Monday, January 5, 2015

Have you thanked your administrative staff today?


Being a receptionist and someone who often works behind the scenes, there are many times I do not always get recognized for my efforts. It never really bothered me (hey, I know my job sucks at times but really, if things were perfect, life wouldn't be the way it is, right?) but there are times being excluded did actually tick me off. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect people to constantly sing my praises or roll out the red carpet for me. I know I am well appreciated and am allowed to wear a lot of things that are not really accepted in most workplaces. I worked hard to get that kind of slack!.

Aside for a more relaxed dress code, what I do need? The occasional thank you. This is always appreciated..There are many times, I go out of my way, above and beyond my job description for some people and it would be nice to receive a thanks! What most people don't realize, they are not the only ones in the office asking for favors. They automatically assume that I sit there looking pretty and I file my nails all day. This is not the case. I am pretty swamped!

I remember once an old colleague of mine from a previous job went out of his way to thank everyone in the office...except for me. What annoyed me, he never thanked me, never wished me a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year but he remembered me whenever he needed something and expected me to give him preferential treatment. Not once did I receive a thank you from this guy and it upset me. There were a few times I pulled some strings for him and the impression I got is that I had nothing better to do. When I politely confronted him about all this he replied "oh but you have so much downtime, you should be thanking me for keeping you busy" I did take the case to my boss and the person backed off.



On a more positive note, I do like to think for every coworker who forgets about the little guy, there are at least two who don't. As an example, a colleague of mine sent me an e-mail last week. While he is not my direct boss, I was still  included along with the rest of his team members. It was just a simple message: "Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, all the best to you and your family. Thank you for all your hard work" sort of deal.

 The fact that the person took a couple of minutes from his busy day to write that e-mail, to think of me, is what made me smile and you know what? If that person ever needs my help again, you bet I would be more than happy and willing to do so! People like to be recognized for their efforts and I am no exception. 

Just this afternoon, a colleague of mine gave me a Hello Kitty thermos as a gift because she noticed how much I like that cute little cat! I don't expect gifts and it certainly was a nice surprise!

The point of this post? Simple! Don't be a douche! Say thank you to the little guy! Trust me, a happy staff is a productive staff. Remember, respect is earned, not given! Take it from someone who knows!

With that being said, dear readers, thank you for reading!

I had to post this one too! LOL


18 comments:

  1. I think appreciation should go across all levels. I've worked at some very cold, heartless corporations... People quit because no one has ever said a simple "thanks" or "good job." It wears on you.

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  2. It really irritated me in my last job that some of my co-workers didn't appreciate the super admin team that they had. As a small charity, every member of staff is vital to the effective delivery of services, and if the admin team weren't so good the whole shebang would have collapsed. I spent my first 4 working years as an admin assistant, and I've never forgotten the really solid grounding it gave me in understanding how organisations work - from the seemingly smallest cog to the higher echelons. The Chief Exec definately encouraged a split between his 'professional' fund managers and admin, and there was no career path from one status to the other, which causes them to have a high turnover of intelligent, talented young people who ultimately become frustrated at the lack of options - and sadly at how some of the 'professional staff' treat them. I used to cringe when I heard one woman in particular barking orders at them, interrupting them, demanding preferential treatment. They are a very well organised unit, very methodical in work allocation - she was a complete basket case, always submitting stuff late and demanding it be prioritised.

    When I left the admin team were genuinely gutted - as they said I was the only person from 'my side of the office' who came in every day and took time out to ask how they were, and talk to them. I never blamed them for my mistakes (my manager who made my life hell routinely did, and got one of them into serious trouble for his error). In return they couldn't do enough for me on the rare occasions I needed something doing urgently - and they knew I wasn't above stuffing envelopes and making up conference packs for them if I had a spare hour.

    Admin is the bedrock of any organisation, and yet people forget this so easily. And someone who works in admin today may be a director tomorrow. A little basic compassion and mutual understanding would go a long way towards making everyone's jobs that little bit easier.

    (rant over, sorry!)

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    1. No worries about the rant. I always held the belief "be careful of the people you meet on your way to the top cause you may just meet them on your back down". I have a great boss and immediate supervisor. My boss is a director and he helps clean up after meetings. He sometimes does it when I am on lunch too. In return, I have a lot of respect for the guy. he always says thank you even if he gives me something tedious.

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  3. A lot of people don't seem to understand this. A lot of businesses run on negative reinforcement, not positive, which is really hard for me. I am someone who needs to be thanked to know I am appreciated. I tried to explain this to my parents about things like setting the table even, when I was a kid. They would always say, 'oh but we don't have to thank you, it's your responsibility'. It's worse when it's a real job. I don't know why some people find it so hard to say thanks, I still even say 'thanks for having me over' when I have been to a friend's house!

