Monday, April 27, 2015


 A question.

How many of you when you saw the 22nd on your calendar this past Wednesday had to zip to Google to find out what the heck Administrative Professional's Day was??  Am I the only one who has been missing the new title for an old day?

Surprise, if you didn't all ready know, it is the newer version of Secretary's Day. APD may have been in effect since the year 2000 but this is the first I have noticed it on my calendar. Saying I am out of the loop may be a gross understatement.

At first the realization made me laugh out loud but then I started to wonder. When did being a "secretary" become a bad thing?  When did a gussied up title become necessary?

Evidently in the year 2000 without my knowledge.  By giving secretaries a special title, does that preclude having to give them a raise or respect the rest of the year?

When I was in banking in the late 60's, I was awarded the title of Administrative Assistant.  Banking at that time was and may still be fond of giving titles instead of a raise.

While I was technically the officer in charge of the savings department for 9 offices, my only voting power came when the style of uniforms or break room purchases were decided. For the big stuff, we two AA's  and the lone female Vice President were sent to that same break room to wait while the other officers made the real decisions.

I know some of you have been curious why I left banking to become a dog snack as a meter reader. I made the drastic move to become an entry level employee at the power company to enjoy a 40% increase in salary. Yes, that much.

At my exit interview the Human Resource executive asked me what they could do to keep me. He offered to make me a full vice president but at the same salary, to which I replied, "I have never cared what you called me. An appropriate raise would have been much nicer. I have yet to learn how to cook a title and my landlord refuses to take my title in lieu of the rent."

I do hope banking has changed its practices. I adored the job and those I worked for, just not the pay scale at that time. Some how I have the feeling bankers might have been behind the change to Administrative Professional's Day. That was their M.O.

I hope all "secretaries," aka Administrative Professionals, had a great day and your bosses came through for you, perhaps with a nice raise to go with those flowers and candy.

Maybe I am missing something here and important sounding titles are actually a positive move and an ego booster.

Would you feel better at the end of the day if you were called a Domestic Engineer as opposed to being referred to as a housewife? Would you gardening types prefer being called Landscape Technicians? Would CPO (Chief Provisions Officer) be more fitting for you breadwinners?

Just curious.


  1. The very same thing popped into my mind as I started to read this post. really is laughable to think some people are placated by a long fancy title in lieu of a pay increase. I'd take the pay increase and forego the title.

  2. I started my career as a secretary and ended it as a writer/editor, which included all the secretarial duties plus editing scientific writing. I really do remember Secretary's Day and how it morphed into Administrative Professionals Day. Made me laugh to realize that now it's unprofessional to be called a secretary! We really were indispensable back in the day. :-)

  3. So then I suppose Hillary should have pushed to be named Administrative Professional of State??
    I guess the kind of person mollified by a title and a not a correspondent raise deserves what he/she gets.

  4. As a secretary for over 45 years I found the change in title laughable. Because just as you described it there was no pay raise with the new title. My official "title" here is Executive Secretary and that works just fine for me.

  5. Interesting stuff. The 22nd of every month is the one day that I stay close to traveling or making big decisions, etc. Im all my 82 years it has always been the 22nd that has been the day for bad news...but please don't think I am superstitious !

  6. My mom told me that the Assisted Living Facility where she is living had a Secretary's Day party on the 22nd. She attended and there was food and cake and little gifts. When I was growing up my mother was a "medical secretary" but later became the "office manager." I don't know if there was a raise with the title change, but there certainly was more responsibility. When I started applying for work at the university, there were no secretary jobs, but there were Administrative Assistant positions (I, II, III, etc) that came with varying degrees of complexity and responsibility and pay grades. It is interesting trying to piece together the history of the change in titles, and why it changed.

  7. Manzi,
    Me too Manzi. Sure can't eat a title.

    Behind every great business leader is a really good secretary. They have saved many a butt.

    Hum now that you mention it, the govt has not followed suit have they?

    That is a pretty impressive title and I hope your pay is reflective.

    That is an unusual superstition. I guess it has worked out for you since have for you to reach 82 so successfully.

  8. robin,
    Good to know that your Mom's generation still celebrates the Secretary's day.
    Think the job description may be obsolete these days.

