Wednesday, April 26

When you cut them, do they not bleed Wite-Out?

Slate has a funny-because-it's-true article about Administrative Professionals Day, or as the Author calls it, the classic term of Secretary's Day.

If you've ever worked in an office where this holiday is celebrated, I can tell you from personal experience that every down side to this holiday that is mentioned in the article does happen and will be repeated over and over today.

I've pretty much been an administrative professional since starting my professional career after college. I worked for Incredible Universe as my first job out of college in 1995, but I was considered a Clerk, not an Administrative Professional, so I didn't get anything for this day. IU got shut down by Tandy and my position was eliminated, so I ended up branching out a bit career-wise. When I first got a job as Office Manager at LDD Productions in 1996 (which was quite fun because they ran a haunted house), my boss told me, "We're not going to celebrate that for you because you're much more than just an Office Assistant - you're our Production Assistant!" Ok, that one I could kind of buy. After the end of the Haunted House season, I was told that my position was going to go from year-round to seasonal, so essentially my position was eliminated. The job I had after that, at Warrantech in 1997, I was officially an Administrative Assistant to a rather young Middle Manager. Of our admin team of 12, every single person got something -lunch, flowers, etc - except for me. My boss told me he was about to get married and he was really low on funds, but he'd buy me something at some point. Yeah, guess when I got that gift? If you said "never", you would be correct. I ended up having my position eliminated (along with 7 other admins that day), and moved on to Flashnet in 1998. I started there as the Tech Services Supervisor, which actually ended up with me scheduling the internal IT guys to fix the computers, so even though they put "supervisor" after my name, I was getting paid less than my employees and did all the administrative work for them. I moved on in FlashNet to become the Sales Reporting Analyst, which I didn't consider myself to be administrative, so when I didn't get anything, it didn't hurt my feelings. In 2000, SBC bought FlashNet and, yep, my position was eliminated and I lost my job. In January of 2001, I got hired by Broadvision as an administrative reporting analyst, and at about the four month mark, I had my position eliminated (along with 1/2 the sales force in the office) about a week before Administrative Professionals day.

I've been working at Big German Corporation since September 4, 1991. (The second week of my job was quite interesting - check the date.) So far, after being here 4 1/2 years, and being paid as an Administrative Assistant, and given accomodations like an Administrative Assistant, and doing all the Crap Jobs like an Administrative Assistant, I am pretty much an Administrative Assistant. I do high-level reporting, but when you look at my pay stub, it says "Admin Asst I" as title. Last year, I was told, "I know you don't consider yourself an admin, but we're taking all of the administrative staff out for lunch and we'd like to invite you as well." I thought it was a nice thought, but I also thought that my reporting skills and my professional duties had elevated me from the Secretary niche due to the fact that I hadn't gotten squat before. I was wrong - the bosses were just lazy before last year. So I took my free lunch and I ran.

Well, I haven't heard anything about the "Administrative Staff" getting free lunch today, although one of the Regional Sales Managers is taking out all of the Order Entry Clerks for lunch. So even though my jobs are even more crap this year than last year, I guess I'm not getting free food today.

I hate my job. And I hate Secretary's Day, too.


At 12:55 AM, Blogger glorybe said...

My husband's boss did an interesting thing to eliminate any hard feeling on "Secretary's Day" He gave every single female employee in the main office the same gift regardless of job title. They were all thrilled, but my hubby was a little jealous because a gal about equal to him, had a gift and he didn't simply because he wasn't a girl. Amazing how this thing just gets worse and worse, huh?


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