They’re there when you call to make an appointment, they call you to make sure you remember to make it. When you need a referral, they’re the ones who take the call and make sure it happens, and when there’s a cancellation they call to let you know of the change.

They do the paperwork that keeps everything in order, and they get their bosses lunch while dealing with the concerns of customers all day long.

Without a receptionist, there’s no way an office could go about the day to day business smoothly, Receptionist’s Day celebrates these heroes of office life with their very own holiday. You know they deserve it!

History of Receptionists’ Day

Before we talk about the History of Receptionist’s Day, we have to take a bit of time to clearly define what a receptionist is. People often conflate the terms secretary and receptionist, and while both are extremely important in the day to day operation of a business, they are in no way the same thing.

A receptionist covers a huge amount of areas of work to assist the business they work for, including setting appointments, filing, record keeping, and a myriad of other office tasks all for the sake of keeping things moving. They are the first contact most people have with a company, and the last face they see on their way out the door.

A secretary, on the other hand, does not work for a business at large. A secretary handles many of these same functions, but they are specifically specialized in assisting one individual or at most a small team. A secretary is absolutely vital to the completion of their tasks and is deeply involved in managing their projects, communicating needs between them and their clients, and organizing the whole mess on a day to day basis, usually to exacting standards.

Receptionist’s Day recognizes the efforts of the first, those who juggle an entire office worth of paperwork and customers and phone calls and appointment setting and-and-and-and… Their work is simply never done, yet they keep on working.

The purpose of Receptionists’ Day

Launched in 1991, Receptionist’s Day was designed to celebrate the role that professional receptionists have all around the world. The aim of this day is the following…

  • To recognize how important receptionists are. Usually, when a client or a guest enters a business premise, the receptionist will greet them. They create an all-important first impression, and because of this, they are integral to the company in question.
  • Promote professionalism and pride amongst receptionists for the key role that they hold within a business or organization.
  • To give receptionists the chance to link up with other colleagues and share stories. Every year, the initiative gets bigger and bigger and is celebrated by businesses across the world. 

Some of our favorite fictional receptionists

The importance of a good receptionist is something that is often brought to life in movies and on TV shows. Below, we will take a look at some of our favorite fictional receptionists…

  • Dawn Tinsley – Well, there is only one place to begin when it comes to any receptionist role, and it is the series The Office, which started in the UK and made its way to the US, where it had huge success. In the UK version, Dawn Tinsley was the receptionist. In the end, she ended up moving to the US (in the show, of course!).
  • Janine Melnitz – Janine is the receptionist from the Ghostbusters film! She was the Ghostbusters’ personal secretary. Her character was more popular than expected, which led to her role being increased in the second film.
  • Joan Harris – We also have Joan Harris from Mad Men. She is seen as a sassy and bold character; a woman who really knows what she wants. Considering it is the ‘60s, she has to put up with a lot. She is a female working in an office that is dominated by males, and her strong-willed nature is something that we can all be inspired by.
  • Miss Moneypenny – Last but not least, we cannot possibly talk about fictional, famous receptionists without talking about Miss Moneypenny. She features in the James Bond movies, as a personal secretary to M, who is the head of the British Intelligence. In the films, she is often seen flirting with Bond, helping to show his softer side!

So there you have it: some of the famous fictional receptionists that we all know and love! But, of course, our real receptionists are the heroes on this day!

How to celebrate Receptionists’ Day

If you own an office, give them a paid day off, you know they need it! You can also take a day and do their job for a bit, manage the front desk so you know exactly what they put up with each day. As a customer, you can bring in a basket of healthy fruits and energy-boosting snacks, or just bring them a card. Or just say thank you for all they do, you know they don’t hear it often enough!

There are other ways that you can show your receptionist how much they are valued at your business. Why not give them a cash bonus? Or, you could make sure that there is a nice gift waiting for them when they arrive to work in the morning? You may even want to gather the rest of your workforce and get them to clap for your receptionist as he or she walks to their desk. It is all about making your receptionist feel good and appreciated.

Extra Information

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Second Wednesday of May
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Jennifer Alexander

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