Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Administrative Professionals' Day

I started my trek into the working world by working at my grandfather's truck rental business at the age of 14. I didn't want to babysit and at 14 there's only a few options you have to make money, the family business being the top of the heap. So I sat in the office putting together rental contracts (and screwing off, let's be honest) with one of my cousins during the summer for 2 years. This was the best job and the worst all rolled into one, but I learned many lessons there. Like these:
  • When you work, you may end up with the worst boss EVER. I love my grandfather, but he is horrible to work for. And the fact he paid me 85% of minimum wage because that's all he was required to still irks me to this day.
  • You will have to work with some seriously strange people - and put up with all their quirks. One of his employees was schizophrenic, one was nice w/a cute butt and all couldn't aim when using the bathroom.

Throw in a couple other things like learning how to make a decent cup of drip coffee & how to deal with problematic customers and it started me on my way for real jobs. I later left this business to work as a receptionist in a hair salon (what a fun job despite not paying well at all) and a few other interesting places.

Now what I've learned is there are some people who have never heard of Administrative Professionals Day. There are some people who have only heard of this day as Secretary's Day (did you see The Office last week?). There are some people who may have heard of this day but don't think it's a real holiday or that there's no need to celebrate. This is not a story of those that don't, this is a story of those that do.

Up until now I have not had a single company celebrate this holiday. I've worked in various positions that somehow fall under the umbrella of admin professionals and quite frankly I've always written it off as yet another day where people undervalue the position. You get to that point where if you don't expect anything, you will not be disappointed when nothing happens.

Then something does...and you're pretty much blown away.

I came into work on Wednesday to see the most beautiful flowers on my desk and a card that simply said "Thanks for all of your help." The woman who started a few weeks earlier had put them there and my eyes almost welled up in tears. Then later a meeting request came through stating "We are toasting Cass w/a wine and cheese party. Attendance mandatory." This meeting request came through as post dated for the previous Monday because most the people in my office have a little problem with Outlook. ;-) And during this meeting there was a card signed by everyone and a $100 gift card to Nordstrom.

Maybe blown away was an understatement. To know I'm valued where I am now finally makes everything click. I stayed at my last job for far too long and w/o getting laid off I know I'd probably still be there, still miserable.

If you've seen Up In the Air w/George Clooney this is his key phrase:

"Anybody who ever built an empire, or changed the world, sat where you are now. And it's *because* they sat there that they were able to do it."

Cheesy? Yes. Probably going to get you punched in the face if you say it to someone you let go? Yes. But something about that sat with me when I was watching it. Because for some people it really is true. I was lost when I first got laid off, but a few months later I found a company that I like, that does great work and values me as an employee. How many people can say that?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing. Nothing contributes to a positive workplace than with employees that feel appreciated and respected. GiftsOnTime organizes, schedules and sends all your admin professional day gifts for you!


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