Ask Marjon

Marjon Meyer"ASK MARJON" is your opportunity to have your professional and career questions answered directly by and expert! Marjon Meyer has extensive experience in the Human Resources arena and is a highly popular and successful lecturer and facilitator.

Marjon currently lectures a host of Secretarial, Administrative and Management Training Courses, where she consistently receives top ratings and often personal thanks from delegates for touching their lives.

Marjon's warm, caring and approachable manner makes her the ideal person to turn to when you have a query or worry, and you can rely in her complete dedication to providing you with the best possible solution.

Your Questions and Marjon's answers will be published on the SASPA website - in full confidence of course - so other SASPA members can benefit from Marjon's expert advice.

To Submit a Question send an email to alternatively contact Claire on 011 454 5505

Dear Marjon

I have a question please. I work for the Finance Director, he has an open door policy but his staff just walk in and out of his office. How do I control this without upsetting the apple cart, as I know he at times is very busy?

Thank you


Read Marjon's Response

Hi W

Thank you for your question. Yes, this can indeed be a tricky problem!

It is important that managers have an open door policy and it is good news to hear that your manager is indeed practicing this. However, visitors should still report at your desk as you can then screen the visitors and the subsequent requests. Having an open door means being approachable and available, but within certain parameters.

You need to get your manager's buy-in, because he needs to also encourage people to just check his schedule with you first, not to control, him or put visitors off, but to manage the office environment in a healthy manner. I am sure you can often solve the problem that they wanted your manager to look at, and just imagine how much time you could save him.

Perhaps put a friendly request that people should just check with you first on the door. It can read like this: "In order to optimise our office's service to you, kindly consult with Yvonne Venter first before speaking the Financial Director. We aim to solve your problem as best as we can"

Hope this helps! Remember to talk this over with your manager to get his view and support!

Good luck!

Marjon Meyer

Good day Marjon

I've been acting as an Executive PA for the past two years and up to now I haven't received my acting allowance. I've asked my boss for a meeting so that we can discuss this but he always has excuses. I've found out that other PA's are getting their acting allowances every month, this is so frustrating but I don't want to talk out of frustration or anger.

What is the correct way of solving this so that at the end of our meeting both parties will be happy? There was a position at HR last year and I applied he refused to let me go but at the same time he's playing games.

Kind regards


Read Marjon's Response

Dear D

Thank you for your question. I can imagine that you must be very frustrated! I am afraid the longer you allow this situation to persist, the more difficult it becomes to resolve the problem. I suggest that you approach your manager again and insist that the situation is resolved immediately. Don't just ask for a meeting - walk to his office when he is available and discuss your situation. If this doesn't work, involve HR and approach your manager with the help of this person to avoid him brushing you off again.

Don't allow your manager to stand in the way of your career like with the HR position. You need to be assertive, firm, yet polite and don't give up until this is resolved.

Your last resort is the CCMA, but I hope your problem gets resolved before this.


Marjon Meyer