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Administrative Professionals Week: Will the boss remember?

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Question: "My boss never remembers that it's Administrative Professionals Week. Is it rude to send him an e-mail reminder? How do other admins make sure their bosses know it's a special week? And how are bosses showing their appreciation?"— P.D., Virginia


Last year, I put a bug in the ear of an eager vendor sales remind my boss--It worked out great; I received a gift card to my favorite dept store and flowers!! - K.I., P. Bch, FL

If you manage your boss's schedule, whether electronic or paper, put a notation on it and set the reminder for them.

I've never had to worry about my boss not remembering Administrative Professionals day. However, the person who adds "special" dates to our printed company calendar has the day as Friday, April 25th. Should be interesting to see how many bosses forget or wait until Friday to actually recognize their assistants.

I believe Administrative Professionals Week was created by the Hallmark company to sell cards. I would rather be rewarded when my boss feels like sincerely rewarding me rather than having it be determined by a greeting card company.

I had the same problem but I didn't dare remind my bosses so I reminded my husband and he sent me flowers, and a box of strawberries covered on chocolate with a ballon. My boss pass by and asked what was the special ocasion, I told him and next day I had a gift card to my fav dept store. It worked.....

Carla, Administrative Professionals Day was first organized in 1952 as "National Secretaries Week" by the National Secretaries Association (now known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals) in conjunction with public relations executive Harry Klemfuss and a consortium of office product manufacturers. It was established as an effort to recognize secretaries for their contributions in the workplace, and to attract people to secretarial/administrative careers.

I am a member of IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals), and we have an annual workshop and luncheon put on by our local chapter. As soon as the information is out, I send my boss a luncheon invitation in Outlook; he accepts, or if he is expected to be away, he appoints someone else to take me. He is also very much in favour of me attending the workshops for self-development and then he meets me there for lunch.

I also sometimes send a reminder to the other VP's in my company. I ensure that my own support staff has a bouquet or plant on each of their desks on the Monday of Admin Professionals Week as a reminder. There are tactful ways and I don't think any boss will disapprove of a reminder. In fact, they should appreciate it.

I am a member of IAAP and our chapter puts on an event every year in conjunction with Administrative Professionals Week. I go to my boss and ask if the company will sponsor me to attend the event. That way it is a win-win situation. I remind him that he will be giving me something, and I will be learning something to bring back to the office that will benefit my company. You can check to see if there are any IAAP sponsored events in your area by checking the IAAP website.
This year our chapter is doing Microsoft Office Tips and Tricks, and Blackberry 101. I am going to bring back a lot of information that I can pass on to my co-workers.

My boss has never remembered AP day, and the first year it really hurt my feelings - he didn't even say 'thanks for all the hard work (and that's really all I think anyone should ever expect). I've worked with him now for nearly 7 years, and it's hurt less each year. I've learned he doesn't do anything on special days - birthdays, Christmas and other holidays are usually forgotten. However, he is a wonderful boss otherwise and a great mentor so I try to remember that's it's just another day and that he truly appreciates me, he just doesn't show it often. My husband has taken up the reigns, although my boss still is clueless, and I always have flowers or a gift certificate for a massage (my favorite treat).

Funny thing is that we have an AP lunch with the rest of administration, and it still doesn't tip him off.

I think putting a reminder on the calendar would work best.

I've worked with my boss for over 10 years. She tells me, regularly, how much she appreciates me and my talents. She's never forgotten AP day. She puts a reminder on her calendar and usually has me pick out a place to have lunch with the entire office (there are only 6 of us).

I find the day demeaning. I would rather receive appreciation when I do a good job than get a plant (again) just because it is Admin Day. That doesn't mean I am appreciated - that means the people to whom I provide support can feel relieved that they've done their duty by me. I would also rather receive support for being a valued member of my department/team than for being an Admin. I agree with Carla. Although the day was created originally with good intentions, currently it is observed by tossing around money in the form of cards, flowers and lunches.

I like being remembered during Administrative Professionals Week but I also would rather have it at various times throughout the year for accomplishments. The two people I work immediately for always remember and give me something. The boss over our whole department does nothing. The Assistant for the head of our firm arranges for all the admins to have a lunch at a very nice restaurant here. It is very nice however, as usual, it is another assistant who is planning and doing everything. Our bosses don't do a thing but approve us all to be gone for an extra 1/2 at lunchtime.

