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Administrative Assistant’s Day is next Wednesday — which, in our experience, can be a difficult time for women lawyers and executives. Women tend to get to know their assistants better (and BE known better by their assistants), so any lack of a gift or a lesser gift than expected tends to be taken as a personal slight — whereas if men forget (or purposely give cheaply), the secretary thinks, well, they’d forget their own heads were they not attached. Which is another problem in and of itself, because any woman who shares a secretary with another person or a group of people knows that it almost always falls to her to remind the others in the group. Maybe we were oversensitive here, but who knows: Our tactic was always to remind the men in our group that Administrative Assistant’s Day was coming up, and then to assign it to the most junior among us to collect the money and purchase the gift. (Fine, maybe the “assignment” was really more like asking nicely if he or she could take care of it, but either way we made sure that the sole woman in the group wasn’t the one organizing it every year.)
We’ve always been a fan of giving flowers for this particular holiday, but according to new survey results (conducted by American Express), the assistants would prefer cash — in fact, 79% would prefer a $25 reward to spend in any way they want rather than a $40 floral arrangement (20%) or $30 in chocolate (1%). Among the assistants surveyed,
feeling valued is important but if they are to be rewarded in the form of a gift, it’s important that they can put it to use. According to one administrative professional, ‘Much as I love flowers, they usually die within a week. A gift card allows me to choose something that will last longer or to indulge in something I wouldn’t normally purchase for myself.’
Our advice? Get a small floral arrangement (so the office as a whole recognizes what a great manager/boss you are) and a gift card (so your assistant actually likes you). Anyway, you lucky readers, you — American Express contacted Corporette with these very interesting survey results — and the offer to give away five gift cards, each in the amount of $100. Here are our rules (and this is our first time doing this, so bear with us):
1. Comment below, on this thread, and tell us what you’re planning on getting your assistant this year (or what you’ve given her or him in the past that went over well). You must give us a valid e-mail address to enter, as that’s how winners will be contacted.
2. We’re still going to moderate the comments and approve them manually, (as always, anything non-spam will be approved) — but the comment must be received in our mailbox by Monday at 10 a.m. E.S.T.
3. You may only comment once, unless you share the contest on your blog, your facebook, your twitter, or your favorite forum, then come back & leave a second post telling me where/how you shared — then you’ll be considered to have two entries.
3. Winners will be randomly chosen and we’ll contact the winners to get your address. We must be able to contact you by Monday afternoon (2 p.m. E.S.T.) to get your mailing address; if not we’ll select someone else randomly. We’ll also announce it on the site on Monday morning (not posting e-mail addresses, but referring to the winning comments).
4. Gift cards will ship from American Express and should be in your hands by Wednesday.
You can also visit www.americanexpress.com/gift to order a Gift Card for Administrative Professionals Day on April 22.