Re: secretary's day

Subject: Re: secretary's day
From: Alexia Prendergast <alexiap -at- SEAGATESOFTWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 11:11:25 -0400

This reminds me of my first job as a tech writer -- for a while, some
engineers insisted on dropping stuff off at my desk to be typed.

The way I saw it, there were two possible explanations -- a mistake by
people who didn't know better or something more insidious. My knee-jerk
reaction was to assume the worst. However, I gave them the benefit of
the doubt and just dropped the typing back off, letting them know that
they should ask one of the admin assistants to do their typing.

They say the simplest explanation is usually the right explanation, and
in my case, it did just turn out to be ignorance. I ended up developing
good working relationships with most of these folks. I'm glad I didn't
waste my time getting mad or being defensive -- I was just direct and
matter-of-fact about it and took care of it right away.

I'm not saying it's always ignorance -- only you know your whole
situation. I usually get the best results when I try the simplest
solution first, though. In this case, I'd simply tell the giver that I
appreciated the thought but that he/she had confused my job title. Then,
I'd do some quick educating (no one wants a long lecture :-).

Alexia Prendergast
Tech Pubs Manager
Seagate Software (Durham NC USA)
mailto:alexiap -at- seagatesoftware -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Melissa Alton [SMTP:maalton -at- UNITY -dot- NCSU -dot- EDU]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 1998 10:35 AM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: secretary's day
> Hello all fellow tech writers.
> I have a workplace dilemma. Today is secretary's day. Not something
> i
> would usually care about because I dont have a secretary. But this
> year
> I care about it because when I got to work there was a card on my desk
> thanking me for my good work as a SECRETARY! (i've been with this
> company for 4 months)
> While its nice to be appreciated, its not nice to be considered a
> secretary when you have a BA from a prestigious university and are
> working on your MS in tech comm. AND do not perform secretarial
> duties.
> I should also mention that I don't get a secretary's salary...nor do I
> have a secretarial title.
> Frankly I am highly insulted. I feel like issuing a statement
> explaining
> that while I appreciate the card and being appreciated, I am not a
> secretary.
> WHat do you guys think? Should I just forget it or voice my opinion?
> &^~~~
> Send commands to listserv -at- listserv -dot- okstate -dot- edu (e.g., SIGNOFF
> Check out topic summaries at

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