It's the end of the world as we know it...

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I have another work query. Here's my thing: My secretary is out today. I needed some dates docketed. Usually, I tell my secretary to docket the dates, and she tells the docket clerk, and I have no responsibility whatsoever. Which, for the record, is what I prefer.

But when she is out, I somehow have to communicate the docket dates. (I could wait until tomorrow, but that just seems silly.) So I email the docket clerk, give her the dates I want changed and/or added to the docket in what cases. I end the email with "Thanks."

She emails back, "No problem." the "no problem" a reply letting me know, "Ok, I got your email, and understand your instructions?" Or is it a reply that I owe a reply to. Like should I again say thanks. Should I acknowledge her reply at all, or just ignore it b/c it's her job to docket dates when I tell her to?? Or is that bitchy and whatnot, and makes it seem like I think I'm better than her because I'm an attorney and she's staff (I really try to avoid that. Some of the attorneys here - in fact, most of the old school attorneys - will treat staff inherently different than they treat other attorneys, and I try to be cognizant of that, and then perhaps I overcompensate.

I fear I am giving this way more thought that it deserves, yet I don't know the right answer, and it's driving me crazy. Am I doing it wrong? Am I being rude? (I didn't reply.) What would Ms. Manners say (or is it Mrs. Manners?) Without knowing this answer, I am not able to concentrate on my work.


  • At 1:54 PM, Blogger William said…

    I don't think it is rude to not respond, but I do think you could have taken the ten seconds to do so and saved yourself the ten minutes to post about it :-)

  • At 2:09 PM, Blogger Steppie said…

    No, you don't need to reply back to her. If you did and said thanks again, then she would either feel obligated to respond with a "your welcome" and then you would feel obligated to respond again (can you see the vicious cycle) or she would think you're a moron. Either way, you look like an idiot. Also, her "no problem" reply was telling you two things - 1) she got your email and read it & understands what you are asking (ok, maybe that's more than 1 thing, but they're all related) and 2) that she can comply with your request. I'm sure she made sure that there wasn't a problem before she replied so she won't be coming back to you later saying "Hey Stephanie, remember that such-and-such request? Yeah, well it can't be done for x &/or y reasons."

    Either way, you can get back to work!! If you are not sure this is all fixed then you can ask your secretary to check into it tomorrow.

  • At 2:28 PM, Blogger Me said…

    William - let's not forgot the three hours obsessing over it...

    Stephanie - I think I generally manage to look like an idiot. ;-) I'm amazingly worthless without my secretary!!

  • At 2:39 PM, Blogger Scarlett said…

    As an expert admin assistant, here is my official reply:

    No problem means: "I took care of it. Not a problem, because that is all I do all day."

    No reply needed at all.

  • At 3:19 PM, Blogger Matthew said…

    I think it's always good to say "thank you" or "thanks!" at work, including e-mail.

    However, if you included the "thanks!" in the original e-mail requesting the work to be done, then there is no need to respond to the "no problem" e-mail.

    If, on the other hand, you simply requested him/her to do the work, and did not include a "thanks!" or "thank you" in it, and he/she responded with "no problem," then I think it would be good etiquette to respond with an e-mail which simply said "thanks!" or "thank you."

    And that's my Mr. Manners impersonation for today. ;-)

  • At 1:16 AM, Blogger CC Baxter said…

    No Problem definitely means it'll get done, don't worry.....

    (In order to add confusion, wait a few days and send an email that says thanks....mass hysteria will result.....)


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