As the Exec. Admin. for the General Manager, I set his calendar. I have Admin. Professional Day as a yearly event on his calendar. If you do not have access to his calendar, I suggest you send him an email reminder of the day.
We have 7 Admins in our company and the Directors, General Manager, and Admins go out for lunch. Individually, the Directors have been known to give cards and/or flowers to their respective Admins. As a group, we work hard since we are involved in a 24/7, 365 operation. We appreciate the recognition and our Directors appreciate the dedication we have for what we do. Good all around time for everyone!

My gut feeling says you should never ask to get a gift. However if he likes to give all employees vs only you a gift then you could remind him. I remind the owner here because he would feel awful if he forgot, but I get the same gift as all staff. So I do it more for his reputation and the other staff.

I agree with Lisa. I would rather be appriciated and complimented when I do a great job. Also would like to be considered a valued member of the company. We get paid for doing the work for which we are hired for, but once in a while thank you is arreciated for work well done.

I put a notation on my boss's calendar about the date, more because he would feel awful about forgetting it than I would if he forgot it.

When I asked my boss why I wasn't put in for civilian of the year in my category, he stated he didn't think I was competitive. After he read accomplishment bullets I emailed to him, he admitted he made a mistake, however, he would not man-up and tell his boss he errored and wanted to make a late submission for me. He told me he would make up for it by putting me in for civilian of the quarter when the time came. When I heard "not competitive" I knew what my value to him was - very little or nothing. Now that I'm leaving in a few weeks, he is just beginning to understand what I accomplish for his squadron. Remember Administrative Professionals Week - that's going to happen - in my dreams. When I was awarded the Best Security Manager Program on our base by another organization, my boss did not congratulate me. He has a lot to learn. Wait until he gets a secretary and administrative assistant that will not empty his trash and recycleables, clean his breakroom and kitchen, stock the squadron snack bar, and bake birthday cakes for associates... what will he do? He barely recognizes the work I do - remember Admin Pro Week? No... I'm going out to lunch with a couple of our base's senior secretaries to thank them for their support and advice for the past three years along with presenting them with a plaque to remember the good times.

Put a reminder on his calendar, if this is something that is important to you. If my boss forgot, it wouldn't bother me because she treats me consistently well throughout the year—which is the greatest gift I can ask for from her. However, we do manage to get out for lunch in two separate groups during the week. I use the week to invite out the AAs within our Division (since my boss is the head cheese), and I let their bosses know I’m taking them out, when and why which is my way of reminding their bosses that the week is coming up. But it gives the AAs a chance to bond (since we don’t all work in one location), and for me to thank them as I call on them throughout the year. It’s not just about the bosses thanking their secretaries and/or assistants, but we should all take time to thank those who make our jobs a little easier. Maybe if you put your focus on others, it wouldn't sting as much when your boss forgets.

I personally do not like to participate in Administrative Professionals Week. I think that if my boss appreciates me, she will acknowledge me throughout the year with a heart-felt "thank you". Also, my lunch time is "my" time and I do things for me. I would prefer not spending that time with my boss or with others. I actually feel like it is an inconvenience for my boss to have to participate in the "event", so that doesn't make me feel like participating in it either. Why do I want to be the person who is causing the boss all that "trouble". If it isn't sincere, then forget about it.

I highlighted on every calendar April 23, so when my boss looks at the calendar he will see it. That way if he really wants to do something it is sincere, otherwise I know that he really doesn't care.

I highlighted on every calendar April 23, so when my boss looks at the calendar he will see it. That way if he really wants to do something it is sincere, otherwise I know that he really doesn't care.

I totally forgot about it. My boss, on the other hand, didn't. Though, I guess I'm one of the lucky ones who works for a great woman that takes care of me no matter what day it is.
Truthfully, I think too much is being made of it. Do you really need a day to be "recognized"? My guess is that if you feel like you do, you either don't work for a very gracious person, or you expect too much.
My former City Manager was never really into gifts or holidays. The only reason admins received anything on this day was because the Chamber of Commerce hosted a brunch and made a big deal out of it - everyone who was anyone was there. But I knew from his actions how much he appreciated me. When I moved out of state, he allowed the other ladies to host a party for me, in the middle of the day at work. In front of everyone there, he told me that he'd never felt as efficient and capable as he did with me as his assistant. As the solo city employee invited to his son's Air Force Academy Acceptance reception, I always knew where I stood with him.
It's the little things that matter, not a plant at the end of April.

I agree with some of the other posters; I'd rather be recognized by my boss for a job well done throughout the year, and don't really care about this "Hallmark holiday." I'm very lucky, though, because I have a boss who is wonderful at recognizing me. (My previous boss was not as good at recognition, but I looked at it as a reflection on him, not on me. He simply wasn't good about remembering to say "thank you," but I do know he appreciated me.)

