s not urgent. You can follow up on these contracts/whatever after X number of days. Otherwise, no need to ask.
    (Or something along those lines.)
    Asking “why do you ask” might also bring out the real reason behind their urgency.

  21. Alianora*

    Olga’s attitude is a problem, but honestly, I think saying, “I understand that we need to have Fergus’s contract returned for him to be paid, but we just sent it to him on Friday and it’s now Monday. I am planning on following up with him later this week if he doesn’t return it.” is overkill if she’s just saying, “Have you heard back from Fergus yet?” The long explanation might be making her think she needs to explain herself too.

    What if you just say, “No, not yet”? I don’t think her following up on something is inherently a problem – as an admin, if I don’t follow up on things, people do forget and I am the one who’s blamed. But I’m happy to accept a simple no as an answer.

    1. Ellen Ripley*

      I agree; I think the LW is giving Olga too much information. “Nope, but when he does I’ll forward it to you,” or something along those lines, would be more appropriate.

    2. Peeped EA*

      Exactly right. I usually know there’s still a day or two left between what I’m waiting for and when it’s due, but the one time I don’t follow up a couple of days before the item is due is usually the one time someone forgets to do it, and I end having to explain why I didn’t remind them.

      It’s a weird double edged sword to balance on.

      I’m wondering if the OP has sat down with Olga and simply had a conversation with her about expectations. That would clear up if the OP is giving Olga too much information or not.

  22. Liz T*

    This seems like way too much time to spend on Olga–giving her that information verges on indulgent.

    “Did you get that contract back yet?”
    “But all they have to do is sign it!”

    …then continue with what you were working on. If that “Mmm” won’t fly in your office, maybe a “Ha I know right?” and leave it at that. The point is that *you are not the one who needs to sign it* so it’s absurd that she’s complaining to you.

    A particularly horrible boss of mine once demanded to know why the person I’d called hadn’t picked up the phone. Don’t think I’ll ever forget that one.

  23. Heather*

    Ugh reading this annoys me. I am a millenial and I find many workers who are older than us in the workplace esp those who are admin are sometimes super rude because they think they are owed respect just for being older and at the company longer….. even if they don’t have higher ed or training. And I don’t care about any of that… just be nice!

    1. Jessie J*

      Agree with Heather. Too much grumpy entitled people out there. Just be nice at work and get over yourself.

    2. Analytical Tree Hugger*

      As a fellow millennial, I caution you against assuming that a degree means you know more than someone who has experience at a company. Institutional knowledge is a powerful asset. I’m not saying longer tenure always means they are a better employee, but the correlation of “strong employee + tenure” is generally higher than “strong employee + degree but limited or no experience.”

      I think that can be true in technical roles as well, as I’m in a relatively technical role.

      1. Nesprin*

        Speaking as an overeducated technical role holder, degrees are worth less than you’d think.

    3. Aquawoman*

      Maybe they’re rude because your disrespect for them is coming through more than you intend.

      1. Jessie J*

        In my case no. I’m a very friendly person and helpful but have found that a certain personality type immediately act rude toward our younger incoming employees and interns. It’s shocking how they treat younger employees. Sad.

    4. Esmeralda*

      Wow. Where are you getting resentment from Olga because she’s older????

      Maybe they are owed respect because, you know, they are human being? co-workers?

      And I have to say “even if they don’t have higher ed or training” — that’s pretty ugly. You might want to check your prejudices.

  24. Baska*

    I wonder if this isn’t some sort of process problem on Olga’s end. For example, I work as an office manager, and my predecessor and I had/have *very* different ways of handling the same situation. If I need to follow up on something, I’ll put a note in a tickler file for the day that I need to follow up. My predecessor would just follow up whenever it popped into her head, and she would require an immediate answer or it would remain in that nebulous part of working memory marked “I keep spinning this plate and I can’t put it down until I get an answer.” It was very exhausting for her.

    I’m not saying that OP should start counselling Olga on her working habits or anything, but this might be the sort of thing that Olga’s manager would want to discuss with her. (“Olga, let’s talk about how we ensure that everything gets handled in a timely way, but without putting undue pressure on the rest of the team for non-urgent items, or items whose deadlines are still several days out.”)

    1. PeanutButter*

      This is exactly what I was thinking. Before I was diagnosed as ADHD (at 36!) having unfinished tasks just …floating out there was VERY stressful because I knew I WOULD forget about them until it was too late and I WOULD be the one blamed for not following up sooner. The proliferation of reminder functions on work software has lessened my stress level so much.

