All hail the office alternate

Hannah Franklin

When you hear the title “Executive Assistant,” you probably think coffee, cleaning, sticky notes, and some sort of bowl with goodies in it. If we’re being honest, you’re not wrong. Being an assistant DOES include all of these things. What people don’t realize, however, is how much more the job title actually consists of.

To better explain what it truly means to be an assistant, I feel as though I must turn to the world of sports. We all know the term “alternate,” but unless you’ve been one, you probably don’t understand how important their role is to the success of the team.

As an alternate on a sports team, you have to be ready to jump in anywhere, at any time, for any team member. In an office setting as an assistant, it’s not much different.  You jump in whenever, wherever, for whomever, and you get it done (even if you have no idea what you’re doing). If something needs to be scanned, you scan it. If an invoice needs to be paid, you pay it. If the 15 grown men you work with need snacks and candy to function, you go get them snacks and candy.  If the walls need to be painted, you paint them (even in your vintage leather boots).

We’re VIP members at Sam’s Club, Amazon Prime experts, and the only people without a barista title that can sling coffee like no one’s business.

As assistants, “coming through in the clutch” is literally our job. We fill in the holes where something is missing. We’re the rookies that make the buzzer beater at the end of the game to get that W.

Whether we’re organizing, paying people, buying snacks, or wiping down the conference table for a last minute meeting, we’re always striving to make everyone’s life in the office a little easier.

If you’re in an office setting with an assistant today, give them a little extra love. If you’re an assistant yourself, keep doing your thing and assisting your coworkers in getting that daily W.