This week, we asked readers what, if anything, they would be doing to recognize the support of their administrative professional. And while more than 30% said they did not enjoy the services of someone who might fit that description (one noted, “Assistants (secretaries) seem to have almost disappeared from our office. We are an HR Group supporting ,3000 employees in a utility. Almost everything is done by e-mail internally – and we all compose, print, and send our own external letters” ), there was an interesting diversity of responses.
Nearly 9% were opting for a card, roughly 8% were planning to take them out for lunch, 11.4% had their eye on a gift of some kind, 2.5% were looking at something else (flowers, generally), and though 6.3% said they were planning “nothing,” roughly 18% were going for more than one of the above.
“Though her title has been changed several times, she is still the ‘glue’ that holds us all together and we know we can count on her, regardless of whatever is going on. She deserves much, much more than one day of special recognition!”
“I am the new person on the team, so I made an effort to speak with my AA. Upon learning that she loved the arts, I bought her a ticket to the ballet (great seats). I’ve already given it to her since it’s something she has to plan for. She has taken the day off, arranging for a day of relaxation and a nice dinner downtown before she attends. She’s been beaming ever since I handed it to her.”
But while there are clearly those that are appreciated – and that appreciate the recognition – there’s a fair amount of confusion out there still as to whether or not this is the kind of thing that “professionals” actually want any part of.
” We couldn’t come up with a euphemism that didn’t offend someone so we made it ’employee appreciation day,’ involving the whole office in a nice company-sponsored lunch where everyone is recognized,” noted one respondent.
One reader said, “I dislike this day intensely. Even though my administrative professionals do not perform as a secretary used to, I never know whether they expect to be treated as a true professional and not be recognized on this day, or if they will have their feelings hurt if not recognized. Who came up with this idea, anyway?”
“It’s a silly day and I feel pressured into recognizing it,”noted one.
“Eek! Not again. We never know what to do,” worried another.
The remaining 15% chose “other,” generally a reflection of having some other type of recognition in mind: ” I don’t directly work with any administrative assistants, but am supported by several. I’ll send an e-mail to the ones I work with the most, and stop to chat for a few minutes, as well,” said one. Another noted, “Our admin staff had the choice this year of being taken out to lunch or attending a seminar that will be fun, but also help them with their jobs. The majority chose the seminar.” Another said, “Card, small gift, and cake!
Still , having administrative “support” that didn’t quite live up to the name was also a consistent theme:
“Our administrative professional just gave her two-week notice. And, frankly, she’s not that great to begin with. So, we’re thinking we can safely not acknowledge Administrative Professionals Day and not suffer any major consequences.”
“I thought ‘help’ was F1 or another window to peer through.”
“Administrative support? Oh, yeah, it’s called ‘my computer.'”
“At the risk of sounding like a bad ol’ country tune, “I’m my own Administrative Professional” – and I’ll think I’ll give myself a day off for the great job I’m doing!”
“After spending decades with secretaries and then administrative assistants, I now find my computer and other hardware doing most of what they used to do, so maybe I should honor my computer with a day off by shutting it down that day. That means I can take the day off also.”
“‘Secretary’s Day'” was replaced by the more inclusive Administrative Professionals Day – and don’t we all support someone, so it’s everybody’s day. I think it should be a holiday!”
And there were several “special” situations, such as the reader who noted, “I work full-time for a TPA and full-time for my husband who’s self employed. I don’t expect to get anything from the TPA, but I will be reminding my husband that he MUST give his ‘Administrative Assistant’ something for Administrative Professionals Day.”
But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who was struggling with the decision more than most: “Card? My wife finds out, I’m in trouble. Lunch? My wife finds out. I’m in BIG trouble. Dinner? Oh, now you REALLY want me dead. More than one of the above? You think I’m an IDIOT? Something else? What, like spend time at her desk thanking her so everyone can talk about us? No thanks. Well, I guess I gotta do SOMETHING. THINK, THINK, THINK! Man this reeks! OK, ‘nothing’s’ out or I’ll get the evil eye. Geez, Louise, what am I gonna DO? How about these mints that have been on my desk a month? Sounds like a plan!”
Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!
|1.||card & gift|
|2.||Do something indirectly.|
|3.||We couldn't come up with a euphemism that didn't offend someone so we made it 'employee appreciation day', involving the whole office in a nice company sponsored lunch where everyone is recognized.|
|4.||A Card, some flowers and maybe lunch.|
|5.||We always do a card and this year we're getting her a cookie bouquet.|
|6.||card, flowers, cake|
|7.||Turn off my computer for a day (see #2 below)|
|8.||I am the (much-needed) support for our team|
|9.||Card, small gift and cake!|
|10.||Card? My wife finds out I'm in trouble. Lunch? My wife finds out I'm in BIG trouble. Dinner? Oh, now you REALLY want me dead. More than one of the above? You think I'm am IDIOT? Something else? What, like spend time at her desk thanking her so everyone can talk about us? No thanks. Well, I guess I gotta do SOMETHING. THINK, THINK, THINK! Man this reeks! Ok, "nothing's" out or I'll get the evil eye. Geez, Louise, what am I gonna DO? How about these mints that have been on my desk a month? Sound's like a plan!|
|12.||I think I'll take myself out to lunch because I don't have an administrative professional to give me administrative support. Instead, I take care of it myself! It's in my job description, under "other duties as assigned".|
|1.||I thought "help" was F1 or another window to peer through.|
|2.||Many folk in these positions don't like the fact they are "support" being focused upon. That is probably why Secretary gave way to a variety of other titles which are more vague about the exact role of the individual, i.e., being at the bottom of the office hierarchy.|
|3.||Maybe I will treat myself to something special.|
|4.||We decided to have the team supported by each AP sign a greeting card and take their AP to lunch (as a group). The company will buy a gift card for each AP. I find the APs seem much more sensitive to gestures of gratitude than more senior level staff.|
|5.||Nothing planned although now I feel guilty and might get something!|
|6.||This day has always been "support staff" day. Generally, we go to a late lunch on the Friday of the week then take the rest of the day off. Our lawyers are very good to us - they know who does all the work!|
|7.||Our administrative professional just gave her 2-week notice. And, frankly, she's not that great so begin with. So, we're thinking we can safely not acknowledge Administrative Professionals' Day and not suffer any major consequences.|
|8.||We will probably bring food and do a small gift.|
|9.||f) something else. Our company recognizes the work of all the individuals, not just our Admin dept. The owner of the company holds an ice cream social that day where the managers serve the lower staff. In some years, we've had a Recognition Week, with pizza on one day, a hosted BBQ another day, etc. A whole week of partying, courtesy of our generous boss.|
|10.||This place revolves around her and "Assistant" really doesn't describe everything she does for the office. She's the most "in-charge" person here. We feel lucky to have her.|
|11.||After spending decades with secretaries and then administrative assistants, I now find my computer and other hardware doing most of what they used to do, so maybe I should honor my computer with a day off by shutting it down that day. That means I can take the day off also.|
|12.||Just in case the following answer came through, I have to revoke it, as I misunderstood, and thought that today was the day... so sorry! I am the administrative professional, and there's been nary a mention of it today. Oh well, I say as I shrug my shoulders.|
|13.||Though her title has been changed several times, she is still the 'glue' that holds us all together and we know we can count on her, regardless of whatever is going on. She deserves much, much more than one day of special recognition!|
|14.||I used to have an excellent working relationship with my boss' administrative assistants, who would have done anything for me. My current boss' administrative assistant was nice enough to remind me of her responsibilities when I asked her to do something for me while copying in my boss on her response. It seems I don't rate any assistance from her. I still take my former boss' assistant out to lunch whenever we can get together as a reminder to me of what I once had.|
|15.||We call it "Staff Appreciation Day" and will have cake and other goodies to eat. We will also give each staff member a gift card. Of course this is all planned and executed by the staff. And we appreciate it.|
|16.||I dislike this day intensely. Even though my administrative professionals do not perform as a secretary used to, I never know whether they expect to be treated as a true professional and not be recognized on this day or if they will have their feelings hurt if not recognized. Who came up with this idea anyway?|
|17.||When I started here 7 years ago, the department had an AA, who was excellent. But after she retired the next year, the "powers that be" decided that we didn't need a full-time AA anymore. After experimenting with temps, and part-timers, we now make do all on our own. My time and salary would be better spent on the technical aspects of my position, but, I guess the "powers that be" don't mind that about 1/3 of my time is now spent on clerical work.|
