Friday, April 3, 2009

A Heartfelt Thank You

Good Morning! Heather here on Free For All Friday, TGIF!
As shared by Claudia and Katie, it is so good to be back and able to share with you the creative moments that life brings each day.

Yesterday served to remind me just how important it is to say "thank you" to the people in your life who make a difference. Not just because it makes you feel good to say thank you but because you never know how special you may make someone feel by doing something relatively easy.
I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a thank you yesterday evening that made a
major impact on me and I'd like to share it with you.
As most of you know I am new to Texas. Bal, Lily and I relocated from Kentucky last July when I accepted a job working at UT-Arlington. As exciting as it always is to take a new job and move somewhere new a part of you is always sad about the unfinished business you leave behind at your last job. For those of us in higher education that typically means the students who haven't yet graduated. For me I had to leave one particular student who I worked with very closely from the time she was a freshman...Cassie P.
While Cassie and I have stayed in touch this year through facebook, phone calls and of course highlowaha we knew the minute I no longer had an office on campus it would be harder to really "be there" for Cassie.
Last night I got home from a long day in the office to get the mail out of my mailbox. I reached in to find several junk mail items and one envelope from Bellarmine University. Intrigued as to what it might be I opened it to find one of the most special thank you gifts I have ever received. It turns out that Bellarmine is engaging the Class of 2009 in their Senior Gift Campaign and they asked seniors to donate to the campaign and let them know that they could give their gift in honor of someone who made a difference in their time at Bellarmine and Cassie had chosen to make a gift in honor of me. Now I don't know if Cassie realizes the impact that her kind act had on me (she will when she reads this) but this simple act of honoring me in this way provided a reaffirmation to me that I'm in the right line of work, I do make a difference, and Cassie values our relationship. All that from a form letter mailed by the Bellarmine University Development Office.

So here's my challenge to you today on Free For All Friday. With Administrative Assistant's Day coming up on the horizon (April 22nd to be exact), let's work together as a highlowaha community to think of meaningful, heartfelt ways to say "thank you" to the people who make our jobs or lives that so much easier. Let's be honest in saying that even if you don't personally have an administrative assistant that you work with everyone's life is impacted by an administrative assistant either positively or negatively so taking time to thank the ones who make a positive impact is important and may just let them know that THEY are in the right line of work, do make a difference, and that YOU value their relationship.

So let's have it highlowaha...give me your best, most creative, most heartfelt ways to tell an Administrative Assistant in your life (either the one you work with or the one you talk to at your doctor's office, kid's school, etc...) thank you.

Signing off Until Tomorrow...

12 comments:

Chaotic said...

Hmmm... I was an admin asst for a while... not technically one now but am still treated as such by boss...LOL... creative? I would want to do something other than flowers &/or card (what I get...) something that shows you know something about me... how about a gift basket with things relating to what the admin enjoys? So, for me, that would be shiny things, nifty papers, an ink pad or 2, a punch, glue stick....
for another gal in my office, I could do a movie watching basket, filled with popcorn, small snacks & treats, a DVD, etc.

Peggy said...

A twist:

You know me... odd ball out! I'm sort of an Admin. Asst. I'm the receptionist at an eye doctor's office... I'm the glue that holds that team together!!!

Well, on 4-1... I've been there for 6 months, so I thanked the doctor with a Creative Greeting, and then the Technician and Insurance Manager, with a heartfelt thanks went up to them to say how much I had appreciated them giving me the job and for working here 6 months... all of their jaws fell to the floor... NONE of them knew what to say!!

I walked away kind of deflated... some people don't know how to take a compliment, or what to say when someone thanks them, or how to respond when they receive a RAK... but I'll keep trying... with amazement!

Cheryl said...

Peggy- the fact that you are appreciative and are able to express that is a wonderful thing. Who knows, even though they didn't know how to take it, maybe it's something that they'll remember and pass on at a later date.

I am an Admin. Assistant, too. At my last job the owner would take the whole staff out to lunch which would always turn out to be the rest of the day out drinking. It was fun and it was a group so I didn't feel singled out with appreciation. Growing up extremely shy I tend to not like being in the spotlight so I'm thinking something quietly done. No grand gestures here. A simple "Thanks for showing up everyday. Thanks for keeping a positive attitude." would be plenty for me. But... that's not very creative is it. :)

I'll keep thinking today and see if I can come up with something that is creative but also not grand... if that makes sense. Kind of like Heather's letter. It was a grand gesture by Cassie and a simple form letter made Heather's day. That's whay I'm talking about.

Katie K said...

I'm so glad t hear that you got to the letter from BU. Cassie had told me she was doing that in your honor and was excited for you to know about it too! You deserve it Heather- you've made a huge impact on the lives of many BU students.

As far as honor admin. assistants, I always think that it's important to honor them in their own special way. For example, I think of Doris, the woman who ran the switchboard at Bellarmine. She always had those candies on her desk and she knew which flavors people liked. She took the time out to get to know people, and so I think it's important for someone to get to know her too. To me, admin. asst. take the time out to work hard for the people they are working for, that it's important to get to know them on a more personal level too.

Heather said...

Agreed... Katie...personal I think that is what makes the difference.
I like the idea of a gift basket Chaotic. Would the group Free For all a basket filled with sewing supplies...what would you include?

My current admin who is amazing is an avid sewer and her son just moved back out so she has her sewing room back. She spent all last week getting it put back together and I'd love to treat her to some nice supplies to put to use.

cassie p said...

HEATHER! This is the first day in a loooong time that I did not get to read the blog before leaving home (besides the cruise). I miss you soooo much, as you know, and I would not have honored any one else (except maybe Dr. B of course)! This just reminded me of how much you mean to me, and how much I wish I still had your office to run up to; and you to talk to whenever I needed it. Thanks for always being there for me. I LOVE YOU!!! Gotta go, i am at clinical!

Claudia said...

My two cents on recognition.... Veer toward the specific, as my high school AP English teacher would say. I tend to believe recognition is most meaningful when it is recognizing (or thanking) specific acts. In other words... instead of simply saying,"Thank you for doing great work," you might say "I love when we work on projects that you are so detail oriented. I can always count on you to remember things I won't." If I was really good, I might even include an instance.

I suppose to be truly appreciative of administrative assistants is to thank them throughout the year (though, I am like Heather and always look forward to formal occasions as well.)

Finally... I'm a little like Cheryl in that I might not want a whole bunch of attention placed on me. Frequently if I want to recognize a staff person, I leave a treat on their desk, so they find it in the morning and can open/experience it alone and on their own terms. I love gift "displays," so it also satisfies my desire to set a scene.

A sewing basket, Heather. Nice idea. I am no sewer, but what about thread, bobbins, maybe a fun sewing plaque for the room she just reclaimed? Scissors, a gift card to Joanne Fabrics, or a subscription to a sewing magazine.

Maybe instead of a basket, you could find a sewing "organizational box/tool" in which to place the items.

I might add... your theme idea lends itself to a fun slogan for your assistant's gift. Maybe that could be next week's Free For All topic.

Peggy... I love that you thanked your office staff. I feel certain they didn't say anything, because you are SUCH anomaly! I love the attitude with which you go through life!

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