  25. Butterfly Counter*

    I work with someone JUST like this. We’re in academia and she is staff and I am faculty, but shows similar frustrations, especially when waiting for paperwork from students. I completely understand her perspective. She has 100 things to do each day in administrative work and moving something from the “Needs Doing” pile to the “Done” pile for her makes all of her juggling a bit easier, to mix my metaphors.

    When she tells me she’s still waiting for signatures on X from 10 students in my class that aren’t due until the end of the week, I know she’s doing several things: 1) reminding me to remind my students, which I personally don’t mind, 2) reminding herself of what needs to be done by addressing it that day, 3) letting me (and others in our department) know she’s working hard, and 4) venting about students who aren’t as on top of things as she would like them to be.

    Typically, my response is to thank her for the reminder and let her know I plan to mention this to the students on X day so they aren’t late, acknowledge that I know she has a lot on her plate besides this, and maybe even commiserate with an “Ugh! Students! What are you gonna do? I too wish they did things more on time!” It takes about 30 seconds and her mood turns right around with me.

    Personally, this sounds more like venting and looking for commiseration. Maybe a well-placed, “Contractors! Am I right?” will make her feel acknowledged? I think you may feel she is annoyed with you, but it doesn’t sound like that to me.

    1. Wondercootie*

      As an EA in a university program, THANK YOU! I know I come off as annoying and/or pestering to my faculty and my students sometimes. I promise I’m not trying to be! But I have had faculty (more than one) who I have reminded of a requirement every day for two weeks who will actually tell me they had no idea and that I should have told them. When you get a couple of those, something inside tends to snap.

      1. Butterfly Counter*

        (I may be one of those professors who needs constant reminding. I’m not proud of this.)

        I’m wondering if OP’s predecessor is someone who did need constant reminding and the admin is doing what she normally did and it’s not working for OP. Which is okay. OP just needs to have a conversation that says they don’t need reminders.

        If I had to work with a dozen of people as absent minded as I am, I’d snap too.

  26. Peeped EA*

    Although it’s true that EAs are there to support other staff members, we are not automatons. Often, EAs are expected to be agile and adaptive to a point that our supervisors/those we support expect us to be the linch pin that keeps things from falling through the cracks of our organizations, and an EAs’ pushiness is sometimes the unintended consequence of being distracted by being said linch pin and having people above us pushing unreasonable timelines and expectations downward through the organization.

    I’m not saying that Olga’s forcefulness is necessarily okay, and it would definitely be a good idea to give her supervisor feedback on these interactions so she can be coached because she may not be fully aware of how she’s coming across. What I am saying is that working with an EA is a partnership, as it should be with any colleague or peer. As such, maybe the OP should consider sitting down with Olga when tempers aren’t high and having a conversation with her to lay down expectations for follow-up on contracts, specific types of emails, etc. Perhaps something close to, but not formally, a statement of work so that Olga understands and knows what to expect is reasonable and the OP has something to fall back on if Olga then becomes unreasonable again.

    Alison’s dialogue is great, and it should really help the OP communicate with Olga, but I’m not sure, in this case, it would create the partnership one needs in a situation like this if all the OP did was use Alison’s dialogue without creating well spelled out expectations.

    As someone who has been in Olga’s position, and often continues to be, I have to say it’s a little disheartening to read comments that essentially boil down to “she’s there to do what you tell her to do” because that’s not it. EAs hold a dynamic position in which they’re expected to keep things rolling smoothly, and it is often thankless and prone to bouts of being the scapegoat. Instead of initially approaching Olga with the attitude of “you’re here to support me,” the OP may find it far more beneficial to first approach the situation in a Jerry McGuire kind of way, “Help me, help you, help me.”

    1. Alianora*

      Great comment. I agree, an EA’s job isn’t just to do whatever another employee tells them. They’re workers with their own job functions, part of which is to be really on top of things, and just because “assistant” is in their job title doesn’t mean they should be treated as if they don’t have a valuable perspective into how best to do their job.

  27. Karak*

    Laying down the boundaries/expectations is imprudent, but once that’s done, I favor non-engagement.

    “Did X get this back?”
    “No, I’m following up in 3 days.”
    “Well, I just need him to sign it.”
    “Ok.” (Dead silence) “Anything else?”

