Today was Administrative Professional’s Day (the holiday formerly known as Secretary’s Day). It’s the day of the year that the boss usually gives the Receptionist, Secretary, Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant or Office Manager a little something to show that they’re appreciated even though the other 364 days of the year they’re generally treated as something just a step above slave labor.
Don’t get me wrong… I’ve heard tales of offices where support staff are treated as valuable team members, I’ve just never worked anywhere that people actually believed that and acted accordingly. (I have worked for two bosses who felt that way, but the rest of the staff didn’t share the feeling). And to any of you boss-type people who ever happen to read this, if you treat your support staff well all year long, kudos to you.
There have been a couple of occasions where the holiday has meant flowers AND a nice lunch out. There have been several jobs I’ve had where I at least got flowers. There have been a few jobs like my current one where not only were there no goodies (And yes, I completely understand that I get a paycheck and am not ENTITLED to goodies, too) but there was no acknowledgement whatsoever of the holiday.
I fairly regularly work 45+ hours a week and only put 40 hours on my timecard. I went in on a weekend and cleaned for 3.5 hours, claimed 2.5 hours of overtime and was told that there’s no budget for overtime and since it was not pre-approved it would not be paid, so gave up part of my weekend essentially for no recompense. I’m a contractor who has no paid holidays or sick time who was just told that the current economy pretty much guarantees that there will be no renewal of my contract (which makes me think, shouldn’t the company I am working FOR at least have sent a “Happy Administrative Professional’s Day” email even if the company I am working AT didn’t??). I come in early, I stay late, I don’t run up $700 cell phone bills like a certain previous person in the position did and I have been told I make a damn fine cup of coffee but no one could even take a second to acknowledge Administrative Professional’s Day. And since I’ve been reminded by MORE THAN one person that I am “just a secretary”, was it really too much to believe that someone could at least verbally say “Happy Administrative Professional’s Day”? Apparently, the answer is yes.
I know I should shake it off and not let it bother me. But I feel sometimes as if I am worth less than other people because I am “just a secretary”. It’s not a good feeling.