Admin professionals day - work from home edition
April 20, 2021 2:05 PM   Subscribe

What would put a pep in your kitchen table to bathroom step if your boss got you something on admin professionals day? All my staff now work from home at the moment, and I'd like to recognize the hard working, deeply knowledgable admin staff I supervise. I mostly want to connect their sometimes tedious work to achieving our mission, which I will write in the card for sure. Any ideas on the gift?

Previously i've taken them anyone interested out for beverages of their choice and apps. It was well recieved and folks stayed for quite a while. I could do coffee gift cards and have them delivered, but there's got to be something else - I'm drawing a blank! It's tomorrow so quick and easily delivered are best. Also, it's from me personally, and not the office, due to budget and other rules.

Thank you!!
posted by goodnight moon to Work & Money (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe a comfy gel seat cushion?
posted by Sophont at 2:25 PM on April 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

Edible Arrangements are awesome.
posted by wenestvedt at 2:39 PM on April 20, 2021

Today someone sent me a pop-up paper cherry blossom bouquet from a place called Lovepop, which I'd never heard of before. It was well-packaged - held up to a rainy day and wet envelope! - popped into shape easily with no fuss whatsoever; it's durable, unscented, non-toxic to animals, the best possible type of "bouquet". From what I hear, it wasn't too expensive, either. Might be something to look into. (No affiliation or any other knowledge of the company other than my delight with the end result; buyer beware and all of that.)
posted by WaywardPlane at 2:43 PM on April 20, 2021 [5 favorites]

I got my admin a beer and cheese basket delivered from our local high end liquor and cheese store. She loved it.
posted by shadygrove at 3:05 PM on April 20, 2021 [2 favorites]

We’re doing a gift card to her favorite restaurant in her community (she lives pretty far from the office so this took some digging.)
posted by centrifugal at 3:49 PM on April 20, 2021

Right - I have been an administrative professional for 30+ years.

What I would have loved MOST on this day is - an honest and sincere inquiry into "is there one thing we could do/get that would make your job here easier?"

I mean, an Edible Arrangement is nice, and a box of candy and a card is sweet. But - a conversation about "okay, real talk, is there a thing that is just really getting on your damn nerves that maybe we could help with a little?" Like, is there someone who's having a lot of trouble getting printer ink at her house? Or another person whose internet is super-screwy that could use maybe a session with IT to help her troubleshoot? Or is there someone who has a stupid-ass commute when she comes in because she lives just across one subway line and it's a pain in the ass to transfer?

I don't think I got a damn thing from my job last year for Admin Professionals day - but I didn't care, because my boss actually listens when I say "hey, there's a little issue here that's just getting on my nerves" and tries to help. Now, there are upper limits of course - getting an entirely new computer would be maybe a little more than you could afford - but there are small but annoying things everyone faces and having someone not only take those seriously, but alleviate them, makes you feel really seen. In my case, I finally spoke up about some boxes my boss moved out of his office to store "for now" in my own office, but stayed there a little long, and they were in the way of the filing cabinet. When I said something, he not only jumped up immediately to move them, the guy was blushing and apologizing.

Again, this is not to dismiss the traditional stuff. But that kind of "what is something small that just bugs the snot out of you, lemme make it go away" would be DELIGHTFUL.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:56 PM on April 20, 2021 [24 favorites]

"So in honor of all you do, please break for lunch, then take the rest of the day off."
posted by blnkfrnk at 4:13 PM on April 20, 2021 [11 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for responses thus far! Just wanted to add that this is a regulated environment and I cannot give folks the day off. We also have weekly 1:1s to go over major, minor, and everything in between with regard to every day work life and things that could be improved. I'm more looking for "i didn't expect this but it's so nice" kind of thing.
posted by goodnight moon at 6:33 PM on April 20, 2021

My husband's team sent the workers all a really nice houseplant near the start of the pandemic/work from home period. Amazingly enough, it is still alive and healthy. It makes me happy to look at something green (It is in shared space. It is possible that I appreciate it more than he does. But I have a very Darwin approach to house plants - only what survives my neglect gets to live and this one has).
posted by metahawk at 6:41 PM on April 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

I was a decades-long career admin asst. I really didn't like admin professionals day. To me, it seems, quite frankly, patronizing, as in, admins don't get the respect they deserve, so we'll just give them this "special" day to placate them. Whenever I could talk a boss out of ignoring it, I would. I did have a boss who regularly gave me surprise $ bonuses throughout the year, which was pretty cool. He also regularly praised my work. So, just in case your admin loves admin professionals day, I vote for giving them $$ ... perhaps a Visa gift card.

p.s. This is great, and I sincerely
thank you for it: I mostly want to connect their sometimes tedious work to achieving our mission
posted by SageTrail at 8:49 PM on April 20, 2021 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Mug? An out-going post-doc in one of my research groups gave us a set of 10 custom printed mugs graphically referencing the group's scientific triumphs. It took thought and effort [and their money] and was a snapshot unique to us. In 2031 it will be hard to recall that year when we all worked from home. I tend to irony so would cherish a mug with "I/We worked through The Pandemic for Megacorp [insert logo?] and all I/we got was this mug".
posted by BobTheScientist at 11:56 PM on April 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

As a thank you, we recently received those lights you use for zoom calls. It went over well with the team.
posted by maxg94 at 5:32 AM on April 21, 2021

To contextualize my answer a bit:

Just wanted to add that this is a regulated environment and I cannot give folks the day off. We also have weekly 1:1s to go over major, minor, and everything in between with regard to every day work life and things that could be improved.

....Huh. Then let me commend you for this; my own answer was based on not having such a good manager for a good deal of time.

And in that case - have you heard of Goldbelly? That's a curated food delivery site that's kind of like if Grubhub was national in scope. I've used it to send my parents a Juniors' Cheesecake for birthdays, someone else sent me some gumbo from Commander's Palace in New can also use it for local things too, of course; not everything, but plenty of dang good options. Maybe a gift card for Goldbelly would be fun - they would have the option of choosing a nice meal or some indulgent something from somewhere local, or if they're really craving the pizza from their old home town maybe they could get that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:31 AM on April 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Really appreciate all these ideas for now and later. Going with the custom mug with a screenshot pic of us all looking embarrassing on a Zoom team meeting and will probably add something akin to Bob the Scientist’s caption and gift card.
posted by goodnight moon at 2:59 PM on April 21, 2021

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