This week is Administrative Professionals Week, and Wednesday, April 22, 2015, is Administrative Professionals Day. This recognition of the secretaries and other administrative professional employees that support our businesses began in the 1950s as National Secretaries Week (and Day). The name of the celebration changed in 2000 to address the changing nature of clerical roles in the workplace.
I don’t know of any manager or professional person in any organization who doesn’t rely heavily on a strong administrative support staff. In my own case, they have saved me from many errors and managed my life for the better on many occasions:
- “Where’s Attachment C? I think you gave me last week’s version.”
- “I had to move your appointment with the VP to 10:00. But I held 9:00 open so you can get ready for the meeting.”
- “Your son called. He missed his flight. I re-booked him tomorrow.”
- ”Did you really mean to copy so-and-so on this letter?”
When I published my novel, Playing the Game, I wrote:
“This novel is dedicated to administrative professionals everywhere. They are the ones who keep businesses running.”
The administrative employees in Playing the Game are all named after secretaries I knew during my corporate career. I admired them all.
Today I remember and honor two of my admins who are now deceased—Deanna and Diane. Deanna, who passed away in 2006, was given a role in Playing the Game. My next novel will have to include an admin named Diane; the Diane I knew died this last year.
Deanna was the most competent all-around secretary I ever had, and she worked hard. Not only did she organize my work day, but she kept my boss on track as well. She was the only person he trusted to put together his complicated PowerPoint presentations and strategic planning manuals.
Diane was one of the fastest and most accurate typists in the law office where I worked. I barely had a brief dictated before she had it on my desk. I could trust her to make revisions accurately. She didn’t have any legal training, but she had a good editor’s eye.
I am grateful to these two women and to all the administrative employees who have helped me over the years.
Who are the administrative professionals who impressed you the most during your career? Have you thanked them?