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Administrative Rhymes-With-Witch

I think administrative assistants are maybe the most important part of any organization. They get a lot of shit done, they remove obstacles and deal with the time-sucks, and they do it at all at a relatively inexpensive rate. In fact, I wrote a blog post a while ago praising them as potentially one of the most important members you might have on any HR team. But I got a bone to pick, yo. And while maybe a generalization, my bone pertains mostly to executive administration assistants…

Stop being such a rhymes-with-witch!

First: you never smile. That just bothers me. Of all the people who smile in the office, you should be one of them. In fact, isn’t that in your job description? Second: just because you work for the CEO doesn’t mean you are the CEO. Get the ‘f over it. Third: I know I’m a pain in the ass, but stop acting like I’m an intruder. I actually get paid to get stuff done and sometimes getting stuff done means getting into that office you guard like Cerberus. Fourth: You ain’t all that. Fifth: Man I don’t know, just shut up.

o.k. I’m done.

Image Credit: Thanasis

 

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  • http://www.hrwildwood.tumblr.com Emily

    Love this. SO true. Non-smiling admins freak me out. It isn’t right. I was an admin once…yes you’re a gate keeper but be kind!

  • Tom Bolt

    I agree wholeheartedly with the “most important part of any organization” comment. I don’t know that I would have the courage to take your stance on the “rhymes-with-witch” comment, but you are spot on! I recently filled two Executive Admin openings for my client and both are excellent hires. Here is a perfect laboratory for me to observe the transformation from a personality that oozes talent and capability in their interviews to a door guarder mentality.

    Often a reality check is to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. If I am in the corner office, what are my expectations of the door guarder…what instructions do I give him/her? If I am the EA, how do I balance it all seamlessly without sacrificing the smile. I always wonder as well if the artificial authority sometimes seen outside the executive’s door is an assumed role or delegated from the boss.

  • https://hrfishbowl.com Charlie

    Emily – A “kind gatekeeper” is exactly what they should be aspiring to. Thanks for the comment.

    Tom – I too wonder whether EAs shine in interviews as just the nicest sweetest things that walk the earth, but when they behold the power, it goes south. I’m definitely curious to see if your two hires resist the darkside. Keep me apprised! Thanks!

  • Just Me

    You have to wonder how many of the executives are, (rhymes with bicks) and suck the life out of “the most important part of their organization”? A lot of successful executives are very aggressive and somewhat difficult and dont’t always champion the healthiest work environment. Just sayin’………two sides.

  • Anonymous

    can’t argue with you there. it certainly takes a certain kind to put up with that kind of crap…