NotQuiteProfitable.com is happy to celebrate Administrative Professional’s Day and every member of the management team is happy to provide flowers, candy, long & expensive lunches and anything else that will prevent a reoccurrence of last year’s events.
If you will remember, last year during this same week, the management team had decided that the time was ripe to drastically downsize the number of administrative professionals within the corporation. With voicemail taking messages and spell-checkers correcting their most egregious (( “Egregious” – now there is a word we would not have attempted without a spell-checker and an online thesaurus. )) mistakes, many managers no longer knew what to expect from their administrative assistants. Computer-based calendars had taken over the responsibilities for keeping the managers on their schedules. Wikipedia had allowed many managers to retain the appearance of understanding complex topics without any research assistance. In general, these and other support technologies had removed the need for many of the crutches that the managers had required in the past.
As mentioned, many of the managers would admit, if pressed, they had no idea what to expect of an administrative professional. These managers had some awareness of the functions required of a secretary, largely based on examples from sitcoms and movies. Once the name changed from “secretary” to “administrative professional”, they were at a loss. With coffee machines in every hallway, there no longer seemed a need to ask someone to bring them a cup. Those who tried were often too afraid to attempt it a second time. Visions of Dabney Coleman in “9 to 5” were just below the surface of each manager’s consciousness.
Which brings us to last year. The down-sizing memo from management had barely hit everyone’s in-baskets when strange things began to happen.
- The copier ran out of paper, toner and refused to show any status other than “ERROR 8”.
- The photos from the previous Christmas party were mysteriously mailed to spouses and significant others.
- All of the “filler meetings” that managers scheduled to make sure they had no available spots on their schedules suddenly disappeared. As a result their calendars were empty for seven hours of each day.
- Managerial expense reports were accurately and truthfully filled out resulting in a significant loss of untaxed income.
- The video from the sales conference that was promised to “stay in Vegas”, did not.
- A copy of the fill-in-the-blank and “change ‘gender’ to ‘she’ or ‘he’ in all” performance review form was distributed to all employees along with the ranking randomizer program.
Miraculously, when the memo was rescinded with a hastily worded, “just kidding”, everything returned to normal. Subsequent arbitration sessions provided all administrative professionals with the corporate equivalent of tenure and we backed away from the abyss. It somehow seems appropriate the we stop worrying about just what Administrative Professionals do all day, since we have long stopped worrying about what their managers do all day.
[Pat, after you clean this up and post it on the internal web site, why don’t you take the rest of the day off?]