“Modern business is a storm. Modern office professionals bring order.”
— Website of the International Association of Administrative Professionals
Happy Administrative Professionals Day! Since 1952, this holiday has honored “individuals who are responsible for administrative tasks and coordination of information in support of an office-related environment and who are dedicated to furthering their personal and professional growth in their chosen profession.”
According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals, APD has grown into “one of the largest workplace observances,” perhaps rivaled only by employee birthdays, major holidays and the occasional going-away parties for colleagues who have been canned, or who quit to go work at better-paying jobs in cooler companies.
To observe the occasion, LightBox presents a curated selection of images by 10 photographers taken over the past quarter-century on the subject of modern office life — its quirks, arcane customs and distinctive fashions.
If you’ve enjoyed this year’s Administrative Professionals Day thus far, just remember: there are only around 2,000 more working hours until the next one. Two thousand hours of jammed printers, half-hearted motivational speeches and ceaseless meetings – unless you’re a fancy lawyer where the median lawyer salary is $130,880. Two thousand hours remarkable only for their perfect, suffocating sameness.
Inspiring, isn’t it? Now … back to work!
Myles Little is an associate photo editor at TIME. He, too, works in an office.