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  4. Yesterday one of my coworkers told me she was only there for a pay check. I was a little shocked. I couldn't help but think how sad is that? I see my coworkers more often than my own family. So how could I take a job that is only about the pay check? I make sure to thank and appreciate everyone around me. All I said to her was this is my fun job. I get to talk to people about a shared hobby (sewing) every day. That's why I'm here. Money is nice but it's a secondary reason to work here. Now I dont know her financial troubles so I am not going to judge her but if she only wants money then perhaps a fabric store is not the place to be! Lol. I have had a well paying and steady job in the past that I left because I wasn't enjoying working there. Life is too short to work at a job I hate.

    As for being appreciated at work, it's far and few between for me. But that's the nature of retail. They use and abuse me at every job. :)

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    1. I hear you. i worked in retail. I sort of still do. i work for a company that sells product to retailers. I was at one of my company's retail stores the other day and the staff was so nice and friendly. I know who the managers were for that store as well as the big honcho in charge of that store so i sent a nice email calling out the staff for their great service and to say thanks once again. It took me 5 minutes but the response I got was so heartwarming.

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  5. "oh but you have so much downtime, you should be thanking me for keeping you busy" (insert eye roll)

    Whenever anyone goes out of her way to help me, I send a gift because I'm a faculty member in a department of about 30 people. Plus, our administrative staff usually consists of grad school students who do their homework during their downtime... if I ask them to do something, I'm taking their time away from their studies.

    Plus, mean people suck!

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    1. That is nice that you send a gift. I know it was nice that I received one yesterday.

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  6. Too few people recognize the value of administrative staff. They seem to think that administrative staff hold those jobs because they're not smart enough or skilled enough to do anything else. While many admins move on to "better" things, some remain admins because the work suits them. As an admin, I have a normal 40-hour week, mostly working independently at my own desk doing a variety of tasks. I stay busy, but the stress level is low and I never have to take work home. In contrast, my boss is on email at all hours. He has to travel constantly, and when he's in the office, he's usually in one meeting after another. He has to give presentations. He has to manage several other people. Sure, he gets paid a LOT more than I do... but I wouldn't want his job.

    People also underestimate the power of administrative staff. We're often the ones who set up the conference room, cue up the A/V and arrange for tasty catering so your meeting goes smoothly and you look good in front of the clients. We also have the power to make your life more difficult. Muahahaha! Be condescending to me when you ask for a meeting with the CEO. Yeah, sure, I can fit you in on his calendar... at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday six weeks from now. :P Go ahead, be a jerk to me... I might just "forget" to process your expense report.

    The company I work for has a nice recognition program. Any employee can thank any other employee with a note on the intranet and a $35 gift card provided by the company. It doesn't cost the company a ton of money, but it helps to make employees feel appreciated and valued.

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    1. That is a nice perk you got there. I agree. A lot of people assume I am uneducated and not intelligent because of my job but hey! I get to be a mother. I can come home and play with my son! My boss checks emails all the time, travels all the time and to be honest, right now, I am happy doing the mom thing. Now that my son is getting older, I do not plan on having any more children, I am looking to take some classes to improve myself. By the time I get my University degree, my son will be much older and I can handle the little more responsibility. Oh and for the very few people who assumed I am not smart, I proved them wrong!

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  7. Great post! I absolutely agree with you. I always greet our office cleaners with a friendly smile and hello because they are colleagues too. Some doesn't even notice them or speak to them.

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    1. Thank you! It really doesn't take much effort to smile and say hello. I do the same. In one building I used to work at, I knew most of the cleaning staff LOL

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  8. I agree, it's important to be kind and accommodating to every kind of worker, even for customers! I work in the restaurant at an home for elderly and it totally makes my day when some old lady says that she appreciates me instead of just being blunt. People really treats my and my collageus as butlers sometime..

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    1. Respect goes a long way. I would much rather be remembered as someone who is kind, caring, and polite vs the way I remember some of these people who mistreated me.

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  9. I've worked as a receptionist, and still work in administration. It's amazing how some people look down their noses at you in those positions. I remember one job where I was head of finance and administration (small company so no one under me), and one of the sales people walked by with a customer and mentioned "This is our new secretary" in a tone that said "Don't pay any atention to her". I was so shocked I couldn't utter a word!
    Luckely most people are nice, and even if they don't understand what you are doing, they do tend to show some respect. I allways try to be extra nice to receptionists. They get a lot more shit then they desserve and have a lot more power than people realize (See Banes comment above ;) ).

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    1. That is very true what you said. I am sorry you had to go through that. "I allways try to be extra nice to receptionists. They get a lot more shit then they desserve and have a lot more power than people realize (See Banes comment above ;) )." - It is funny you say that because it is very true. You do not want to piss off the receptionist. A candidate once came in for an interview and he was very rude and treated me like shit because you know, I am just the receptionist right? Well, after his interview, I went to speak to the managers who were conducting the interview and told them about his negative attitude. Guess who didn't get the job? I am so thankful that most of the staff here takes me seriously.

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