|18.||I am the new person on the team, so I made an effort to speak with my AA. Upon learning that she loved the arts, I bought her a ticket to the ballet (great seats). I've already given it to her since it's something she has to plan for. She has taken the day off, arranging for a day of relaxation and a nice dinner downtown before she attends. She's been beaming ever since I handed it to her.|
|19.||If I had one, I would probably take him/her out to lunch and give them a card/gift. Been there/done that myself...they are usually the hardest workers around and get the least $.|
|20.||"Secretary's Day" was replaced by the more inclusive Administrative Professional's Day - and don't we all support someone, so it's everybody's day. I think it should be a holiday!|
|21.||Just give us a reason to to bring cake or other goodies and we are on it! Birthdays, anniversaries, whatever. If Hallmark makes a card for it - we bring in sweets.|
|22.||There is a local luncheon in honor of admin professionals. Our whole office will take our three to lunch.|
|23.||My bosses take the administrative staff out to lunch. I'm just going to give each a small token gift.|
|24.||This gets harder and harder because EVERY job has some administrative duties, and we are becoming more self-sufficient with technology. We generally order flowers and home-made fudge from a local flower shop for 5 individuals that we feel might still fit into this category.|
|25.||I don't directly work with any administrative assistants, but am supported by several. I'll send an email to the ones I work with the most, and stop to chat for a few minutes, as well.|
|26.||At my former workplace (different state), we consultants would throw a party for our Admin Assistants. It would always have a Cinco de Mayo theme. We cooked all the Mexican food, and there were margaritas, a pinata, and really nice prizes. Each of the AAs in our office went home with a nice gift. At my current workplace, although I basically do the same job, I have no AA. I do most of my own copying, mailing, and (worst of all) filing. I think I will take myself out to lunch next week!|
|27.||I wanted to select a and d but that is not an option...|
|28.||Administrative support? Oh, yeah, it's called "my computer".|
|29.||It's a silly day and I feel pressured into recognizing it.|
|30.||Even though she's technically our VP's AA, our team would not get anything done on time if she didn't help us all out. So, we'll get her a gift card and probably bring in breakfast for the team.|
|31.||Assistants (secretaries) seem to have almost disappeared from our office. We are an HR Group supporting 3000 employees in a utility. Almost everything is done by email internally - and we all compose,print, and send our own external letters. We do have a greeter/receptionist who sits near the lobby to handle walk-ins - but she has lots of admin duties herself-- none of which are to personally assist the senior members of our team. Our company has 9 VP's - who share 4 executive administrative specialists. Guess they are the only true Admin Professionals we have.|
|32.||I work full time for a TPA & Full time for my husband who's self employed. I don't expect to get anything from the TPA, but I will be reminding my husband that he MUST give his "Administrative Assistant" something for Administrative Professionals Day.|
|33.||I haven't had TRUE admin support since my days at W*...coming up on 10 years ago since those days occurred. Right now, the only folks at XYZ! who have dedicated admins are the highly placed execs. My third-line manager has an admin. She's in Indianapolis. He's in Atlanta. So it's not like she delivers his mail and makes copies for him. She does schedule his group meetings, but that's about it. He shares her with a dozen other managers.|
|34.||Our department's current admin assistant has only been with our group since April 1, so we will stick with a card this year.|
|35.||Our admin staff had the choice this year of being taken out to lunch or attending a seminar that will be fun, but also help them with their jobs. The majority chose the seminar.|
G. Really it could be me. But no one recognizes me as such. Ah well. 🙂
At the risk of sounding like a bad ol' country tune, "I'm my own Administrative Professional" - and I'll think I'll give myself a day off for the great job I'm doing!
I have no support to speak of so maybe I should send myself some flowers! Baa humbug!
survey = lunch
(a) + (b) = (e)
Survey Answer: g (I don't get no support)
g) and e). Our office has been through three "Administrative Professionals" in the last two months. So everyone, especially those who know how to make the office "run", have had to fill in. We will all probably go to lunch, with special recognition for the individuals who have to continually retrain the rest of us ignorant in the skills of producing air bills, dealing with reprographics, mail merging, etc. etc. etc.
(e) more than one of the above. Today the "big bosses" hosted breakfast for the administrative assistants and gave them each a nice little flower arrangement for their desks. I know it's a week early, but several of the assistants will be gone next week. On the actual day, we'll give them cards signed by everyone the assistant supports. Since we usually have treats in our dept., I'm sure there will be celebratory treats that day as well.
by the way.....I think your Wednesday Wisdom choice today is very appropriate.
Eek! Not again. We never know what to do.