Administrative Assistants have a plethora of knowledge and can make your work life easier or much more difficult.
As previously mentioned in Make Friends the Maintenance Staff (missed it? click here.), you may not have direct contact with all of the Administrative Assistants in your office every day, but it is important to make an effort.
This group of co-workers know where the hidden supplies are located (and often order them!), they transfer calls and know who to ask for the right solution to a problems. In short, they are similar to a triage nurse in an emergency room. They can keep you from seeing their boss or let you right through.
Often Administrative Assistants act as a gate-keeper. Have an irritating vendor that has a knack for showing up at inconvenient times and wanting to chat for an hour? The Administrative Assistant can keep her out of your office.
Not to mention, in some office environments your interactions with these staff members mean more than how you interact with your direct supervisor. People will notice if you are mean or overly demanding to an Administrative Assistant. The bottom line, as stated by Heather Fletcher is simple: Administrative Assistant are your colleagues and real people with feelings, not another item on your to-do list.
Just like in Mad Men, Administrative and Executive Assistants know far more than they would ever let on about your comings and goings and general work habits, maybe even your personal life. As Shelly DeVore stated, “I have a good friend who is the Executive Assistant for our company. Because of my friend’s position, she has access to sensitive information that I shouldn’t and don’t want to know. We are both aware of that fact and neither of us ever cross that line, her with over-sharing or me with trying to get information. Our friendship is very important but so is behaving in an ethical manner and not risking the business of our company.”