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Are You Ready For National Administrative Professionals' Day?

Wednesday is National Administrative Professionals' Day, the day we thank all of those who keep our days on track, our printers full of paper, and our clients thinking we're on top of our game. But what does the average office worker think of the average administrative assistant? got the skinny. Don't put me on hold, because this ought to be good.

Before I go any further, I should say that Blogger has been warning its users for more than a month that it would be "upgrading" its layout and Friday was the day. I logged in, only to realize that I had NO IDEA where anything was on this blog anymore. It was like my local grocery store has been moved suddenly to a secret location, and when I finally tracked it down everything was on a new aisle. There was no amount of coffee to help me cope -- being the technophobe I am -- and so I took the day off. (And Google/Blogger, I'm not a fan of the redesign. Why fix something that wasn't broken? Sorry, pet peeve.)

Anyway, back to the survey, which included 624 people queried over Facebook and Twitter. Is a social media survey statistically valid, though? Erm, let's just run with it since it finds the average administrative assistant is a VIP (very important player) in the office. More important than the boss, in fact, since almost two-thirds of office workers Staples surveyed (65.2%) said the office "would more likely fall apart" without the admin assistant, while fewer than one-third (30.3%) said the same thing would happen if the boss were gone. Ouch.

When the average admin assistant isn't holding everything together, he or she is doing a little bit of everything else -- from HR to accounting to random bouts of nebulous "personal support" (concierge, therapist, miracle worker). And what's theirs belongs to everyone else: Roughly 43% of U.S. administrative assistants think their personal office supplies tend to get treated as public property (e.g., "May I borrow your pen/pencil/computer/stapler/staple remover/chair/eraser/paper clip?"). Too bad they don't get extra compensation for all the over-sharing. The average U.S. administrative professional will earn $51,097 this year. No wonder they have a long list of complaints.

I'll keep this post short, because I know you'll need time to find the perfect gift for the hard-working administrative assistants in your company. I know, I know -- another $25-to-$50 gift card, right? That's okay, though, and it's what the majority of administrative professionals in the survey expect to receive this year. Actually, the majority (62%) think they'll get nothing except for another last-minute Post-It note or email requesting an additional 50 copies of some random report. Well, I guess it's better than washing and sterilizing the fizzy lifting drinks machine. This remix never gets old.

A majority (67.8%) of office workers surveyed, however, stammered that no, they're planning to pony up for a gift this year, whether it's a gift card (the most popular idea), flowers or food. Throw in a bottle of disinfecting spray while you're at it, guys. Just don't make the administrative assistant pick out his or her own gift, okay?


  1. Thank you for sharing. Admin professional day gifts go a long way to letting someone know that you appreciate them. I love that you included a clip from Willy Wonka!


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