  9. I never minded being called a secretary back in the day. Like you, I minded the salary. I think of all I did for what I was paid and it makes me really sad to see how little I was appreciated or paid. Of course there are so many in that same boat. The title doesn't matter. Just like you said. You can't take the title to the bank.

    As far as banking goes, don't get me started. I don't think you would like the way the banking business is going today. It is very cut throat.

  10. Changing a title usually involves adding a few extra responsibilities--with no extra pay--that is just wrong,

  11. I don't care what you call me, so long as you call me to dinner.

  12. I've never been a secretary, so I'm not sure how I would feel about the new title. I do like the plain jane "housewife" title instead of "domestic engineer" I always think domestic means tame, and I am definitely not tame. HA

  13. When I was an "Executive Secretary" in corporate America, I referred to myself as a "Corporate Handmaiden," which didn't make Management very happy with me. But, they were too wussy to say anything. I guess they were afraid I'd ask for the raise that, after 15 years, I richly deserved. Not that I didn't get raises - I did. 1.2% per year. lol They bestowed the raises as though they thought I'd be ecstatic to get them.

  14. Dear Patti,
    May I quote Shakespeare at you?
    A Rose would be a Rose by any other name.
    In other words: what's in a name? For some reason this happens in other areas of life as well.
    I am a teacher (college), and have students with various learning disorders in my classes. Since my Mum's days in front of the classroom kids with learning disorders have been called at least 4 different names; nowadays we have to say "learning disorder". My point is, that the new name doesn't make the disorder go away. Just as your new name will not raise the salaries of the then-called-secretaries, I'm afraid.
    By the way, try finding me through Blogger instead of through Google+. The address is . That should do it and enable you to comment as well (I hope!)
    Best wishes, Renée

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  16. Sally,
    Oh I hate to hear that about banking for as pitiful as the pay scale was, it was a wonderful place to work.

    Oh how right you are. When they added the 8 other offices to my menu, overtime hours--without pay--became the norm.

    Ha ha, you have the right attitude. We all do better on a full belly.

    Hadn't thought about it that way and no, you are not tame:))

    Now that is sad and probably wasn't even cost of living. Even social security does better than that--most of the time.

    Thanks. I finally navigated your site and by changing my profile in Picasa, I can now comment. Welcome from across the sea and yes, Shakespeare nailed it.

  17. I agree. Titles are nice if they are accompanied by money, otherwise you can't take it to the bank.

  18. Everything these days is about being 'politically correct'... They are carrying it WAY too far... Kinda crazy these days...

    I do hope that all Secretaries had a great day!!!!!!


  19. I worked in the public school system for a lot of years, started out in the dist office as the accts payable clerk, and finished as administrative assistant to the Superintendent. The money rose with the jobs, but the most important thing for us was that my benefits covered the whole family. That was more important than any celebration.

  20. We own a small business. A few years ago, it seemed that National Secretary Day had become a big thing. We had a secretary, who wore many hats. Plus, some general office duties were shared by the bookkeeper, warehouse superviser and some others. We didn't really feel it was fair to single out one person, so we gave a bonus to everyone who participated in the office duties. There was much laughter by the guys who got a secretary bonus, but nobody turned it down.

  21. Barbara,
    You sure can't spend them nor do they taste good.

    Lets hope they did. They sure deserve it.

    With a family, you can't beat the value of good benefits. That is as important as the paycheck.

    Lucky people you have working for you. Are you taking applications?:))

  22. What fun! My dad was manager of the collections dept for a big St.
    Paul for a number of years. I'm sure would agree with your take on banking careers..:)

  23. I love the way you think.

    I know there is a group of Politically Correct Decision Makers somewhere that think all this stuff up. If they spent the time improving pay scale and working conditions I wouldn't care what they called me.

    As my uncle once said, "I don't give a d--n what they call me as long as they call me for supper".

  24. I dunno titles mean a lot don't they? You see people judge you differently when you say what you do. When I tell people I'm a dj in posh circles I get the look of horror. If I re-titled myself as musical technician or something I'm sure it would sound more impressive. :D

  25. I had to laugh because our school custodian said he wanted to be referred to as the "building engineer." I notice salespeople are now called sales associates. Couldn't they come up with a better name for us instead of bloggers? Well... Happy Administrative Professional's Day! That's a mouthful!

  26. I was out of touch with google and could only think of Earth Day. Not sure if this is to be an international event?