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Salute to the Office Secretary

Salute to the Office Secretary

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Published by Andrew G.R.
You better be nice to the person in your life that can make life VERY easy or VERY hard!
You better be nice to the person in your life that can make life VERY easy or VERY hard!

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Published by: Andrew G.R. on Dec 12, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/16/2009

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As part of an annual ritual, I usually amble intoStaples at this time of the year to buy next years'appointment book. If you read my last column, youknow that I do everything possible to avoid, avertand evade the holiday hustlers who patrol theentrances of drug stores, mega-stores and everythingin between.Once in the store, I’m surprised to find that theseappointment books are in very short supply, sincealmost the entire store is dedicated - no, devoted to - all sorts of techno stuff. It's almostlike paper is going out of style. Call me old school, but for me there's nothing like aclean, fresh, high-quality genuine leather appointment book. It's almost mystical,scanning the blank calendar pages, and knowing that they'll soon enough be filled with allsorts of meetings, conferences, and the like. Some challenges will be new and some old.Every page awaits its future. These great little books used to be called, well before the blackberry revolution, 'pocket secretaries'. Sadly, and sooner rather than later, this littleleather book will soon be consigned to the dustbin of history, a relic only to perhaps befound in a lesser museum.Hopefully, and for all our sakes, the office secretary will not suffer the same undeservedfate. Modern thinking to the contrary, the secretary cannot be replaced. Not by any typeof nameless, faceless, technological advance or humanoid software package. Because inaddition to every other task that still needs to be performed at the office, there is no one,no one who will consistently and faithfully watch your back better and more zealouslythan your secretary. Assuming that you treat him or her right.True enough, the secretary’s role has changed, and changed dramatically, over the pastseveral years. Stenography, touch typing, opening mail, filing, taking phone messagesand copying copious amounts of documents are now pretty much antiquated functions.Typed letters? Paper documents and files? Human contact? Who really needs themanyway, the modernists argue. Why, they continue, it's all in the ether. And so the officeenvironment is now amorphous, intangible and floating not so gently in cyberspace. Busyexecs sit hunched over their monitors, clicking quietly away at their keyboards.Yet, for the almost three and a half million secretaries in America, there are still importantand significant needs that they fulfill, every day. According to the Princeton Review,secretaries still do what they do best, and to manage information. When you consider themany new and complex skill sets that they've had to acquire over the past 10 or so years, just trying to keep pace with a rapidly changing techno environment, it's very much to thesecretary’s credit that they have been able to so successfully and smartly adapt to the 'newworld.' While typewriters have been replaced by word processing programs and rulers by

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