Administrative Professional Day?

I have been a legal secretary for over 20 years.  Somehow my job has had many titles over the years:

  • Legal Secretary
  • Executive Assistant
  • Assistant Paralegal
  • Litigation Intake Specialist

Call it anything you want but I mostly type documents, make copies and scan.  It’s not glamorous, and when not preparing for a trial the daily tasks are pretty mundane.  The day before yesterday my boss, who likes my cooking but rarely appreciates it, asked if she could pay me to bring her lunch yesterday because she was tired of lean cuisine.

Not a big deal – I had chicken tacos on my lunch menu with my baja fresh salsa and crock pot refried beans.  I also had some tortilla chips in my desk drawer

At about 9:45 one of the other attorneys goes into my bosses office and shuts the door fast.  A few minutes they come out and the other secretary happened to be at my desk and they said “happy administrative professional day!”  Let’s buy you lunch!

I explained that I already brought food for me and my boss, and my co-worker had already planned some errands to run at lunch.  Turns out they forgot, but it was nice to be acknowledged. (??)

I had some tortilla chips in my desk drawer, just enough left for our lunch, when my boss comes out at 10:15 declares she’s hungry and reaches for the chips.  I tell her she can’t have any because there is only enough for lunch, so I bring her some  crostini with hummus leftover from a birthday last week.

She took one bite of the crostini and said “Biz take a picture of the bite out of the crostini and put it on your blog that I asked you to make me something to eat on Secretary’s Day.”

tacos 005

Just to give you an idea (Helen and Shelley have heard some stories via email before) I’ve worked for this woman for 7 years.  She’s never remembered a birthday, I usually get Christmas gifts in the first or second week in January, and before I worked for her?  In her 22 year career before me starting to work for her, she had 25 secretaries.  Yep.  I guess I just have the personality to work with her.  Lucky me!

It was rainy off and on, but I saw my window and went on my walk.  Again, my blood sugar was hovering around 150 so I couldn’t run.  The best part about where I work is that in just a 10 minute walk I am basically in farm country – its quiet, not a lot of traffic.

walk 2

walk 4.25

About the last 10 minutes it started to lightly drizzle.  I didn’t care because I keep a hair dryer in the bathroom.  50 minute walk – done!  And yes, I realize I need to trim my bangs. Open-mouthed smile

walk wet

When I got back, while I was gone my boss ran and got me some flowers and she said she’d take me out to lunch next week.  The card read “Biz, thanks for all you do, From All of Us.”   I have to admit, they do smell good!

tacos 011

As my boss was telling me “aren’t these just gorgeous?” I could feel my blood sugar dropping like a rock – it was 61.  So my hands were a bit shaky putting this lunch together – I used the Mission extra thin corn tortillas – love that you get two for 80 calories!

tacos 006

Tony had dinner duty – smoked sausage and red beans and rice!  We’ve determined that Zatarain’s is the best boxed red beans and rice.  He cooks it in the rice cooker, sausage and all – but just runs it through two cycles and it’s perfect every time.

That gave me time to do my 30 minute stretch – now that I am back to recording Classical Stretch as a series, I have several to choose from.  Yesterdays was called “Help flatten the abs.”  Holy shizz was that hard – I think it was about 15 minutes of stretch and 15 minutes of abs – I was literally shaking at the end.

And for Chicagland readers, I was wrong when I said it was on WCIU – it’s actually Channel 20 WYCC if you want to search for it.  I just feel so good when I finish it – I know I never really stretched well enough before and can actually feel a difference when I miss a day.

Then it was time for dinner – just put in my bowl, splash with some Tabasco and I was good to go.

tacos 020

I also had my classic breakfast parfait for breakfast, shocker!

tacos 003

Stats for the Day:

  • 1343 calories, 40 fat, 188 carbs, 27 fiber and 69 protein
  • 57% calories from carbs
  • 27% calories from fat
  • 16% from protein
  • 50 minute walk at lunch
  • 30 minute Classical Stretch

Question of the Day:  Tell me the worst boss story you’ve had.  Could be some interesting reading!

