Poll

In the US, April 27 is Administrative Professionals Day (previously Secretaries Day).  How do you celebrate?

I don't, because I don't have an administrative assistant.
18 (43.9%)
I don't, because it's old fashioned/sexist.
2 (4.9%)
I don't, because it's unnecessary/I am cheap.
6 (14.6%)
I give my assistant a gift (details below, if you want to).
6 (14.6%)
I have never heard of this.
9 (22%)

Total Members Voted: 40

Author Topic: Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)  (Read 3957 times)

onlykelsey

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Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)
« on: April 13, 2016, 07:33:32 AM »
In the US, April 27 is Administrative Professionals Day (previously Secretaries Day).  How do you celebrate, if all?

I adore my assistant, and want to be very generous to her, but it seems like this holiday is a bit patronizing (see: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2015/04/20/its-time-to-end-secretaries-day).  I think historically assistants/secretaries got zero respect, and then we gave them (all women earning not very much) pretty flowers and jewelry one day a year.  She's a pretty progressive personality, very in to art, has a MFA, and has been the assistant to one of her lawyers for 15 years (I think since she finished her MFA).

On the other hand, she's great, and I want her to be happy and have all the gifts she wants and not be secretly upset at me for not getting her a gift.

FWIW, she is the assistant to 6 lawyers, who earn probably 400K on average (median more like 180K, though, with a very successful lawyer at the top). 

nobody123

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Re: Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2016, 07:40:37 AM »
I've generally given flowers / a plant for her desk area (she enjoys that) and something like a restaurant gift card.  She is a departmental admin, so usually 2 or 3 of us senior guys split the cost.  We don't want her to be the only admin in the building who didn't get something, so there's some peer pressure to continue doing it.  However, we have a really good admin who actively tries to make our lives easier, so I look at it as a small investment for a big return.

onlykelsey

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Re: Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2016, 07:57:54 AM »
Have you asked the other lawyers what they've done in the past? Have you asked HER if she wants to be recognized in this way and what she thinks of the holiday?

Have asked the other lawyers and am waiting to hear back.  Two of them are as new as I am and one earns literally ~10 times what I do and has dragged her from job to job, so I'm not sure if his input will be helpful.  Have not asked her.  I think if I were asked if I wanted to be celebrated, I would say no, even if I desperately did.  Women, man.

(maybe I shouldn't project too much, though)

I'm a red panda

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Re: Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2016, 08:00:23 AM »
Our office gives our admins a card. Neither is MY assistant however, so no gift.

onlykelsey

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Re: Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2016, 08:02:21 AM »
I've generally given flowers / a plant for her desk area (she enjoys that) and something like a restaurant gift card.  She is a departmental admin, so usually 2 or 3 of us senior guys split the cost.  We don't want her to be the only admin in the building who didn't get something, so there's some peer pressure to continue doing it.  However, we have a really good admin who actively tries to make our lives easier, so I look at it as a small investment for a big return.

I absolutely am not looking to save $50, more worried if it will come across as patronizing.  Like, why do we have secretaries day and not IT help desk or janitor day?  It seems like we're making up for something (and we were, historically, and perhaps still are).

Agreed on the peer pressure point, I imagine that will be an issue here, too.  I'd love to know what other folks are doing.

sonjak

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Re: Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2016, 08:25:19 AM »
I was an assistant when I first started out in my career and I really appreciated getting something on this day.  Honestly, a lot of the work you do as an assistant feels pretty thankless and a lot of people treat you like you're stupid/incompetent.  It is nice to have a day where you are recognized for all the contributions you make.

We have several admins in our business and I SO appreciate them.  Extra because I know how much work it is to stay organized (or put up with someone else's disorganization), put up with getting crapped on - all with a smile on your face. 

I got them all something last year (card, fresh baked goods and a flowering plant for their desks) except for the Executive Assistant who I see more as a peer than an assistant.  Someone else got her something though so I asked her about it and she wasn't angry that I didn't get her something but she was definitely "open" to it and was not offended by the person who did.  Reading between the lines, I could see she would have appreciated it - she sees herself as an assistant (and a very good one).  I am planning to get her something this year along with the others.

