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Survey Finds Lying, Other Blights In Administrative Assistants' World

Nearly half the administrative professionals for America's largest companies say they've been asked to tell a lie to protect their supervisors, shows recent research by And 58% say they've had to run personal errands for their managers. What's more, one in five administrative professionals has experienced verbal, sexual, or emotional harassment -- and 10% have notarized a document without witnessing a signature. But 90% of CEOs say their administrative assistants haven't been put in such compromising positions. Most managers simply are unaware of such dilemmas, says Nan DeMars, an office ethics consultant and author of a weekly career column The Office Conscience. They may see ethical problems elsewhere, but not in their own offices. Other survey findings: 77% of CEOs say the administrative professional's role is "very important" to successful business operation, and 73% of both CEOs and administrative assistants think the assistant's workload has increased during the last 20 years.

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