Did you know that the last full week of April is Administrative Professionals Week, and the Wednesday of that week is Administrative Professional Day? This is a day, and week, were we should all give the people that do so much behind the scenes a special thanks for all the work they do to make the world run smoothly.
Think about all the moments in your life that have been made easier by the person scheduling an appointment, making phone calls, ordering and managing the supplies, and otherwise making the world go round. Not just the people that do these things for you, or where you might work, but the people that do these things at the companies you do business with. Salespeople, service people, medical professionals, teachers, and so on could get very little done without the wonderful people that do everything in their power to make things run smoothly and frankly make it all look easy.
In honor of these hard working, and generally under-appreciated, people I have gathered up some fiction about the people that have worked as administrative professionals. Included are novels where assistants of different varieties face more work and trouble than anyone should, and still handle it all with style.
Chore Whore: Adventures of a Celebrity Personal Assistant by Heather H. Howard
Reaching her breaking point after being abused by more than twenty celebrities in her work as a professional Hollywood assistant, Corki Brown is dismayed to learn that ending her career is proving more difficult than anticipated.
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
A small-town girl fresh out of an Ivy League college lands a job at a prestigious fashion magazine, but wonders if the glamorous perks are worth working for the editor from hell.
The Second Assistant: a Tale From the Bottom of the Hollywood Ladder by Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare
A former congressional intern who takes a job as second assistant at The Agency, a powerful Hollywood talent agency, Elizabeth Miller never expected to have to cope with the trials, tribulations, and dirty dealings of the film world, from a Machiavellian assistant and company power struggle to a lecherous producer and ritalin-snorting boss.
Off the Menu by Stacey Ballis
Alana, the culinary assistant to a Chicago celebrity chef, discovers Southern hospitality after an accidental online connection to a Tennessee native and must decide on her priorities in life.
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a Greenwich Village jazz bar on New Year’s Eve 1938 catapults witty Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multi-millionaire, an Upper East Side ne’er-do-well, and a single-minded widow.
More fiction featuring stalwart assistants include: Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal, Princess Elizabeth’s Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal, The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields, The Haunting of L. by Howard Norman, The Hanging Girl by Jussi Adler-Olsen; translated by William Frost, The Apprentice Lover by Jay Parini, and Margot by Jillian Cantor.