To the nice person who signed the *FootNotes* guestbook yesterday,
wishing me a happy Administrative Professional's Day, I would like to
thank you for your thoughtfulness, your kind words, your good
wishes, your amazing attention to detail.
would also like
to say ... Administrative Professional's Day. Bah Humbug.
non-holiday. I didn't even
realize it WAS Administrative Professional's Day until a
hours into the morning. JoAnne wandered up to the front
desk around 10:30, asking me if the California Overnight delivery had
arrived from Corporate yet. Yes it had, I replied, but
there was nothing in the route mail for her today. "Not even
something from Margaret?" she asked, sounding all wistful and deflated,
and I replied no ... nothing from the Corporate
Admin Director. Why? Was she expecting
might get our ENVELOPES today," JoAnne said, and
she gave me this
meaningful, YOU-Know-What I'm-Talking-About
that I didn't
know what she was talking about. Our 'envelopes'? What
for Adminstrative Professionals Day," she said.
THOSE envelopes. Holy shidt!
quick glance at
the desk calendar revealed that it was, indeed, that most sacred
of meaningless prefab holidays ... second
Mother's Day and National Q-Tip Safety Awareness Day in
importance. How the hell had I
it?? Ordinarily I would have had Admininistrative Professional's Day circled
in indelible red Sharpie on every calendar within a five-hundred-foot
radius of my
desk ... including the wall calendar hanging above
postage meter, the six-month Redi-Glance tacked next to the phone
console AND the monthly whiteboard planner in the Copy Room behind my
station. I would have started dropping 'subtle hints' around
Dirt Company a full two months in advance. ("Is it just me, or is this
looking really REALLY bare?")
I would, at the very
least, have ordered myself a Pick-Me-Up Bouquet and a couple of cheesy
balloons, signed the card "Are
sure you won't
reconsider my offer? Yours, D. Trump,"
and had the
whole mess delivered to the front desk at the precise moment the Nerdy
Geotechs were heading out to lunch.
(Better yet, I
have arranged in advance to
take a half-day off, in order to 'celebrate' this momentous occasion
appropriately: at home, in my Happy Pants, watching Season 3 of "The
Shield" on the laptop.)
This year, however, Administrative
Professionals Day seems to have completely flown under my holiday
radar. And now JoAnne and I
weren't even getting our generic thank-you cards from the corporate office, with the
limp fifty dollar bill tucked inside.
know if we get any other overnight shipments," I told her, even
though she and I both knew it was probably a lost cause at this
point. If an overnight package hasn't shown up by 10:30, as a
rule, it isn't
coming. My boss sadly shuffled back down the hallway and
herself away in her office, with her country music and her Internet
Mah-Jong, for the rest of the morning.
meanwhile, I immediately got on the phone and
David over at the newspaper.
what DAY this is?" I shouted at him. And then I sat back and
the moment of blind, blithering panic such a question invariably
provokes. (You could
him frantically ticking down the possibilities in his head. Birthday?
Valentine's Day? Anniversary of Our First I.M.
of Our First Sleepover? Anniversary of The Anniversary of Our
Anniversary?) After a moment or two, I let him off the hook
told him that it was Administrative Professional's Day. This
year that David
has had an actual, honest-to-goodness "Adminstrative Professional"
for him on Adminstrative Professional's Day ... therefore,
it is the first year that the "holiday" becomes an issue for him. The
him a secretary last year, a sweet
young woman named Beatrice, who takes care of his filing and
his faxes and his phone-answering and all of the other admin
handling for himself (competently, abeit time-consumingly) all these
years, ever since he was promoted to the thankless job of Junk Mail
Manager. I haven't met
person yet, but we've spoken on the phone a number of times, over the
past few months, and she
always displays the proper combination of fear and deference when
talking to The Boss' Wife. (I like that quality in my husband's
sounded properly panicked at the news. "What am I supposed to
for her?" he whined. "I've never DONE this before!
HELP! What do I DO??
you send her
home for the rest of the day?" I suggested.
If you're a
boss, I'm here to tell you that that's what every loyal,
competent, hard-working Administrative Professional really wants on her
special day: to not have to look at your face/hear your voice/do your
for a few blissful hours. (And to get PAID for it,
Beatrice had already been out sick
for a couple of days, earlier in the week, and now they were battling
some hellacious mid-week deadlines, and David really couldn't
her, not even for a few hours. So I suggested
flowers instead. "You could get her half a dozen
roses," I said. Or he could pick up a nice Hallmark at Long's
Drugs, write a complimentary note of thanks and tuck a little cash into
the envelope. (Like *our* corporate office
USUALLY does for us on AP Day. Grrrr.) Or he could
go online and
send her an Amazon gift certificate ... or he could
make a donation to her favorite
charity ... or he could give her those Scott's
Seafood Restaurant coupons we never used ...
do," I added, "do NOT invite her out to lunch."
moment of silence on his end. "Really?" he said finally, in a
teeny-tiny voice ... meaning that he was totally
planning to blow off all my other brilliant ideas and invite her out to
me on this
one," I replied. "She doesn't
want to have lunch with you on Administrative Professional's Day."
wrong. I'm sure that
Beatrice loves having David as a boss, for many (not
ALL! but MANY!) of the same reasons that I love having him as a
husband: he's kind, he's funny, he's fair, he's smart, he smells good
(most of the time), he cleans up after himself, he doesn't wipe his
nose on his shirtsleeves. Best of all, he treats everyone
unfailing consideration and courtesy, even
people who totally do not deserve it. I'm sure that Beatrice
thanks her lucky stars every day that David is her boss. (And if she
doesn't thank her lucky stars every day, she
SHOULD. I say this as someone whose former boss
once called her a "nincompoop" over the company-wide P.A.
Even so, I'm
sure that Beatrice does not want to go out to lunch with him as her
Admistrative Professional's Day "treat."
way," I told
David flatly. "I would rather have no recognition at all, today, than
to have to go
out to lunch with my boss." It has nothing to do with how
like or don't like JoAnne -- I like her just fine,
matter of fact -- and everything
to do with the sanctity of that sixty-minute disconnect from all things
decided on flowers, I think -- "I'll run down the
corner to the florist on my lunch hour,"
he said -- and we hung up, and I went back to my
Mercury Rev and my Internet journals for the remainder of the morning,
and that was
pretty much that.
before noon before JoAnne finally made another appearance at the front
desk. On slow days, like today, we can go for hours without
ever actually laying eyes on each other, even
though our desks are less than a hundred feet apart. By this
point we'd both received calls from the corporate office -- Happy
Professionals Day! Thanks
YOU! -- plus a
heads up that our thank-you envelopes would be arriving in tomorrow's
overnight mail, rather than today's. ("Sorry for the mix-up!")
knew that that was going to pretty much be *it* for
Adminstrative Professional's Day for the two of us ... at
least, from a corporate standpoint.
and I were
talking," she said -- Jane being the only other female/manager/human being in
our office who gives four-ninths of a crap about it being Administrative
Professional's Day -- "and we've
decided that we would like to take you out to lunch to celebrate
Administrative Professional's Day." And she beamed at me
proudly, expectantly, benificently, as though
offering me the equivalent of a half-dozen roses, an Amazon Gift Card, a charitable donation AND the rest of the
And yes, we're going to Scott's Seafood Restaurant.
to throw a rock?