April 25, 2018 is Administrative Professionals’ Day – a day worth remembering and thanking those admins who seem to always keep the business world moving along, while calmly handling the details, both big and small, that can be a plague to those of us less detail oriented.
Administrative Professionals’ Day was originally started in the 1950s by International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) to support the personal development of administrative personnel and help attract workers to the field in the post-war boom.
Back in the early years, I didn’t have an administrator to help in my business. I handled all the quoting, ordering, invoicing, reconciliations, taxes, collections, payables, etc., etc. These administrative tasks always got pushed to the side (actually piled up on my credenza) in favor of more pressing customer needs.
Just thinking of that stack of stuff in the corner of the office, the piles that grew day by day until the end of the month when I could no longer ignore it; it still gives me chills.
It finally got so frustrating that I was forced to hire an administrator if just to protect my own sanity. My very first administrator was Nicole. She jumped right in, knocked stuff out and took that whole stack of stuff off my plate and off my mind. Coming from where I had been, she was a huge relief to have around.
Since then I’ve had Laura and Krystal, both who were the right person at the right time and made a positive impact in the business, bringing their unique skills and approach and helping to move the business forward steadily, if not smoothly!
It’s sometimes funny to think of the administrative tasks that were a pain in the rear that we no longer even have to deal to with:
- Buying more postage for the Pitney Bowes postage machine (it shared a line with the fax machine and seemed to always have problems or run out of postage as we were trying to get invoices out).
- Replacing the messy sheet rolls of toner in the fax machine (after we realized we weren’t getting faxes).
- Going by the Post Office each day (we still do, just not near as much and I wonder why we even have a post office box any longer).
- Manually entering activity notes from engineers onto customer invoices at month-end.
- Printing and sending invoices at the end of the month – now all electronically delivered.
Little by little these tasks have evaporated and been replaced by more complex and demanding items that, if not handled properly, could cost us big bucks!
Today I have Heather and there is no way we would be in the place we are as a business without her help. I know I’m not the easiest guy to work for, but Heather puts up with me and always seems to make sense of the myriad of details it takes to run a company of our size.
If she isn’t booking travel, detailing with AR/AP, managing orders and returns, running down renewals and product questions for engineers and customers, fighting with AT&T over a refund for a customer (yes, we do that type of thing), planning our quarterly team activities, ensuring all our meetings are scheduled and run smoothly or, her special skill, making our Christmas Party the most awesome time of the year, she is dealing with dozens of other important details in our business that, if left on my desk, would simply not get done.
I’m sure each of you has someone like Heather, someone who just gets it done. National Administrative Professionals Day is a reminder to salute all of the amazing administrative personnel who help us get through each day, week, month and year with steadfast determination, greasing the wheels of industry so we keep our institutions moving forward.