Dear Administrative Professional,
Joan and I started at this company at the same time. I wouldn't call her a close friend, but we did eat lunch together sometimes and I knew her job was a lot like mine – lots of interruptions because too many bosses wanted too many things. I had thought we were moving at about the same pace career-wise, but a few months ago she started acting like she was eating steroids for breakfast every morning.
And then, smack in the middle of tough times, she got promoted. And I exploded.
“While I’m running myself ragged to get noticed, you get all the praise. But you never seem to work hard. You always take lunch, you never stay late – yet everybody thinks you’re Ms. Perfect.” Embarrassed by my outburst, I sank down in the chair next to her desk and quietly asked …
“Joan, what’s your secret?”
“I don’t have one secret,” she said. “Nope. I have 59 of them.”
Seeing my puzzled expression, she smiled and tapped the cover of a slim book that was sitting on her desk. “Right in here are the 59 secrets I’ve been using to turn ordinary technology – like email and Microsoft® Office® – into my own personal success-boosters. I know it’s hard to believe one book could make such a difference, but then …” she paused. “Well, I do start my new job on Monday ….”
I looked skeptically at the book.
“Joan, I want more respect, money and a promotion like yours. How is all that going to come from a book called 59 Technology Tips for the Administrative Professional?”
Again, she smiled. “Remember those bio sheets I put together?”
“Come on, Joan,” I sighed. “Everyone remembers them. You turned blurbs sent by email into professional-looking inserts for that presentation in – what was it, Joan, TEN MINUTES? You even added photos. We all wondered how you PhotoShopped them so fast.”
“I didn’t PhotoShop them at all. I just clicked on a little tool right there in Microsoft Word. Poof! All the photos had the same background!
“Plus,” she continued, “I clicked another Word feature and the email text pasted into my document in the perfect font and format. And, I used double-click secrets to instantly set tabs, change spacing, adjust margins, write macros and launch spellcheck. Poof! I don’t waste a second on menus.”
“Where’d you learn those secrets?” I asked, suspicious that the company had sent Joan to some expensive seminar.
Joan tapped her copy of 59 Technology Tips …
“I learned secrets for Word, email, Excel and PowerPoint all right here. Plus, I discovered amazing online tools, too.”