To me, it seems presumptuous to put this day on the boss's calendar - it's like asking for a gift.

I stand corrected. My boss took me out to lunch for Admin Pro Day. He was reminded by senior management. We talked about world events and enjoyed a Mexican food lunch. I understand he tries hard to do the right thing. Thanks to my boss for the good lunch and conversation.

We've turned this day into "Office Professionals Day" at our company. We usually try and do something special for the entire office (managers, admins, and all others). Last year we catered a lunch. This year, many teams had already gone out on their own to celebrate so we ordered a cake late in the week and enjoyed a nice break with cake and coffee in the afternoon.

I did "Administrative Professionals Week" because I knew she was going to be our of the office most of the week. She made sure that base was covered and arranged for another manager to order flowers & take the admins to lunch. She is a terrific boss and I wish we could clone her.

I did remind her of "Administrative Professionals Week" because I knew she was going to be our of the office most of the week. She made sure that base was covered and arranged for another manager to order flowers & take the admins to lunch. She is a terrific boss and I wish we could clone her.

My company takes the prize for celebrating Administrative Assistant's day. Last year, our administrative supervisor was fired on Admins Day just as the flowers were being delivered. A week prior to that, one of the head honchos expressed the opinion that admin gifts were too costly and they would be scaling the event back this year. Well, they scaled it back all right. No one received recognition this year, not a card, nor a gift, or even a verbal thank you. Nice to know how much our efforts are appreciated -- NOT!

I agree that it is just another day. What if, never a kind word or a job well done is said throughout the year. Then it's AP day and you get a free lunch and flowers...does that mean you're appreciated? What if, throughout the entire year you're told how much you are appreciated and it is demonstrated through emails, conversations, tickets to the ballet, gift cards and cash awards etc and then you don't get the "usual" free lunch and/or flowers for AP day, does that mean you're not appreciated? I don't think so!! Remember to keep things in perspective. Know your value and make sure you're appreciated for what you bring to the table NO MATTER WHAT DAY IT IS!

I have the greatest boss ever!! Cheryle often tells me how much she appreciates me and the work I do for her and thanks me as well. She also remembers my birthday and other small things that let's me know she cares about me as a person. Cheryle never forgets Administrative Professionals Week or Day and lunch is always at a plce of my choice.

I've been in this profession for over 30 years. In the early years I assisted 10-12 professionals. During "National Secretaries Week" something new appeared on my desk every day - cards, flowers, plants, etc. I had a lunch date every day, and our two managers usually had a friendly competition going to to see who could do more. These days I'm still working for 10-12 professionals. I am part of a support team consisting of 12 members; two of us are administrative assistants. In addition to the 10-12 professionals we each support, we also provide assistance to the other members of our team. Last year, for the first time in our careers, we received nothing, which was disappointing. This year I did get a very nice personalized gift from one of the other members of my team and the professionals chipped in for a gift card. I agree that I would rather be appreciated every day for my contribution to the team and treated as an equal instead of treated like a queen one day a year and like a peon the rest of the time. I get along well with my team members and have a great relationship with the professionals I work for, so the trade-off is worth it.

Personally, I have detested this day for many, many years. If my boss can't and doesn't respect me all year, I don't some artificial reminder from, as Carla put it, Hallmark.

For many years, I remember taking the day off to be home or go out and do something I truly enjoyed! It felt too awkward going out to lunch with some of my bosses! YUCK!

I truly wish we would do away with it. Sorry, I don't mean to offend anyone because I know you all work hard and should be appreciated! But we should be appreciated every day! :-)

The recognition and "thank you's" I get from my boss throughout the year mean the most, but it makes me feel good when he recongizes me on Admin Day, too. I put it on his calendar because he would feel awful if he forgot about it. He sent me a big bouquet of flowers this year, two of my Directors got together and gave me a gift card, other one of my Directors took me to lunch.

For the admin who said she wouldn't want to go to lunch with her boss, I'm sorry to hear that. I get along great with all the people I work with and go to lunch with my Directors and my boss regularly.

I appreciate that my boss remembers and he takes me out to lunch. However, lunch time is my personal time...time to get away from work and especially the Boss.

I would rather get a gift card or flowers.

Just seems like he's taking me out to lunch simply because he can charge it back to the Company....and it's no thought in that.

