For all of us who have trouble finding the words…try these. Just make sure you’re sincere. They know when you’re lying, you know.
Administrative Assistant? I think not.
You run this place, and we all know it. When you’re not here, people walk around in a bit of a daze, their memories erased on such simple tasks as opening the loading dock, making a copy and finding HR. When you’re not here, we forget everything – just like we all forget how to use a motor vehicle as we enter an airport. We forget how to drive. Why is it that we are better performers when we know you’re somewhere in our office?
This place doesn’t work quite right without you here, and we’re all grateful for your systems, your knowledge and your great sense of smell.
You have an uncanny ability to sense the vibe in the office and have a response ready for any situation. When the world is crumbling around you, you have this way of staying calm and making smart decisions on what needs to happen next.
What I love about you most – and this is the best part – is the way you make it not about you. Your more self-absorbed colleagues never once consider asking how your day is going, how your family is holding up. The rest of us are too busy being confused to consider pausing for a moment and acknowledging your personhood. I like to ask you about your family, but I’m not better than the rest. I’m just chatty. I hope it’s okay if I ask sometimes.
It’s not that you want us to ask you for your life story every day. But you are unselfish by nature; you don’t resent the self-absorbed and you don’t take it personally most of the time.
You know all the rules and policies and regulations. You know more than any of us do. You are the person who directs traffic, solves problems, and lends a willing ear to those needing to vent a bit.
You have bad days too; we all do. The thing about you is, it’s never uncomfortable or awkward to be around you when you’re crabby or stressed to the maximum.
You hold many secrets but you never act like you do. Better yet, you don’t tell secrets. We tell you things because we know you won’t throw us under the bus. The bosses and managers trust you – so do we. You are like a one-person United Nations, you are. Peace and tranquility exists as long as we recognize your value and existence.
Look at the picture above. Back in the day, that clown to your right actually thought he had a shot with you. The Mad Men, they were. Everybody was a target of their sense of entitlement, so it wasn’t even special to be hit on.
Today, the world treats you better, but it’s still not good enough. You deserve more respect, from all of us. Your co- workers should read this article some guy wrote about the sweet quid pro quo of kindness.
I love being around you because of your nice smile and your great laugh. I love being around you in a professional and proper way that you would never once consider anything but kind and polite, because the love is genuine and free of agenda. I like working with you because work is better when you are in charge , and when you are here you are truly in charge of everything.
You are an admin by title, yes. But most of us consider you something far more regal – the person that gets it done.
On behalf of all who forget to remind you, we like having you here. For the love of all things sacred and holy, don’t you dare ever leave us!
The rest of the people in the office
John Scott is a guy who works in the office at the School of Multimedia Communications at Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
His new book, “Destination:Reinvention” is now available in the Amazon bookstore.