Make it a great day! Open-mouthed smile


38 thoughts on “Administrative Professional Day?

  1. oh my gosh. Your boss is too funny. She is lucky to have you for sure! Especially with that delicious lunch!! Now I want Mexican food….

  2. My worst boss story was a new manager who loved to call early morning meetings, like at 7 a.m. when we would get there he wouldn’t have anything really to say, so the first meeting was a complete waste of time and everyone was mad. So the next early meeting, we all get there, he pulls me aside (since I worked there for 14 years and he was new) – and said “what would you say if you were the manager?”

    And EVERY conflict with customers he could never handle, so he would ALWAYS ask me what to do.

    I quit a few months later due to the insanity and haven’t looked back since!

  3. Your boss sounds…awesome? haha 25 secretaries!? That’s just crazy. Your flowers are pretty though 🙂

    My worst boss was at a video store when I was 20, there were only 2 guy associates and he favored them over all of the girls, even though they sucked at their job. They got every single weekend off, but the most hours during the week.

  4. I don’t think your boss will let you go anytime soon. Maybe she doesn’t quite show it, but hopefully she knows how lucky she is to have you.

    My worst boss was the manager of the Med/Surg unit I worked on as a brand new nurse. She was nasty. I could write pages about all of the horrible things she did and said to the staff on the 3 units she managed. I’ll sum it up with I literally break out into hives all over my chest and neck when I see her now. I ran into once in the grocery store after I left the unit. My son was about 3 and sitting in the grocery cart facing me. As she neared my son said “Mommy what’s all over your neck!” I felt my whole upper body turning red and when I touched my neck I could feel the welts. I was mortified and could only muster up a squeaky hello as my bossed passed.

    Part of the reason I transferred to the Psych unit where I work now is because of the Director of Nursing there. She had a really positive reputation and everything I heard turned out to be true.

  5. I feel you on the unappreciated admin thing. I used to be the secretary for a deputy director at a government vocational training program. These are my two best stories:

    1. One night, I slipped on some ice and jacked up my knee. I called him from the ER to tell him that I was calling in sick the next day, and he was seriously pissed. Just said “ok.” And he was mad at me for about a week after that.

    2. He never bought me anything on secretary/admin/whatever day. The four managers that worked under him did. It wasn’t super important to me, but I would help them out with reports they had to turn in to him and different things, so it was nice to be appreciated by someone.

    The weirdest thing about it was that I actually LOVED being a secretary. Go figure. Good luck with your boss!! 🙂

  6. I have had some icky bosses. One job I had as an assistant manager at a pizza shop run by the older Greek couple. They would just take cash out of the drawer and not write it down so the books never balanced. Then they would blame us until one of them remembered the $20 that they took. And then the wife would always make her ‘special’ marinated green peppers to put on sandwiches and pizza. No one could see the recipes. Well, one day I found a pink fake fingernail in the peppers. So nasty!!! They had huge employee turnover (wonder why).

  7. Well at least she bought you flowers 🙂 She’s lucky to have you.

    I have to admit (I’m a secretary too as you know) that I’ve been pretty lucky with my bosses during my professional career. I just had one that got the job after the other retired and we just couldn’t get along. I left the company within 3 months because he was extremely annoying me day in day out.

  8. I’m a legal secretary too, for three attorneys. Two are father and son. And not one of them takes note of birthdays or administrative assistant’s day. A nice card or thank you would go a long way. But they do give a nice Christmas bonus 🙂

  9. I was interviewing for a job as the head children’s librarian in a small town library. The head librarian and assistant librarian were interviewing me and the head librarian fell asleep during the interview! It was quite obvious. She was snoring. The ass’t librarian was very embarrassed and woke her up by poking her a bit on her arm. Nothing was ever said about the fact that she was asleep. I got the job.

