Top 10 Reasons to Be Nice to Your Admins/Exec Assist/Secretaries

Times have changed and roles have changed along the way. While the days of the personal secretary may no longer be around, each office usually has a person that serves in an administrative role to keep the office running whether it is a secretary, administrative assistant, or even executive assistant.

To kick off my new series of Top 10 lists, here is:

Top 10 Reasons To Be Nice to Your AA/Secretary/Etc

1 – You want to be paid right? S/he can always forget to turn in your time card.

2 – Caller ID. S/he can ignore you.

3 – S/he’s probably been around longer than you and knows the “unauthorized” history of the org that you need to know.

4 – S/he has more connections in the office than anyone. S/he can make or break you.

5 – It’s cheap – all it takes is a smile and maybe some candy (or Starbucks)

6 – S/he has your boss’s ear and hears all the good gossip. S/he can choose to share it with you (or not).

7 – Someday she could be your boss – Ther’es a fine line from Secretary to Exec Assistnat to Chief of Staff

8 – There’s probably a reason the head of the department is called a Secretary (i.e. Secretary of Homeland Security).

9 – S/he can always make sure you never get the meeting invite (or room change)

10 – S/he can magically forget to tell you that you have to brief the boss until 5 minutes before it starts.

While Secretary’s Day may be a little out of fasion, I give great kudos to all the great people that keep the offices running, getting meetings organized, and all of us paid. I’ve been blessed to have (and currently have) some great ones.

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You’re absolutely right!!! It’s so offensive when people view these people as “just” secretaries! Without them, the office would grind to a halt. I, too, have been blessed with several most excellent office managers.

Here’s a little list of my own:
1- Remember Administrative Assistant’s Day (formerly Secretary’s Day). APRIL 20. Do a little something to show your appreciation: flowers, a card, a small plant, take him/her to lunch, etc.

2 – Do any of the aforementioned appreciation-showers at other random times of the year. Think of how nice it would be for him/her to discover flowers on his/her desk, for no reason at all. Not only will you make him/her happy, you will score major brownie points.

3 – Offer to help when they need you. Often times the secretaries or front office staff are unable to go on long lunches, and rarely together if there are multiples, because they are tied to answering the phones, staffing the front desk, etc. Offer to fill in for an hour so they can take a long lunch together, or take a sick kid to the doctor, or a well kid to a baseball game, or just because. There is a great deal to be learned about your agency/department by filling in on the front lines once in a while.

Remember the Golden Rule: Behind every well-run office is a fabulous secretary!


Sometimes, in the contracting arena, the Admin/Asst Secretary is our Procurement Technician. The government has attemped to rid itself of procurement technicians. Procurement technicians do our timesheets and ensure we get paid, they have lots of patience but they can, at times, do many of the above. I learned years ago to never, ever, ever get a procurement technician angry and it has served me well.