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Those who really run the office

By: By Lucy Haines

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 06:00 am

A PROFESSIONAL – Great West Newspapers receptionist Brandy Rangi  and co-worker Sandra Murray (not pictured)  are the real bosses. “Truth be known, that is it,” she said.
A PROFESSIONAL – Great West Newspapers receptionist Brandy Rangi and co-worker Sandra Murray (not pictured) are the real bosses. “Truth be known, that is it,” she said.
STU SALKELD/St. Albert Gazette

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As nurses are to hospitals – the backbone, the go-to person when a job needs doing – administrative professionals are to the office. This is Administrative Professionals Week (April 20 to 26), celebrated in honour of those who truly make the office tick.

Wednesday is Administrative Professionals Day; still sometimes called Secretaries Day, the unofficial holiday observed in many countries each spring to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists and other support professionals.

According to Wikipedia, there are more than 475,000 administrative professionals working in Canada, but the event was first created in the U.S. in the 1950s to recognize “the secretary, upon whose skills, loyalty, and efficiency the functions of business and government offices depend.” While it’s a somewhat dated sentiment, elements remain true today – there’s a need to recognize the skilled support staff businesses depend on.

“Our 30 professional and administrative staff complement our 13 family physicians, providing primary medical care to the St. Albert area and community. Their roles and responsibilities are as diverse as the individual needs of our patients,” said clinic manager Louise Harrison. “The Grandin Medical Clinic doctors appreciate and value all they do on a daily basis.”

While there’s no one way to recognize administrative professionals – sometimes a thank you in the newspaper, or flowers on the desk – one Edmonton radio station has opted for a fun and festive way to mark the day.

Hosted by morning radio personalities Pepper & Dylan, Virgin Radio’s first annual administrative professionals day luncheon is meant to celebrate support staff. A $39 lunch, with entertainment, goes Wednesday at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel (formerly the Mayfield Inn) and features fun food like a burger slider station, build-your-own poutine station, pasta station and desserts among other offerings.

“We’re hoping bosses send their staff,” said the DoubleTree’s Jessica Rogers, aiming for 150 attendees. “It’s a unique and fun way to recognize important staff members.”

And while the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) suggest that employers support the holiday by providing training opportunities for their administrative staff – continuing education, self-study, seminars –a restaurant lunch, gift card or time off would probably be an appreciated gesture too.


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