Kelly Black is a professional writer from Pennsylvania. If she's not at her computer writing, you can find her hanging out with her family or sipping wine on her back deck.
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A wise person once cautioned people to be nice to their administrative assistants, saying, “She’s the least paid and still knows more about what’s going on than anyone else.”
If you’ve ever worked in an office setting, you know those words are true.
If you work in an office with an administrative assistant, stop what you’re doing right now, and circle Wednesday, April 25, on your calendar. That’s Administrative Assistants’ Day and you’ll want to be ready to celebrate this person that holds your office together.
Years ago, in my first job out of college, I worked as an admin assistant for a group of men who did high-level finance at a bank. In that job, I learned to be BFFs with the travel department so I could book the best flights and always, always get the gentlemen in first class. I learned to keep track of all of their expenses. I knew by the tone of their voices when something was urgent or could be dealt with later. I submitted their work to the right people, at the right time, and made sure that they looked good to the higher-ups.
I made a small fraction of those men earned (obvi) but I held the power in that office. And they knew it.
When administrative assistants’ day rolled around that April, they surprised me with a great gift. When I arrived at work that morning, there was a huge bouquet of flowers on my desk, and a hand-written card that was signed by each one of them. And inside the card was a gift card for a day-long spa package. Even more, as as part of the gift, they gave me a day off from work so I could go!
Best. Day. Ever.
I relaxed on someone else’s dime and left the spa that day feeling refreshed and appreciated. Really appreciated. And I still remember it to this day.
You might ask yourself, why bother recognizing Administrative Assistants’ Day anyway? It’s just something Hallmark created, right?
Secretary’s Day, as it started out, began in 1952 when a PR exec decided that a day was needed to honor the loyalty, skill, and efficiency of secretaries nationwide. Today, the definition has expanded to include anyone who does administrative work.
Administrative assistants are expected to have a wide range of skills, from working the computers to understanding the phone system to ordering supplies – and a whole truckload of other activities. I had a boss once who often joked that the best line he put in the job description for my job as his admin was “other duties as assigned.” There are a lot of things that fall under your admin’s set of job responsibilities so the importance of showing this person just how much they’re valued – especially on Administrative Assistants’ Day – cannot be understated.
Here are eight tips to show your appreciation for the admin at your office: