Welcome back to part 4 of our "A week in the life of an Office Manager"


It’s the start of the day and you know what that means! Samantha’s response to my daily emails is positive – she loves the idea of designing a shoe bag and asks me to add it to the 2036 planning document. Aside from that in Samantha’s personal work account there are orders, 2 newsletters, and an email from one of the BOMC designers, sending her pattern ready to be uploaded on the 1st of the next month. In the business account there are more orders and a couple of emails from websites and apps we use. 
Thursday’s regular task is finances. Each Thursday I update our finance app with Paypal transactions and bank account activity. Doing Samantha’s finances allows me to see a really complete picture of what’s going on with Sewing Patterns by Mrs H. I understand so well now just how much every £5 pattern makes such a big difference to the overall sustainability of the business. It’s people buying the pattern, rather than obtaining it for free from friends and family, which means that Samantha can create more patterns, write tutorials and guides, and provide on-going help and support to people making bags from her (and other people’s) patterns. Everything matches nicely today on the app – I have had great difficulties in the past rectifying Paypal transactions, especially the ones which take some of the funds from the US Dollar balance and the remainder from the GB Pound balance…that’s got to be one of the most complicated tasks I undertake!
After finances, I open my to-do list. Today I need to spend some time on pattern testing admin. Samantha has a sizeable pool of testers who test her latest patterns and offer feedback on the instructions. They are amazing ladies and their job is to find as many mistakes as possible before the pattern is released. Since I’ve started I think I may have been the bane of the poor testers! I found the process of testing, from my side, quite time-heavy. Testers signed up for or declined the latest pattern test by emailing Samantha. That meant 30 or 40 individual emails which all needed to be read and actioned. Then, feedback on the pattern was also submitted by email in many different forms. Compiling feedback from 20 testers, in different forms, into a logical and easy to use format was a nightmare! So with Samantha’s blessing I’ve completely changed things. Now testers indicate whether or not they want to test by clicking one of two buttons in their tester emails. 
That creates two lists automatically for me, one for those who want to test and one for those who are unable to test. And feedback is now done through a survey which allows Samantha to review all of the responses for each part of the pattern in one place, without any compiling by me. 
Today I’m going to have a quick glance at the feedback for the latest pattern to go through testing. Everything’s looking fine initially. And then I start noticing the responses of someone who shall remain nameless. For the sake of a name, let’s call her…Christine D….no that’s too obvious, let’s choose C Davis instead. This particular tester thinks it’s very funny to give silly responses to the feedback sections. And she’s completely, 100% right! Samantha and I always have a lot of fun reading her responses. Here are some excerpts: 


Pattern 1
once again I used scissors,,,,im getting so good at it now I can almost use them without supervision....I find if I say 'open, close, open , close........my hand just sort of does it too.....and voila....ive cut stuff!
Pattern 2
used scissors........found them easy to use but its not my first time using sharp blades.....lol.......was very careful not to cut myself.......lol
Pattern 3
are we back to this one again??? well just for a change I'm trying something new,,,,,yes I used a rotary cutter......you know?? one of those clever things with a 'sharp as you like' circular blade on the end of a plastic handle.....I did replace the blade after cutting the pizza last week so as not to get mozzarella on my fabric....... I still have all my digits and no blood was spilled so I think we can call that a mini success.
The appropriate use for a rotary cutter, as confirmed by Christine D
I finish the day with my email to Samantha. I inform her that the next BOMC pattern has arrived in her inbox, that I've looked at tester feedback, and warn her about the certain tester who shall still remain nameless! It's the end of another day, and I now really want pizza.
**As you may have already guessed, I have used artistic licence for these blogs but EVERYTHING is based on something that has actually happened within my last few months as Samantha’s Office Manager, and some of it's more true than you could ever imagine.**
Thanks Amanda. Don't miss the final part, coming up tomorrow!