Today’s the day to shower your secretary with sweets, flowers or a “thank you” card.
April 22 is Secretary’s Day, and without secretaries — the most common job for women in America since the 1950s — offices would likely fall into disarray, administrative tasks would go undone and corporations, plants and businesses would become unorganized and inefficient.
Since I joined the secretarial ranks at a school last fall, I can especially appreciate and respect the job duties and responsibilities that go along with being an administrative assistant.
As one seasoned colleague explained, “Secretaries are the center of everything, therefore, they know everything.”
In welcoming visitors or customers to a business, secretaries are often the first point of contact for the public.
During my newspaper reporting days, it was imperative to get to know the secretary on any board or council beat. Secretaries could help make sure of votes or clarify an action or provide background on an issue.
The secretary is the key player in communicating information to staff, teachers, city officials, parents and all others, explained the veteran who trained me.
Secretaries also have to use their wits and keep their supervisors and staff apprised of important events of the day.
School secretaries are observant, and they get involved. I have listened to colleagues call parents to remind them to bring a child a jacket on a chilly day.
During the opening months of school, secretaries are particularly busy scheduling appointments; handling communications; creating bus schedules; documenting student attendance; scheduling meetings with parents, teachers or principals and answering the phone.
You might also find them monitoring hallways and offices, mopping up spills and, from time to time, making a pot of coffee.
Throughout the 20th century and particularly after World War II and the growth of corporations, the need for secretaries has continued to go up.
From the earlier days of typists to today’s secretaries who use computers to prepare reports, charts, memorandums and research, businesses need secretaries to help run things.
U.S. Labor Department projections show that administrative assistant positions will remain the top job among women into 2020.
Disconcerting, however, is the gender pay gap which remains. Women in secretarial and administrative assistant positions earned about $34,000 and men, $39,000.
Secretaries are the hub of any school or business, and they serve as a liaison to the community and others. They deserve to be recognized for their contributions.
Chante Dionne Warren is a freelance writer. She can be reached at email@example.com.