Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Take a Note Please

Happy "Administrative Professionals" Day to all my favorite administrative peeps out there. This is the day secretaries live for. Free lunch!

We're going out to P.F. Chang's for lunch today with the bosses.  Next week is my last week at this firm ~ I wouldn't miss lunch for anything. It's my favorite hour of the work day, especially when I get to go out for lunch.  I worked with a woman a very long time ago who told me, "Susan, eating lunch out is the working woman's treat to herself". Listen! I don't remember many things but the important things I do ... her name was Barbara and she rocked! I worked with her at Alaska National Bank of the North in Fairbanks. That bank went under in the late '80's along with a lot of other banks. Sad times.

I've been a secretary since back when secretaries were actually called secretaries. I've never really gotten used to being called an assistant. I've worked in different fields but my main "thang" is pushing paper and typing. A lot

I had an awesome business teacher in high school, Mrs. Betty Pryse, and she taught me everything I needed to know to get my foot in the door of an office and I've been there ever since. I credit her with teaching me simple things like being polite, correcting my mistakes, and how to answer a phone. I came out of high school typing 75 wpm and I still do. I learned how to transcribe from dictation when I worked in the mental health field with my friend, Jane. I transcribed the psychiatrist's notes.  Talk about interesting work! I've worked in banking, typing up loan papers and doing collections. I worked for the county attorney's office for a long time and at hospice for the executive director. This sounds like a resume, doesn't it?

Over the years, I have had the most awesome mentors. I worked with a woman named Linda at the bank when I lived in Anchorage. She taught me to answer the phone by the 2nd ring. Funny how one remembers such "rules". Ever since then I can't stand to let a phone ring more than twice ... it's just not right. Linda set the standard for how I would become most interested in customer service. Back in the 80's, the banks taught their employees about cross-selling services. You knew your customers names and they were like family when they visited the branch.  Try to find that kind of service these days.  I seriously miss those times.  Oops ... getting off my soap box now. (But a great topic for another post)

Just so you know, I love being a secretary. A lot of things have changed since I started working as one 30 years ago. We used to type on typewriters. There was no voice mail ~ we actually talked to our customers and co-workers. People used to smoke inside of buildings. Some of the loan officers I worked for smoked in their offices. Can you imagine?

Even though a lot of things have changed, my love of assisting other people has not. If you're reading this and you qualify as an assistant, I hope someone takes you to lunch today. And, if you can't find anyone to take you to lunch, as my old friend Barbara would say, "take yourself to lunch ... your treat!"

love, susan  



  1. I loved Secretary Day when I was working outside the home. I always had great bosses who not only remembered me on *our* day, but throughout the year too.

    I worked as an *Assistant* - as they referred to us in later years - to real estate brokers, day spa owners, and office managers. Like you, I remember the days when you answered the phone and dealt one on one with customers/clients. No "Push one for this" and "Push two for that" stuff (which exasperates me!!!). I remember typewriters (and correction tape), and how I felt I had made the big time, when we upgraded to electric typewriters, after typing on a manual one for so long!

    As for smoking, I sure remember those days too. I was a clerk at the Post Office and worked graveyard shift sorting mail. All that paper and we all smoked like fiends around it. That could have been ugly with one dropped cigarette.

    I hope you have a nice lunch today. My husband and I are meeting friends for breakfast this morning, so that will do just as well.

  2. I don't get lunch but I got 2 hours of comp time and that's just as good in my book!

    I remember the days of smoking in buildings too...although I arrived on the secretarial scene after you were able to smoke in your private office. Mine started with smoking rooms. Not much smoking at all in dental offices where I worked before that.

    I was just thinking to myself it is so weird to have a friend my age (or worse, a year younger!)talk about anything in terms of 30 years! Wow, when did this all happen?

    Here's to Mrs. Pryse!!

  3. @ Dumb Mama ~ I know, huh! It seems impossible to me that 30 years has gone by. Let's not think about it too much .... :-) LOL!


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