    I was a secretary for a team of lawyers, too. I still hold the record for being able to type Moskowitz, Lefkowitz, Walstreiker, Shryock, and Leach faster than anyone else. That was in the days before computers, or even correction ribbon on the typewriter!

  10. Happy (belated) Administrative Professional’s Day to you! Ugh – my worst boss story? When I started Weight Watchers back in 2006 and was losing weight, I had one of the partners of the law firm I worked for say to me “you look like a homeless person in those clothes.” Now granted my clothes were somewhat baggy – I was in that awkward stage of not ready to move down to the next size but too big for the size I’m in, but still!! That was the day I decided to find another job. Boy am I ever glad I did!

    • I once had an attorney hand me a bunch of M&M’s and stand at the entrance to his office and try to throw them so they would catch in his breast pocket of his dress shirt. So weird!

  11. I love that you are so close to the country, and it’s neat that you make lunch for others. We have two shifts that eat together at my company. They have a 50lb bag of rice, a small rice cooker, and a George Foreman. Every day they fire up the rice cooker and bring things…roasted chicken, various vegetables and things. You never know what is going to be there. I am a regular supplier of sriracha, even if I don’t eat with them.

    Worst boss ever…knew the lingo and not the job. For 6 months in meetings, he would shoot down every idea I had on how to fix our yield and device problems. I started feeling…well…stupid. Then I started realizing that 2 weeks after every meeting, he would have this “great idea” that sounded really familiar. Well, I stopped coming up with ideas and started doing what I do best – I just ran the experiments on my own and presented the results later. (FWIW, I don’t think he was trying to steal my ideas, he just never wrote a fucking thing down and it perculated in his head for a couple of weeks). Seriously, I can’t believe it took me so long to recognize it…at that point in my career I’d been making GaN HEMT devices for 10 years, and he was new to the industry. Why would he know more??

    So he was moved to a new position where he couldn’t do as much damage. The worst was when I did the above…ran the experiment, presented the results in a meeting. He wasn’t my boss anymore but he was at the meeting. He grabbed me AFTER the meeting with this GREAT IDEA on how to use this new process to fix this problem…”You mean the results I showed 10 MINUTES AGO??”

  12. Those flowers ARE gorgeous, I love fresh flowers, such a luxury. Glad you were recognized, it’s always nice to be appreciated. I feel the same way when I’ve made dinner and Glenn says our friends want to go out, I feel like, it would be fun but no way, I’ve already done all the work.

  13. I’m glad your boss showed some appreciation! I always love getting flowers! 🙂
    I don’t know if I really have a bad boss story. Of course, there isn’t a week I don’t come home complaining at least one day, but they’re both pretty great!

  14. I am bowing to Tish’s prowess typing those names. WOW. I remember learning to type and my subsequent jobs on manual typewriters [yeah, old] and I am giving Tish a standing ovation b/c THAT is quite a feat.

    My worst boss told me I had the most heinous laugh and I was not to laugh out loud while in the office, ever; took a trophy that had been sitting on his shelf and mimicked sticking it up my behind while asking me if I liked ***l sex; called me stupid and retarded when I didn’t throw his cup of coffee away correctly; made comments regarding the color of my MOM’s hair [and we aren’t talking about the hair on her head] and when he saw me out to lunch at a local, mid priced, restaurant [I used to work there and lunch was around $10 plus tip in the early 90s] told me he must pay me too much and proceeded to give me a salary review when I returned from lunch. He is also the same boss who was a [literally] big game hunter who had killed elephant, giraffe, all manner of gazelle, hippos, lions and tigers by paying a fee to the country [mostly Africa] to hunt/kill endangered species. He then mounted the heads and put them in his office. My interview took place at a glass topped table whose base was a rhino leg. He told me later it was his test for prospective employees and if they flinched or looked away he wouldn’t hire them. I knew what he was doing, but being a single Mom with two kids and no child support I desperately needed the job and benefits. I worked there a year and only left a few months after I met Pooldad. We were just dating but Pooldad told me to go ahead and quit that he would support us just fine. And I did. I swear on my children I did not make up or embellish a single word of what that boss was like. We laugh about it now, but it sure did break my spirit when I went to work everyday.

