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Happy Administrative Professionals Week

Time to give that pencil-pusher over in HR a hug!

This is Administrative Professionals Week, according to the International Association of Administrative Professionals. But just as one form or process is never enough to satisfy any administrative bureaucracy, one week isn't enough to celebrate administrative bureaucrats. There's also an Administrative Professionals Day, which is tomorrow, April 22nd. This year's theme is "Excellence in Action", and if you see any, let me know!

I went to the IAAP website to find out more, discovering a press release titled, "Even during a harsh economy, the outlook for office professionals looks bright". But when I clicked on the link to read the full release, the screen suddenly said, "Sorry, the page you are looking for has moved or no longer exists". I was redirected to some other parts of the website, but I never found the press release. It reminded me of the way I am redirected through the administrative maze at work, searching for answers, usually in vain.

However, I did learn there will be a 1st Annual Administrative Assistant of the Year Awardthis year, with a $1000 prize, sponsored by McCormick and Schmick's. That's a pretty nice prize.

But as much as I like to mock the whole administrative workers' raison d'etre, well, these people are just trying to make a living. More importantly, don't tick them off. They can make your life easy, or hard. Ok, if you do want to tick them off, there's help online. A blog on Guidespot is titled "How to P%*$ Your Assistant",written by veteran Funny Business reader "Helena Handbasket". Helena sounds like she's been on the receiving end of her own advice: "Treat him or her like garbage, make them work long hours, and never reward them for their hard work to make you, the boss, look good."

The Office
Courtesy of NBC
The Office

Her specific suggestions include:

  • Always make your assistant get you (and your friends) meal reservations but never take them out to lunch
  • Address your assistant by any name other than their own
  • Make your assistant arrange your family vacation ("Your assistant will probably not have the time or money for a vacation since you work them so hard and pay so little.")
  • Make sure your assistant makes you comprehensive travel itineraries ("Have them type everything out in a separate document as well as print out all the information from the travel agency and give it to you before you leave. But don't ever look at it. Make sure you call your assistant multiple times and ask them what your flight number is, when it is leaving, if you have a car booked etc.")
  • Call your assistant in the middle of the night...(to tell him/her they have to come in early the next day because the printer is out of ink and you don't know how to open a box and install a new toner cartridge...")
  • Get mad at your assistant for doing exactly what you asked them to do
  • Make sure your spouse calls you 10 times a day...("Extra points if your 3 year old is screaming into the phone while your spouse is trying to talk to your assistant.")

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