questionsdo you have a secretary..... i mean…

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The admin section that I am part of has two secretaries, but they work only for the two administrators. Other than doing our payroll, they don't do any work for any of the other 20 people in our section. But we are still expected to contribute to getting them flowers and gifts and taking them to a lavish lunch. I don't mind all that much, they are nice folks. But it still grates to be told we have to make time to do our own filing and other clerical chores, then be handed an envelope to contribute money for the secretaries, and a card on which we are supposed to sing their praises.

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@moondrake: Organize a boycott of the card and contribution idea!

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We do not have any admin, unless you count accounting office. However, our President told all of us women (4) to go to lunch today. I politely declined.

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I work in a hospital, and yes, we have unit secretaries. I'm not entirely sure what their job is, though. Seems like it's to give off an overwhelming perfume odor and keep a chair from rolling away.

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@magic cave: Yeah, that would go over like a lead balloon.

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@voxitage: LOL You know how it is a "wiseness of apes" and a "gaggle of geese"? I call a group of admin pros a "gossip of secretaries".

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@moondrake: Yep. Perhaps I should have put a smiley in there?

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I did clerical/admin work for many years. In most office settings, if you want to see where the really useful people sit, send all the clerical/admin folks home for a couple of days and watch the ensuing chaos.

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@magic cave: Other than people coming in late or taking two hour lunches, nothing really changes when the admin folks are out, which is a lot. And other than doing our payroll, we have no work-related interaction with the secretaries. We are specialized and compartmentalized, and except for a few big tasks we work independently of one another. The secretaries and admin folks would have to be missing for weeks before it would make any impact, by payroll not getting done or the professional staff coming up against an obstacle that needed an administrators boot to dislodge it. We rely on our bosses for muscle more than instruction.

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There's almost a dozen of us in my department and I brought in 2 dozen donuts today and everyone seemed very happy. Our boss is on vacation this week and she usually forgets today anyway, but we do have 4 people that are what I would call "support staff". Everyone seemed very happy for the donuts. I got the 4 "support staff" potted flowers too. I've learned that no, you can't let them go home (everyone else would want to go too) but the little things seem to count for something.

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I did have a secretary while I worked, yes, and I think it depends very much on what they do, and what the business is, as to whether and how they're appreciated. The most telling (and really funny) thing I've ever seen was when 6 out of 7 on the second floor called in sick (flu season). It was such chaos that the only one left was told NOT to answer the phone, and they took other admins from other areas as temporary help for the day (and brought in two outside temporary staff for the rest of the week).

When all the VPs were out the next week, I was probably the only one who noticed.

A month before I retired, I started taking notes on what it was that the secretary did for me, and she was very sweet and patient while I learned how to keep my life organized, and reasonably well-running. I still miss having an assistant, and I've been retired for eight years.

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I AM A SECRETARY. I AM THE UBER WORKER.

Yes, my boss remembered me with a gift certificate.

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I had one before I retired. Some of the employees who filled that position were terrific and were promoted where they continued to be terrific. Some were not so great. I chose some of them and some were chosen for me. I would like to say that all of the great ones were my choices and all of the bad ones were not, but it was a pretty good mix both ways.

Back in the old days secretaries had a different job than they do these days. When I first started working we dictated letters and memos for secretarial staff to type. Some managers had their secretaries shop for gifts for their wives, which irritated the heck out of me, as a woman who wanted my husband to pick out my gifts by himself. (He didn't have a secretary so I'm pretty sure the rice steamer was his idea). Nowadays we have fewer old school secretaries, and more office managers.

Still, it was a bit sad to have no one to give flowers to today.

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@belyndag: You could send some to me :D
I'm not a secretary , but I do like flowers and if it would help make you feel better........

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@ceagee: Here you go, sweetie!

You were right! I do feel better now!

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@belyndag: I've had two assistants in the past, although that wasn't their job title. One was a grade below me and one was the same grade as me (and fully loaded with education including a PhD). They were hired for our section with a specific task load, but neither were capable of doing the job. So we came to an arrangement, they became my assistants and did all the stuff like answering phones, setting up meetings, filing, elementary research, etc. I did the actual tasks for both our jobs. It was a happy arrangement, they were both very social people and enjoyed the parts of the job I did not, and I didn't mind pushing extra work up the hill if I didn't have to be distracted by trivia. Unfortunately, since their work was done well, they got promoted to a less flexible role and couldn't handle it.

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@moondrake: The Peter Principle is alive and well.