Thursday, April 27, 2006

Administrative Professional's Day...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 was Administrative Professional's Day. My Executive Director presented me with a bouquet of orchids, a gift card for Chapters and a thank you card "for all of the support" that I provide. Our Manager of Support Services presented me with a hot coffee and a muffin and her verbal appreciation of my contribution to our agency.

Now...was that really all that difficult? One day, to take the time to say "hey...thanks, we appreciate your hard work". One day, to enjoy some well earned appreciation for all that we do. I have been fortunate to work with people who realize that it's important to take the time to say thank you. But that is not always the case with the population at large. Now, I have some mixed feelings about this day. It use to be called Secretary's Day. And just so we're clear..."I AM NOT A SECRETARY!".

I heard the announcer on the local radio station poking fun at this day no less than half a dozen times. He maginalized my profession by saying "hey, Administrative's just a fancy name for a Secretary. After all it's still the chick that answers the phone. Right?".

I SO take offence to this attitude. I will have you know that: a) answering phones is less than 1% of my job b) I am not a receptionist c) I do not get coffee c) my duties include, tech support (hardware and software), network administrator, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, database management, facility management, project coordination, Employer's Certified Health & Safety Rep, Health & Safety Accident Investigation & Inspections, Health & Safety research and training, audit preparation, budget development and yes, I prepare correspondence too. Then, there are all the duties that fall under the "and other duties as assigned" category of my job. Which, basically, includes all the crap no one else will do.

When I hear people belittle my profession with comments like "Domestic Engineers...still vacuum your house and prepared your meals, it's just a fancy name for Housewives after all. So why not call Administrative Professionals what they are, Secretaries?". I'll tell you why. Because we would RIOT. We are tired of being the beasts of burden who do most of the work and get none of the credit. Actually, in some cases, I've taken the blame for something that was not my fault, just so that my boss was not portray in an unflattering light.

We perform these duties unflinchingly, we know our responsibility is to keep things running smoothly and to make our Executives look good. And for the most part we accept our role as "the person behind the curtain" and we carry on. But for one day a year...I would appreciate it... if I could actually enjoy the acknowledgement of my dedication and hard work without some chauvinistic, sarcastic, blithering idiot disparaging my profession.

Enough said. I need a martini!

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