Monday, April 24, 2006

Secretary's Day

Yeah, I know. It's called "Administrative Professionals Day" or some silly such thing. Or that's what they tell us. But, to me, tomorrow (Wednesday) is Secretary's Day.

It bothers me a little when people say things like "I'm an adminstrative professional" or "I'm an administrative assistant" or whatever. What's wrong with being a secretary?

You ever watch The Day the Earth Stood Still? The kid, Bobby, is talking to Klaatu (Michael Rennie) about his mom, Helen (Patricia Neal). Bobby's mom works for the government, for the Secretary of Commerce. Helen, according to Bobby, "is a real secretary" unlike her boss who is just called that.

And, like Bobby, I think that a "real secretary" is one of the most important people there is in business. A good secretary runs an office, whether she (or he) intends too or not. And a secretary is more than just an "administrative assistant." Heck, you can get an administrative asssistant from Kelley Services. Not that there's anything wrong with Kelley or any temp service. I've been a Kelley temp. (Yes, it's true: I was a Kelley Girl!)

The point is that a secretary is more than an administrative assistant. A secretary doesn't just assist with the administration. A secretary is the administrator of the office.

I guess the old jokes and stereotypes of the secretary running around the desk from the boss ... or running around with the boss ... got to too many people. Or maybe there's another reason. But, if it's like all those other re-naming of things, then it's probably something silly.

If you're a secretary, take pride in tomorrow being Secretary's Day. If you're not properly appreciated, and if it takes calling yourself an "administrative assistant" or "administrative professional" to be appreciated, then the person you work for is an ass. Find another job and leave them twisting in the wind.

And have a happy Secretary's Day.

Oh, and if you have a secretary, let him* know how much you appreciate him*.

And not just one day. Every day. Or they'll leave you twisting in the wind.


  1. You, a Kelly girl?! Now I bet that's an interesting story! As a former secretary, I can say I never ran around a desk but I can also say sometimes the men were too friendly and the sexatary jokes were old and annoying! I agree that if you have an assistant you like you should compensate her/him if you want them to stick around!
    A Kelly Girl! (Was there kidding involved?)

  2. Thanks basil! I printed your post out for my boss.

  3. [...] So why is everyone running around calling themselves “administrative professionals” or legal asssistants now? Basil get’s it very close to dead on right. [...]

  4. I agree with you completely about the secretary thing. And I LOVE that movie, 'The Day The Earth Stood Still". I actually have it on DVD. Am I weird or what?


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