“Secretary’s Day.” Now “Admin Professionals Day,” because somehow, knowing how to type, think, and organize while taking dictation and handling administrivia worth a rat’s ass somehow makes you a “professional.”
I work as an admin. I also worked as a teacher at a Community College, and DREADED “Teacher’s Day.” Loved teaching; hated the administration-bloat cesspool that the modern academic “guild” has become, so private sector ho!
These are fundamentally unserious holidays devoted to the concept that somehow there’s something extra-socially-special about teachers and secretaries. Yes, I’m a secretary. I’m not a leader. Don’t want to be. I am, however, a KICK-ASS FOLLOWER. That’s not a joke: I am goddamned good at what I do, and what I do is get you promoted by freeing you up to focus on those things that earn you promotions and market-share rather than just getting wrapped around the axle with administrivia bullshit. Leave that shit to me, Boss.* I don’t measure my success with fluffy emails sent once a year by coworkers: I measure them for my unit in hours saved and dollars earned.
Are secretaries important? No, they’re not. They’re necessary. There’s a difference. A big difference.
Are teachers important? Sure they are. If we redefine important as “we need these people.”
But so are these guys.
These are actual hard jobs. You try keeping society together for a fucking week without any of these guys. And yes, I did include the sales dudes on purpose. Go ahead, try it. Saudi Arabia’s such a fucked-up society that they have to import these guys (and pay them ridiculous salaries to put up with Saudi bullshit), or else they’d fall apart.And you know what? Not ONE of them thinks “I’m a special snowflake and deserve my own day and a cookie because I’ve got enough personal awesomeness to hold down my job!” (Yes, Virginia, being a plain-jane secretary or teacher IS a cushy job. Been there, done that, drawn the paycheck. If it’s not cushy, then you’re doing it wrong or your administrators suck.) In absolutely no other job do we condescend to give people a special gold star just because they’ve got just barely enough work ethic to stay meaningfully employed.
These are leftover holidays from the 50s and 60s when 90% of the people working these jobs were chicks. And a lot of them had to put up with a bunch of crap on the job that I’d bust your nose for nowadays. (Yes, in fact, I have been felt up at work. Next dude or dudette to do that gets their nose broken, and I’ll apologize to HR about it afterwards while filing a complaint on their ass). Women in the workplace was no big thing until the Great Depression hit and everybody was in “minimalist survival mode” for twenty years. Then the country sort of rediscovered that middle-class white women could work, too (give you five guesses who’d already been busting their asses and looking after their kids in the meantime, and the first two don’t count).
Then feminism stepped in and said “hey, let’s make you equal AND special!”
“You can be Equal, or you can be Special. Pick one.”
“No, I’d really rather not. Plus, everything’s your fault.”
So. I’ve spent the whole day with well-meaning people coming out of the woodwork to thank me for… all the shit I do because that’s my goddamned job, and smiling at people who don’t actually realize that the entire concept of what they’re doing is condescending as hell. And I hate that. I don’t need a pat on the back. Because I have a little something called a work ethic. I also have a bottle of Slivovitz, and I”m going to lift a glass of it tonight to all those people who have harder and tougher jobs than mine about whom nobody ever gives a shit or names a holiday.
Rock on, dudes.
*Or, if you’d like to be the boss of somebody who describes being their admin this way, describe your situation and ask for my resume. 🙂