“Ghostbusters. Whaddya want?!”
-- Receptionist Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) in “Ghostbusters”
From “Janine” in “Ghostbusters” to “Doralee” in “9 to 5” to “Mrs. Wiggins” on “The Carol Burnett Show,” they’ve been portrayed as flighty, no-nonsense, tight-skirted, overworked and valiantly empowered. But the reality is neither “all of the above” nor “something entirely different.”
I know from experience. I’ve been at that desk before – handling phones, files, ornery customers and a myriad of other tasks as a “support person,” a “secretary,” an “administrative assistant.”
Invariably, after a flurry of activity had slowed to a moment’s lull, someone would walk by and say, “Quiet day, eh?”
As the plethora of titles suggests, there is no “typical” administrative professional. I’ve known (or been) that employee who picks up the party food, pioneers online access, maintains the boss’s calendar, serves as a defacto software consultant, programs the fax machine, completely re-organizes the office supply room and manages a substantial budget.
At WNED, our assistants have performed some interesting duties through the years, including:
- transforming into “Miguel” (from “Maya & Miguel” for the WNED Kid Fest;
- writing a blog post for “Hockey: More Than A Game” that was plugged by the Buffalo Sabres;
- serving as an interpreter for an applicant to the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition;
- voicing one of the historical characters for the documentary, “Glorious Battle: The Siege of Fort Erie;”
- saving the night for two members of Celtic Thunder by getting their suits dry cleaned and hand-delivering them just before the group appeared on live television; and
- contributing photographs to “Artrageous: The WNED Staff Art Show.”
The current crew is exceptional and a joy to work with: hard-working, intelligent, friendly, capable and well-organized.
So, to thank and recognize their contributions, we celebrate Administrative Professionals Day this year on Wednesday, April 25. But I do believe they deserve our thanks every day. It’s a cliché to say “we couldn’t do it without them.” But that’s the truth!
Hats off to Nanci Lilga, Lydia Ortiz, Rachael Haas and Annmarie Dean for all you do for WNED!
How has an administrative professional helped you? How do you celebrate Administrative Professionals Day/Week?