    I really want Mexican now Bizzy. That all looks so yummy. Or maybe I will splurge and have Tony’s sausage, red beans and rice. I always wondered if rice cookers would be good to have and that meal alone would be worth the space they take up. YUM! Especially if I make cornbread with it. Here I go, getting hungry visiting you!

    I thought about you all this week while walking Spot [my form of exercise]. It has been either cold or rainy, really nasty, but I thought “Bizzy does this everyday and layers/manages to keep warm so I am too!” I thank you, my cardiologist thanks you and our pup LOVES you. giggle Thanks for the inspiration Biz. And say hi to Charlie for us!

    • Bowing down before you Skippy – wowza – that boss does take the cake! Glad you are able to get up and walking around Skippy – that makes me happy!

  15. We have “teacher appreciation week here” which is just a whole bunch of junk food laid out on a table in the faculty lounge. So our “reward” is to just get fatter and more unhealthy. Thanks, but no thanks.

    Oh man, worst boss story…. Luckily I haven’t had any “horrible bosses” (side note: LOVE THAT MOVIE!!!), but I did have two that were sleeping together when I worked at a video store in high school. And the woman was married (the guy was not). We actually caught them fooling around one night after the store had closed!

    FYI- I want Tony to come cook dinner at my house. (Or you)

    • I love that movie too! You just reminded me that one boss I worked for (early 90’s) used to watch porn during working hours – I had to tell him that the glass window behind him showed the reflection of whatever he was watching on his computer, but that still didn’t deter him!

  16. Worst story happened very recently. Legal team going to out of state for trial had a couple of partners, a couple of associates, one paralegal and one secretary. All except one member of the team flew first class. Guess who made the reservations and was told to book her own seat in coach?

    • Yep, I can guess! Another attorney I worked for while floating (I floated a whole summer which meant I filled in for other secretaries who were on vacation at a big firm I worked at) I did know “real” work for him. I found a replacement for his wife’s discontinued gravy boat that he broke. I compared tire prices for his son’s Jeep who needed his tires replaced. And typed up his son’s law school papers – yes, you read that right – his son would fax over his papers, my boss would correct them, and I would retype them and email them back to him – and he would later tell me “my son got an A on that last paper!”

  17. I hope your boss does show you appreciation from time to time. It’s a rough enough job without a kudos every now and again.

    My worst boss was an older lady who treated me as if I were her best friend from day one on the job. I think she felt like she was doing me a favor by taking me under her wing, but it was really uncomfortable for me.

  18. myjourneytofit

    My worst boss was the new director they brought in to the nonprofit where I worked…he asked me if there was anything I would like to change about my job, and I told him I didn’t like being in the building alone on Saturdays (open to close, many times with no customers). I also mentioned that all of the staff was overtaxed with working additional evening hours, and how ’bout we hire a college student to help out? His response? “I can’t let a college girl be alone in the building” – oh, but it was ok for an old person like me?!? That was the day I decided to quit, although it took me a few more months to hand in my notice.

    At least you got flowers, but once again, I am reminded of how much I don’t like your boss and how impressed I am that you manage to keep working for her!

  19. Love the flowers Biz, your boss is lucky to have you.

    When I worked at a juvenile home, the administration was the worst. My immediate bosses were fine. Admin just picked at people all the time and made up so many lies. They said I was sitting in a classroom and had my feet up (a no-no) and I never did at all. Another time they said I was reading a magazine, I wasn’t. It was things like that so you would get written up. Once we had cameras installed it made it harder for them to do but, they still found their ways. It was a form of adult bullying to all the “lower” people, and they had their favorites too…ugh! It was a government job so the money was great but, the stress was horrible. I stayed 6 years and had to get out of there! I still have friends that work there and every administrator is now gone, the people higher than them apparently burned them all in the end. I’m a secretary now and I LOVE it!