  28. Just Another Admin*

    Perspective from the other side – because I am an admin. I’m in between the corporate compliance department, the client contracts department, the corporate payroll department, and the teams I support. And typically I am only pressuring my teams if I am getting pressure from one of those other departments. An independent contractor who is already on project but doesn’t have completed paperwork for payroll is an urgent thing in my world. Not a “wait a couple of days” thing. Because our corporate payroll department is crawling all over me to get the paperwork done so that they can complete compliance certification and make sure we can actually use this person as a contractor and not hire them on as a W2. And yes, corporate departments can be really pushy. And I’ll stall and buy my team as much time as possible. But then I have to get pushy, too. Is it possible that your admin is receiving pressure from other places to get the thing done, and it’s being expressed to you in a less than stellar attitude? I try to give my teams as much as I can, but by nature their priorities have to be different from mine and sometimes the only way to get something done is to be pushy with them (in the nicest way possible that becomes increasing less nice and more perfunctory / abrupt the longer it takes to get this item done). The longer an item stays incomplete the longer it sits in my inbox and the lower my individual productivity looks to the people I report to. If I’m drowning and really need to clear stuff, waiting half a week for contractors paperwork is going to leave me anxious and on edge.

    1. Peeped EA*

      I really think the OP should take some time to understand where the EA is coming from for this very reason. It could be that what the OP thinks is reasonable and what those who the EA reports to thinks is reasonable are two completely different things. Instead of allowing things to fester or causing more strife by being short with the EA, the OP could build a better relationship with the EA by facilitating communication between them so that everyone is on the same page.

  29. Loyal Canadian Reader*

    Hi Alison,

    I would love to read your answer but cannot access the link at I think it wants me to subscribe and I am not willing to do that. Instead of linking to the published piece, can you simply republish it here a day or two later? Or provide a link that doesn’t require me to subscribe to multiple news outlets?

    I enjoy reading AAM although I don’t comment much. I’ve learnt a lot over the last few years that I’ve applied to my work as a team supervisor. I hope I can continue to enjoy and learn from your expertise and the collective knowledge of the commenters. Thank you!

    1. Seriously?*

      “Hi Alison, I know you get paid for providing exclusive content for Inc, but can you please break your contract with them and provide me more free stuff?”

      1. Loyal Canadian Reader*

        Hey, I am only putting out my question because I appreciate her work. I simply don’t have the funds to all the various websites available.

        I don’t know how it works for Alison to get articles published. From what I understand from other writers I read online, the piece belongs to the author and they sell it to a site like for them to publish first. Then, they can publish it elsewhere as well. This is my perspective and no disrespect is meant here.

        If Alison has an exclusive contract with a site and she wants to point AMA readers from here to there, then I think it would be fair to reword her post a little bit to make it clear that the redirection goes to a subscription site.

        I wrote tonight about this because it was a little frustrating to see all this discussion about the article here when I can’t read said article. This has come up before and I finally decided to ask about it.

        To Alison: I truly am not coming from a place of disrespect despite what this commenter assumed. I do not do your kind of work (writing and selling articles) and don’t know how this process works for you. I am only going by what I’ve experienced elsewhere on the web.

        1. allathian*

          Like Alison says herself, the articles she publishes at Inc. are ones that she’s previously answered here, often years ago and sometimes her answer has changed from the original post.

          Inc. gives you a certain number of free articles every month, something like 3 or 4. I don’t read other stuff there anymore, so I’ve never run out of the free articles myself. I found this blog because I happened to click on a link at Inc. That said, sometimes the site seems to be inaccessible for other reasons, but I haven’t hit the paywall.

          It’s a perfectly viable business model and I for one don’t blame Alison one bit for wanting to make some money from her advice. Most of her blog posts are available for free on this site, after all.

  30. stiveee*

    If Olga has to do accruals I kinda get why she’s like this. She has no authority to make anyone act and lots of pressure to get things done. I’ve been Olga.

    1. Caradom*

      If she/he does they can use their mouth to say that instead of demanding a signature from clients when they haven’t even had a chance to open their email yet! Olga is serious trouble and If I was management I would have one conversation then go through the procedure to get rid of ‘Olga’.

  31. Caradom*

    ‘Dear X’ I’m very busy and if we demanded people sign something in a few hours the business would go bankrupt. Then (if you have an email policy like recontact the person after 1 week) state the policy to her. E.g., ‘After 1 week if they don’t respond I will send them a follow-up email’. Then stick to your guns. If she comes into the office repeat as often as you like:

    ‘This is urgent and needs completing today, unlike anything you are bringing up. Please leave now so I can get on with my job’. Then escalate ‘I’ve already explained this to you so if you have real issues over it please go to HR/ your manager.’ Please leave now or you can explain to the boss why it is late.

    Now, before you do any of this go to the boss and explain clearly what has been going on and how disruptive it is. That way when she moans they can say ‘no one is going to sign anything in 2 hours, either drop it or go onto a performance review plan.

Comments are closed.