I agree with Lisa that is presumptuous to put this day on the boss's calendar. I have worked with my boss for the past 11 years, and I'm very lucky, though, because I have a boss who always recognizes me. If you have a boss that never “thank you” for your well done job, don’t ever think to receive any thing on that Week. I think that Human Resources department plays an important role here, if the boss doesn’t recognize their assistant, they should do it. To avoid hard feelings, where I work we celebrate every year in May a "Professional Day". On that day, every professional of the office is recognized on a dinner. During Administrative Assistant week, we are allowed to go out to a lunch alone or with the bosses. I’m very lucky that my boss wife use to work as a secretary and she always remind him, no matter the occasion.

I prefer to be rewarded in my pay check. For me, that's the best way to say thanks for doing such a great job!

Kristi's comment: We've turned this day into "Office Professionals Day" at our company. We usually try and do something special for the entire office (managers, admins, and all others). Last year we catered a lunch. This year, many teams had already gone out on their own to celebrate so we ordered a cake late in the week and enjoyed a nice break with cake and coffee in the afternoon.

What a great idea. I'm going to put that on my calendar for next year. Although I have not received any recognition from my bosses in the 7 years I have worked as an admin assistant, I don't feel slighted because I do receive recognition throughout the year from all the people I support. We all do some form of administrative work for someone above us in the chain so the idea of celebrating w/in our own group sounds like a good way to say thanks to them as well since I know they don't get the thank-yous they deserve very often.

I think it is a good idea to be recognized, but I don't make too much out of it. I agree with some of the other professionals that as long as you know that your boss appreciates you, you don't have to have a big party every time that week comes around. I'm told on a regular basis how much she appreciates all of my contributions to the company. The administration staff at my job went to lunch and I thought it was a very nice thing to do.

I have the same kind of boss as Tawny. He knows about the day, because our local chapter IAAP puts on a breakfast the company pays for me and other admin asst to attend. I have worked for him for nearly 4 years now, he is a great boss, always thanking me and encouraging me and allows me to work my own way with little interference from him,unless I need his help. He also doesn't do anything special on holidays, my birthday, nothing at all. It could be because he doesn't think it would be appropriate unless he does it for everyone (by the way, we do celebrate his birthday, Christmas, etc.) But, he always show his appreciation in is own way and I am proud of my boss.

I inform the Director over HR. He then informs the CEO and others in supervisory positions. This works very well. We had a great catered breakfast that our Directors put on for all of the Administrative Professionals in the organization.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn April 26, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Since last year I have not received a birthday, Christmas, or Administrative Professionals gift from my boss. He used to be very nice on those occasions, and none of the other men I work for even gets a card for any of them. It makes me feel very bad when all the secretary’s in the other departments gets gifts from their immediate boss, and others in the organization they work for. I did receive a token gift from the President and Vice President and that was great, but I hardly know either of those guys, but yet they took the time to acknowledge my presence and that I do help. It makes me feel bad that the people I work closest with does nothing.


Carolyn April 26, 2017 at 1:04 pm

My boss used to be good about my birthday, Christmas and Administrative Professionals Day, last year and this year he didn’t do anything. It hurts considering all the others in my business receive things. But then I never receive anything from the others I work for either. I would like to say it is just men, but I know better.


Susan April 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Zuzu, I just read a new study that found that students who listen to lectures on podcasts test better than those who listen in class. How about standing up to your supervisor by picking out a webinar/CD/podcast that would further both your career and agency goals …tell him you’d appreciate him paying for it. Most podcasts are only about 1 hr long and way cheaper/faster than getting out of office for a seminar/class.
Surely there’s a training budget you could ask him to tap for you? Look over these ,
( many have certification by HRCI for continuing education credits) there are free sample clips to listen to …
YOU have to stand up for your own professional self-growth & admin pro month is perfect time to do it. (Here’s a list of upcoming webinars too …sometimes it helps to put a date on the calendar and tell him you are scheduled to listen at that time…if he pays for it, he’ll respect that time more) personally, I prefer to listen to a cd or download (and I can find free, relevent podcasts from the library)…but whatever you do, pick something you’re sincerely interested in and vow to listen to it and apply some new practices to your job…it will energize you. Good luck!


Zuzu April 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I work for a government agency and my immediate supervisor has never recognized me for any occasion, including Administrator’s day. However, the most senior staff here, does, and I appreciate that. It still bothers me as I am only their “back-up” admin person and I’m “his” 99% of the time. I feel devalued in more ways than this. There is no specialized training here, and no ladder to move up. When I make requests to further myself, I am shot down and “put in my place.” They want robots, not thinkers and creators. The only way to move is out, and in this economy, no one is moving anywhere by choice.


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