Administrative Professionals Week

naughty office keeper of secrets adrenalynnThe nice people at APN remind me that it is Administrative Professionals Week. I used to thik that there was just Secretary’s Day on like the second or third Wednesday of April or something like that. Turns out that there is a whole week dedicated to the concept. I love all sorts of thematic celebrations, but my family doesn’t really do holidays and special occasions, so all holidays strike me as interesting more from an academic social anthropology perspective that, ya know, as a traditional participant. It is not terribly difficult, however, to entice me to attend or otherwise celebrate any themed event at least once.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals or IAAP has trademarked a number variations of the name for both the day and the week, including Professional Secretaries Week. There seems to be some controversy whether someone at IAAP originally came up with the celebration in 1952 or whether they hired the ad firm Young & Rubicam to come up with something snazzy to invigorate secretaries and other administrative professionals or whether an advertising agency came up with the idea on their own as part of the war (WWII) recovery effort. Some sources credit specifically a Harry F. Klemfuss at Young & Rubicam as the architect of Secretary’s Day and Administrative Professionals Week. And, like most holidays, Administrative Professionals Week and/or Day engenders the suspicion in some that it is engineered by a greedy secret cabal of flower, greeting card, and boxed chocolate distributors.

Over time, the IAAP has pushed for the term Administrative Professional to be used over the term secretary. The idea behind this evolution of language is that the changing and expanding role of support staff should be reflected in the terminology. The original secretary title, however, meant literally keep of the secrets and referred to the sort of person a king could trust with uber-important information. Sovereigns truly need trusted keepers of secrets. I think that by this time next year, we should work to transition the name of this celebration to Keepers of Secrets Week.


Posted by on April 23, 2009. Filed under Blue Blood. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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