AML in Print

Smart Living

The Arizona Republic

Smart Living
April 20, 2000
Janle Magruder:

No excuses.
The debut last summer of and other Internet sites that make gift-giving a snap leave no legitimate reasons for bosses to forget their assistants next week.

Wednesday is Administrative Professionals Day, officially changed in January from Secretary's Day to reflect the changing titles and expanding responsibilities in today's work environment.

In years past, it was a pain for some managers to pick up the telephone and order flowers, especially because they had no clue how to - there secretaries did such tasks for them. Ditto with stopping at a gift shop for a greeting card or some token of appreciation.

Now, with a few clicks of the mouse, gift-giving is simple and, when you think about what assistants have to deal with each day, more necessary than ever.

"People have gotten away from the basic niceties of saying 'please' and 'thank you' and it's important for bosses to say, 'You've gone above and beyond the call of duty' said Lisa Mirza Grotts, president of AML Group, an etiquette and protocol consulting firm in San Francisco.

Mirza said it's imperative that bosses give appropriate gifts, which means no lingerie or all expense-paid trips for just you and her or him.

Favorite items on include a Night at the movies (gift certificate for two tickets to any AMC theater and two bags of popcorn, $23), the Standard Golf Ticket (good for one round at hundreds of courses around the country, $50) and the Deluxe Lobster Feast for two (with two 11/2 pound lobsters, 12 quart cooking pot, shell crackers and steel forks, $129)

Other intriguing gifts: Scharllen Herger pure dark chocolate ($45), a spa gift certificate ($50) and 12 months of flowers ($360) is even throwing in free two-day shipping with all orders.

More gifts can be ordered at, which gives free and low cost ideas, such as more respect, an extra vacation day or a longer lunch hour. offers the following shopping tips based on surveys of more than 1,500 office managers, administrative assistance, and secretaries.

Don't skimp. Better no gift than a trinket.

Plan early. Waiting until the last minute offends and sends the message you don't value them.

Never give recycled gifts. One assistant knew her Secretary's Day gift was something her boss had received from a client for Christmas because she had opened it for him.

Be considerate of your assistant's likes and dislikes, No steak dinner certificates for the vegetarian, and no candy for the diabetic.

Don't give basic tools, such as pens, they need to do their jobs.

At the very least, be considerate with what other bosses in your office are doing.

Find online gifts at or