  20. I used to work for a woman like your boss- started when I was 17 and left when I was 20. She went through 7 assistants the year before I started. She wasn’t mean or anything- she just was such a difficult personality. Really loud, really blunt, work-horse, and didn’t really care about your personal life or anything outside the office. The funny thing is, she must have really liked me (could have fooled me) b/c after I left she would write me letters on fancy cards when I moved away to “keep in touch.” And for years my parents said anytime they ran into her at the store (small town) she would always ask about me and say to give her a call if I ever moved back b/c she’d love for me to work for her again. Such a weird situation. It’s like when I was there I didn’t matter and she showed no signs of caring about me, appreciating my work, or liking me. Then I leave and all of a sudden it’s like I was some amazing employee she needs to keep in touch with and woo back to work for her.

    My worst boss was at the only job I ever quit with bad blood. It was at a hotel and he kept switching assignments and giving them to shitty co-workers (you know the type- always on their cells, taking cigarette breaks..) at the tail end so they would get the praise of completion. He also ALWAYS messed up my schedule and acted like it was no big deal. Like, excuse me, if I got here at 6am and you’re like “whoops, you’re not scheduled for today” that IS a big deal to me, who got up and got dressed to be here. Anyways- I forget what happened, but it was the last straw for me and I just went on this rant and quit. Except- I always cry when I’m angry- so it just ended up being this sniffling, sobbing rant and I’m sure on his end I looked like a lunatic. haha

  21. Wow, sounds like you had quite an interesting day. It is nice she did something for you, and the flowers are really bright and pretty. I have had all kinds of bosses so I know how you feel 🙂

  22. She gives lawyers a bad name. When I was doing my externship( as a law student) at the city prosecutors office, I was so nice to the admin assitants because I always remember being one.

  23. quite comical, but those flowers are lovely 🙂 did she like the lunch she asked you to make?? love that smile after your walk!!

    • I was out in that rain watching my daughter’s soccer game–I didn’t bring my umbrella but had a hood, so I still got wet. My hair looked almost exactly like that.

      I work with my husband–need I say more???

      🙂 Marion

  24. Wow, your boss cracks me up! Nice touch with the flowers??!!
    I worked in an ad agency way back, (I was 18 and in my first semester of college) and the manager had such bad breath, and oily hair. We called him Mazola head…………. he would flip quarters at us *gals* that he was happy with that day. Greasy pig!
    Your eats look divine, as usual!

  25. Happy Belated Administrative Professionals Day! It’s really hard to pick a worst boss story since I’ve been working for lawyers for decades. I’ve had some yell, scream and throw things at me and act in ways that would make a 2 year old look mature. It’s hard to pick a winner but one of the worst experiences was probably having a lawyer I worked with for over 10 years screaming “KATHY” multiple times behind me and get totally pissed off and irate that I wasn’t answering him. Finally I turned around and asked if he was talking to me and if he was wondering why I wasn’t answering it was because my name was NOT Kathy, he responded “WHATEVER!, I need you to do ….”

    Another time we had a crazy person working among us who decided to finger paint the walls of the ladies room and when I freaked out about it the attorney told me “it’s not that bad…it’s nothing compared to what you see in prison.” Really?

    Oh, I could go on and on and on…. Still not sure why I think the paycheck is worth the abuse. I keep telling myself it is just a job….

    Enjoy the WEEKEND!!!

  26. I also had an attorney try to sympathize with me about not getting a raise by telling me “I know how you feel, my husband and I had to sell our summer home so I could pay for law school.” Really? My heart bleeds….

  27. I have an assistant and an *appalled* at the way this was handled. That being said, I am lower on the totem pole, try to keep a pulse on how people are feeling treated because that is importat to me, and then usually organize to get the presents myself, and get the bosses or others on a desk to reimburse me after I sign their name to the cards because they forgot.

    Enjoy the flowers. Thanks for all you do for your team – including make them homemade lunches?!

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