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Because April 25 marks the 60th anniversary of Administrative Professionals Day (known prior to 2000 as ‘Professional Secretaries Day’), and because the celebration runs through all of next week, we checked in with Jules’ Executive Chef Albert Rosado, who confirmed that some clients are showing their appreciation by pre-arranging celebratory buffets.

      Jules gears up for Administrative Professionals Week, April 22-28

It was too soon to photograph food being prepared for next week’s celebrations, Albert advised, but he was able to share several of the menu items Jules’ customers have selected for upcoming buffets:

Chicken Brochettes
Poached Jumbo Shrimp
Barbeque Boneless Short Ribs
Diver Scallops with Smoked Paprika Sauce
Saffron Risotto Cake

Administrative Professionals Week, 2012

Celebrated worldwide by millions of people, Administrative Professionals Week represents an opportunity for executives and managers to formally recognize support personnel whose performance of ever-more demanding and technical tasks is absolutely central to smoothly functioning office teams.

According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics cited at the International Association of Administrative Professionals‘ website, more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants are working in the U.S. today, and 8.9 million people are working in what is termed “various administrative support roles.” So while “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” is a catchy title, it’s the stuff of myth, in no small part because success in business tends to require a lot of administrative support.

‘The Pulse of the Office’ and the ‘Mad Men Effect’

The theme of this year’s week of appreciation is ‘Admins, the Pulse of the Office.’ This was among the noteworthy tidbits we picked up at the IAAP website, where we also learned that over the past several years an ever-growing number of admins are adopting “secretary” as a job title. This trend has led some to speculate that the popular AMC series Mad Men might be “stoking nostalgia for the 1950s-era classic image of the American corporate secretary.” (The IAAP refers to this as the “Mad Men Effect.”)

Other items that caught our eye were results of a survey on office technology. For example, when asked which “extinct technology admins would like to bring back,” about 25% identified the electric typewriter. This last finding triggered a musical memory that dates back to a time when manual typewriters held sway. Given that it’s late on a Friday and the music is a fine way to kick off the weekend, we introduce to you, without further ado, percussionist Martin Breinschmid and the Strauß Festival Orchestra performing Leroy Anderson‘s “Typewriter”:


A challenging profession

Providing administrative support can be fun and rewarding, but challenges abound.

Post- Great Recession admins are so busy it can be tough to stay afloat!

An enlightening 2011 benchmarking survey conducted by the IAAP collected data on job responsibilities, job satisfaction, and other real-world issues. Among the findings: Admins feel more pressure at work as a result of the economy and significant daily challenges, which include:

  • “Juggling multiple priorities”
  • “Dealing with difficult people and personalities”
  • “Not having enough time to complete work.”

Study findings also suggest that the trend toward fewer admins doing more work is likely to continue. According to this survey, respondents report that the most significant issues facing them over the next five to 10 years are:

  1. Keeping up with changing technology
  2. Increased workload
  3. Doing more with fewer resources/cost reductions
  4. Balancing work and family
  5. Corporate downsizing

Give him flowers?

Long used to test typewriter keyboards “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is an English-language pangram (which means it includes every letter of the alphabet). 

Who doesn’t love a spring bouquet?

But while administrative professionals appreciate any demonstration of thanks, they tend to be a pragmatic lot, whose Wish Lists include opportunities to learn and grow.

So says the same IAAP survey, which advises companies aiming to attract and retain highly skilled administration professionals to be aware that growth opportunities are a top priority for admins looking for new positions.

And that’s not all…

Because Administrative Professionals Week runs from April 22 thru April 28, and because we are already tapping out a related post profiling the two talented admins who support Jules Catering’s multifaceted operations, we hope you will stay tuned for more!

This blogger provides her own administrative support

In the meantime, if you’re looking for something to read over the weekend, check out one of the novels briefly described in a recent NPR broadcast, Skirting The Job: 3 Secretaries With Novel Ideas:

  • Loitering with Intent – Muriel Spark
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – Winifred Watson and Twycross Martin-Henrietta
  • Novel on Yellow Paper – Stevie Smith

For whatever it’s worth… While we haven’t yet read anything by Watson and Martin-Henrietta, we think highly of Muriel Spark and Stevie Smith.


Photo and YouTube Video Credits:
Jules’ Buffet Setup: Liz Muir
Leroy Anderson’s “The Typewriter”: Martin Breinschmid
“Typing Pool”: Wikimedia Commons, Deutsches Bundesarchiv
Civilian Conservation Corps Typing Class with W.P.A Instructor: Franklin D. Roosevelt Library & Museum
Italian Operatic Soprano Amelita Galli-Curci Typing in Fur Coat circa 1920: Library of Congress