I started a new job a month ago as an administrative assistant. I got hired right after the interview and started the next day, the last day of the person who I was replacing, who left to work for another company. I pretty much did not get trained, I was only given a little bit of information and shown around the office. My first 3 weeks seemed great. I was getting the hang of it, a few mistakes here and there. For not getting trained I thought I was doing great.

The thing is, I can't read my boss. She keeps giving me mixed signals. One moment she's mad at me for doing something wrong, the next she tells me I'm a sweetheart and its ok to make mistakes. I recently did my first expense report, which was a complete mess from the last person in this position, and it took me a while to get it right and I needed extra help on it. The people in finance were rude and treated me like a child when trying to do the expense report and my boss told me "not doing the expense report correct" could be a problem. Later in the week she told me "Don't listen to me sometimes, I get flustered, you're not super woman you can't get it down pat the first time."

Then this week my boss told me this week that she thinks I might not be a fit and will see how this goes within the next month. No specific reason was given. Just that it was because the expense report was rough for me and the dept is really busy.

Truth is, I'm only a month into this job and I feel I'm still learning. My boss gets upset when things aren't going her way but she can't expect me to learn to do every single thing 100% her way when I'm still new and learning. I'm really trying my best and when I tell her that she says "I know you are. I know you want to do the right thing."

I don't know what to make of this situation. Can I get let go only after a month on the job when I'm still learning? I can see if I was having issues 5 months in but only 1 month? I haven't even met half the employees yet.

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    What country do you work in? Most(if not all) states in the US are "at will" states, meaning you can be let go for any reason(other than race, gender, sexual orientation, etc), even if it's only been a month or 2, if they don't feel you're doing good enough in your job, they can let you go. – New-To-IT Mar 23 '16 at 20:12
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    Almost universally, yes you can. – Myles Mar 23 '16 at 20:13
  • Even if "at will" doesn't apply, most jobs have a probationary period (in some cases its mandated in law) and during this period, either party can terminate the employment without notice. – Burhan Khalid Mar 24 '16 at 9:14

I got hired right after the interview and started the next day, the last day

This is a red flag. Your boss shows every indication of being an assistant abuser. Assistant abusers dump their anger on their admins until the admin quits. After a few, the abuser learns that she's really the problem. So she learns to follow up the abuse with some sweetness, and promises to herself that she'll be better next time--until the next mood swing. You lather, rinse, repeat until eventually you leave for another job, and the next applicant who can start right away comes in ...

I'd interview elsewhere, and leave this issue to the boss and her therapist. It feels great to be so in demand that you get hired right away--but next time ask some tough questions if things are going that way. "How many admins have left in the last year?" Unless there's a polio outbreak, 2 is fishy, 3 is deadly, and at 4 I'd just smile politely until the interview is over.

Truth is, I'm only a month into this job and I feel I'm still learning. My boss gets upset when things aren't going her way ...

You're victim blaming. You're not the problem.

  • Best answer thus far. I agree on heavily on the period between interviewing and hiring being WAY too short. Normal hiring practice is 1 - 3 weeks (for most positions, usually). Short hiring times level out as...too good to be true, usually is. However, keep in mind that no company is obligated to divulge their turnover rate or how many people of X position have left in Y time (at least in the US). They can flat out lie or deflect the question. Usually, a company/boss that doesn't divulge it means they're hiding serious flaws. – G.T.D. Mar 24 '16 at 2:53

Yes, but don't worry about it.

Do your job, build your resume and don't worry about getting fired if you are doing your best. Float your resume if you feel you're about to let go. It could be that your boss is just a hothead who calms down and then gives you her real input when she's not stressed.

When your boss is in a calmer mood, ask her for specific areas you can improve. Doing that shows your boss that you are serious about the job and also gives you areas you can focus on and head off future embarrassment.

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    yep, no shortage of undiagnosed schizo bosses out there – Kilisi Mar 23 '16 at 20:57

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