28 May 2008

What do we do all day?

Someone I know often calls me at the office and can't understand why I can't chat. This person is a dental hygienist and I tried to make a comparison to her job so she would understand why I couldn't take lengthy personal calls at work. I said, "If I called you at work in the middle of the day, would you be able to come to the phone and chat?" She replied, "Absolutely not, I am working with patients, of course I can't talk, but you sit at a desk all day".

Another friend's husband thinks the same way. Any personal calls they have to make to the bank, insurance company or any personal matters, he always asks his wife to do it because he says, "You sit at your desk all day and have a phone readily available, so it is easier for you".

Do we really sit at our desk all day? And if we do, are we just twiddling our thumbs waiting for a call? People just don't seem to understand what we do in a day so I thought I would list some of the many things we do. This of course does not take into consideration that most assistants today work for more than one boss. Here is my list:
  • Drafting letters
  • Scheduling meetings
  • Managing boss's time
  • Transcribing tapes
  • Typing correspondence and lengthy documents
  • Organizing yourself and others
  • Filing
  • Setting reminders and following up
  • Managing bring-forward system
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Typing expense reports
  • Managing boss's e-mail account as well as your own
  • Sending faxes, making photocopies, binding documents, ordering supplies, sending couriers
  • Arranging conferences and seminars
  • Bookkeeping
  • Managing client relations
  • An executive assistant does this and more including taking minutes and organizing board meetings
  • And last but not least we also answer the phones, "Hello, may I help you?"

Now, do you still think I have time to chat?

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