You could include a card that acknowledges that it might come across as patronizing but you adore her too much not to risk it.  :)

boarder42

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Re: Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 08:30:02 AM »
i work for an employee owned company where everyone gets shares based on their income.  i think you'd be hard pressed to get an admin job at another company with these kinds of crazy benefits.  so i see that as their gift.

Fi(re) on the Farm

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Re: Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2016, 08:35:16 AM »
There was no appropriate choice in the poll for me. I'm a secretary for a government agency and I work for 15 attorneys. While I appreciate the recognition I don't really need a gift. Every year I get a gift bag full of candy, candles etc and a gift card. I stick the gift card in my wallet and then forget about it and usually regift the stuff in the bag. The killer is that my net worth is higher than almost all of theirs.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2016, 01:16:39 PM »
I absolutely am not looking to save $50, more worried if it will come across as patronizing.  Like, why do we have secretaries day and not IT help desk or janitor day?  It seems like we're making up for something (and we were, historically, and perhaps still are).

Agreed on the peer pressure point, I imagine that will be an issue here, too.  I'd love to know what other folks are doing.

Those days would probably be nice too; but the one that get's me is Boss's day.  In my opinion every other friday is bosses day- when he gets a paycheck twice as large as mine...

okits

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Re: Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2016, 07:23:50 PM »
Have you asked the other lawyers what they've done in the past? Have you asked HER if she wants to be recognized in this way and what she thinks of the holiday?

Have asked the other lawyers and am waiting to hear back.  Two of them are as new as I am and one earns literally ~10 times what I do and has dragged her from job to job, so I'm not sure if his input will be helpful.  Have not asked her.  I think if I were asked if I wanted to be celebrated, I would say no, even if I desperately did.  Women, man.

(maybe I shouldn't project too much, though)

The one who has brought her along from job to job can at least tell you what he's done in the past (even if the answer is "nothing".)

If you ask her, don't ask "do you want to be celebrated"?  Ask her what gesture/gift would make her feel most appreciated.  Provide examples (flowers, gift basket, wine, lunch out, gift card, etc.)  If you can collect a decent sum from those she supports (say, at least $100), would a nice card + cash be crass?  Everyone is different but I would think an unexpected cash bonus would put a smile on most people's faces.

notactiveanymore

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Re: Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2016, 08:40:12 AM »
I'm an executive assistant with reports to all 5 senior staff members. I never get anything on administrative professionals day and I'm fine with that. Last year my co-worker tried to get me to go in with her for a bosses day gift, but I think that's the most ridiculous thing ever. I'm cool with not doing anything for either "holiday".

Before this job (my 3rd year here), I was a legislative assistant for 1 year and a non-profit admin assistant for just under a year. The state rep I worked for was the only one who gave me something on admin professionals day, and he got me a nice potted flower for my desk which I did really appreciate. It was a really stressful legislative session and we'd had a lot of threats to the office, so it was especially nice at that time to get some recognition. I was also only making 25k a year with that job and I make 43k now, so maybe that was part of it.

At the office now, I usually get special christmas gifts (above the organization-wide gift card) from three of the senior staffers and another high-level manager that I work with 1/3 of the time. However, I also have to contribute $ towards gifts for the CEO and CFO at the holidays.

If you've got a good relationship with the assistant and/or if they've really been an asset on some projects, I think a note in email or card form thanking them for their work and saying how much you appreciate their determination/organization/resourcefulness would be a nice gesture. If you want to add a small gift card or their favorite candy bar, that could be nice without establishing a ridiculous precedence.

pachnik

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Re: Poll: Administrative Professionals' Day (April 27)
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2016, 08:45:47 AM »
I am a legal admin. assistant.  At my current job, i haven't received anything for Admin. Professionals Day and I don't care.  My bosses are extremely generous on my birthday (last year I received an Ipad) and Christmas.  I am also very well treated at my job every day which matters to me the most. 

However, I think a gift card is always a good idea if you want to give a present that day.  It's really nice that you are thinking about it.