# CTE Resource Center - Verso - Office Administration Instructional Scenarios

CTE Resource Center - Verso

Virginia’s CTE Resource Center

Instructional Scenarios

Time Management

How Can I Help Everybody?

Duty Areas

Scenario

Mary, a receptionist, has been employed at Washington Business Systems for less than a year. Her attendance record and the quality of her work are excellent. Her employer has often complimented Mary on her excellent rapport with customers. Mary comes from a large family. Her siblings have frequent problems and rely on her for advice. As a result, she receives between three and five telephone calls at work each day from her family. In addition, Mary may receive emails from her family members at work each day. Mary was raised with a strong sense of family commitment, so she believes all these personal family problems can and should be given attention, even during work time. Mary feels that these calls and emails are not affecting her customers on the telephone or at her desk because they receive her immediate attention and are her priority.

Big Question

Should personal calls be allowed during the workday? Explain.

Focused Questions

  1. What do you think of Mary’s attitude and beliefs?
  2. Do you think that Mary’s customers are receiving her immediate attention and are her priority all day on the job? Explain.
  3. What are some possible solutions to Mary's dilemma?

SOL Correlation

English 11.4, 11.10, 12.4

Project-Based Assessment

  • Small-group presentation/discussion on big and focused questions
  • Written report/assignment, answering all questions

Resources

Help, I'm Drowning!

Duty Areas

  • Developing Business Communication Skills
  • Organizing and Planning Functions

Scenario

Walter works as an administrative assistant for five real estate agents. He also answers the phone and greets potential clients when they drop in at the agency office. He shares his feelings as follows: “It seems like I’m in a swamp with a bunch of alligators. The agents are constantly bringing in work that they want done immediately. They always seem to expect me to drop everything to do their work. Even when the workload slacks off, I feel so disorganized; it seems impossible to get caught up. I can’t concentrate on anything for very long because clients keep coming in and interrupting me. Then there’s the telephone—the worst interruption of all. I think I’m going to scream! I don’t even have time to check my personal email some days.” You are a close friend of Walter’s. He confides his opinion to you one day while you are having lunch together.

Big Question

As a trusted friend, what advice would you give Walter?

Focused Questions

  1. What do you think of Walter’s attitude and beliefs in this situation?
  2. Do you think that Walter might try keeping a daily time log? Why, or Why not?
  3. Does prioritizing help with organizing work and time management? How?
  4. Should employees communicate with their personal email on the job? Explain.

SOL Correlation

English 11.4, 11.10, 12.4

Project-Based Assessment

  • Small-group presentation/discussion on big and focused questions
  • Written report/assignment, answering all questions
  • Detailed daily time log and written follow-up. Did you learn of any time management strategies you could use to improve your performance? Explain.

Resources

Where's My Work Desk?

Duty Areas

Scenario

Jasper Wallace has a basket on his desk marked for incoming work. He has asked his supervisor several times to place any work for his attention in this basket, since his desk tends to get cluttered because of interruptions throughout the day. Nevertheless, his supervisor repeatedly comes in asking for work that Jasper has never seen. When he looks through the piles of paper on this desk, Jasper finds the requested items.

Big Question

Does an organized desk assist with effective time management? Explain.

Focused Questions

  1. What could Jasper do to help improve this situation?
  2. Would it be helpful to communicate once again with his supervisor?
  3.  What might he say to his supervisor?

SOL Correlation

English 11.4, 11.10, 12.4

Project-Based Assessment

Resources

Time Is Money

Duty Areas

Scenario

The clerk in a law office has been asked to keep a daily log of the work assignments that are completed. This log is to include the amount of time spent on paperwork for individual clients as well as the amount spent on general office tasks. The employer uses this log to determine how much time should be billed to each client. The clerk sometimes spends more time on a project than the boss would consider reasonable, so the clerk will adjust the time record. On other occasions the clerk might forget to make note of the time spent on each task and will construct a log based on estimates. Since the employer has never questioned the recordings in the daily log, the clerk is confident that the entries are reasonable.

Big Questions

  1. Does the clerk handle this situation ethically?
  2. Does keeping a daily log of assignments help an employee stay organized and manage their time effectively? Explain.

Focused Questions

  1. Is this method of keeping the daily log ethical? Why, or why not?
  2. How might the clerk and the employer benefit by providing the precise length of time spent on each task?

SOL Correlation

English 11.4, 11.10, 12.4

Project-Based Assessment

Resources

Let Me Check the Calendar

Duty Areas

 

Scenario

Katie was in the habit of scheduling her employer’s appointments and carefully keeping a calendar of events. One day, Katie woke up with a terrible cold and felt she should not go to the office. She called her employer and explained. When Katie returned to the office, someone else had done the scheduling. That person had set some overlapping appointments and had not blocked out time for a special meeting for her employer. In addition, the person had ignored a block of time (two weeks) that Katie had blocked due to her employer’s vacation. There are now twelve clients scheduled during this time period on her employer’s calendar.

Big Question

How can Katie fix the scheduling (calendar) situation?

Focused Questions

 

SOL Correlation

English 11.4, 11.10, 12.4

Project-Based Assessment


 

Resources

New and Emerging Technology

Keeping Up with Technology

Duty Areas