The Hallmark holidays are hard on everyone, but none will struggle more than bosses ahead of this Wednesday’s Administrative Professionals Day. To assist, Elitism & Me Magazine offers these 10 tips for surviving the most needless workplace holiday since “National Take a Concealed Weapon to Work Day”:
- Don’t forget it. Be assured your admins have the day circled, highlighted and flagged with 12 sticky arrows. Failure to observe will only add to their sense of righteous insolence.
- Give a taste of first class. Don’t underestimate the vicarious pleasure your Admin takes from your first-class lifestyle. So instead of sharing just one self-impressed self-deprecating story a day, regale her with two. Preferably the quaint one about your family’s annual DIY Whole Foods shopping excursions and your fierce brand loyalty to that Scandinavian airline with the first-class seats named after gods.
- Don’t call them “secretaries.” This is insulting, not to your Admin, but to classic secretaries who were once highly educated and skilled. They advised and handled correspondences for great men like George Washington and Thomas Edison. Notable secretaries included Alexander Hamilton, Nikita Khrushchev and Moses’ brother Aaron – none of whom ever loudly smacked gum.
- Over-compliment her innovative 12-color filing system. Ignore that no one can figure it out (including you when she takes a weeklong stay-cation at the Sybaris). Just apply an ego massage by saying why can’t every admin do everything just like her.
- Don’t take your Admin to lunch. This suggests more equality than appropriate. Plus you’ll be subjected to long-winded stories about drug-dealing boyfriends, the other admins (whose names you always forget), and the ongoing dramas of former Reality TV stars (whose names you never knew).
- Surprise her with macadamia nuts. It’s the least you can do for her expert handling of you and your wife’s travel arrangements to the Executive Leadership Retreat in Manele Bay, Hawai’i. (Too bad your Admin couldn’t attend due to corporate belt-tightening).
- Don’t give office products as gifts. Since most admins are in charge of restocking the supply cabinet, be confident your Admin already has everything needed to furnish two home offices. So a plain Mylar balloon with curly ribbons or an all-weather sports seat cushion can suffice.
- Clear your own paper jams for one day. As much as your Admin enjoys mothering you through every desktop printer headache, this will free time for her to complete your 17th revision of your inter-departmental memo opus.
- Don’t ask her to “get yourself something nice.” No admin likes open-ended assignments that require independent thought. Even if you gave her enough cash to buy bedazzled Ugg ballet slippers for the walk home, you’ll be more appreciated if if you simply give her the latest Jennifer Hudson weight-loss book.
- “Promote” her to Chief of Staff. It’s a change in title only with no salary bump, but you’ll never worry again about forgetting Administrative Professionals Day.
SkitSketchJeff is Jeff Burdick, who founded Elitism & Me Magazine as a self-love matchmaking service for Choate alumni.