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April 16, 2014
By Lisa Dare

With Administrative Professionals Day on April 27 (a date you should have burned in your memory), we’d like to remind you that there are many reasons to treat the admininstrative pros in your office with kindness and respect. And maybe just a touch of fear.

1. She has more power than you realize. From selecting holiday outings to determining office space configurations, the AA has her fingers in every aspect of employee relations and operations. Don’t think that affects your life? Just wait until a mandatory meeting gets scheduled in the middle of your long-planned vacation. Or your office is relocated next to the employee kitchen that always smells of burnt popcorn.

2. Everyone sucks up to the executive assistant, and he’ll notice if you’re the odd man out. Almost everyone is a little afraid of the top boss’s aide, even if they don’t quite know why. Don’t be the person to find out what they have to fear.

3. She has the keys to the calendar kingdom. Need to find out if the boss is leaving early that holiday weekend so you can safely sneak out? Forgot to request time for an important meeting? There’s only one way in; hope you haven’t irritated the gatekeeper!

4. His boss relies on him for company gossip. The boss knows everyone is on their best behavior around her. She may be on to your goody-two-shoes act but can’t find out the real dirt herself. That’s where the administrative assistant comes in. So next time you dump that half-finished project into the AA’s lap to complete, just remember he gets to decide how much to tell the boss about what happened after the party holiday.

5. She knows more about you than you think. Between seeing the boss’s correspondence and calendar (you wouldn't believe what kind of info people put in Outlook), and taking notes during confidential meetings, the office assistant probably knows everything, from how you rated on your last performance review to which department is being considered for a reduction. If you're extra nice, she might even tell you where the secret stash of good pens is stored.  

6. His job is harder than you think. Performing well in the average administrative assistant job requires more organization, patience, knowledge and planning ability than launching a rocket. Respect the position!

7. It must be the money. Chances are your office administrator plays a big role in tracking and shaping your department’s budget. So if you really want to attend that conference, you might start thinking about bribes now. Quality baked goods are almost always acceptable.

Enjoy this article?  Read What does your IT style say about you? and The IT Roundup.  

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