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> Who cares whether someone thinks you are a secretary? As long as the
> payroll department puts the correct numbers on the paycheck, they can
> call me a secretary, a scribe, a writer, or damn near anything else,
> except late for dinner.
Ah, the old "it doesn't bother me so how could it possibly bother anyone
else?" logic. Who can argue with that? :-)
Here are some reasons one might care if one's coworkers know the
difference between a technical writer and a secretary. And they have
nothing to do with tender egos.
(1) When I first started working as a secretary, the university where I
worked did not pay for clerical workers' health insurance until they had
worked there for a year. Admin/professional workers, OTOH, were covered
free of charge from day one. If you were in this situation, and your
employer decided a tech writer was pretty much the same thing as a
secretary, you'd pay your insurance out of pocket for a year.
(2) Imagine a conversation between one of your coworkers and someone
you'd like to work for: "So, you work with John Gilger?" "Oh yes, he's a
wonderful secretary." Gee, too bad -- I was looking for a writer.
(3) As others have pointed out, while you're doing secretarial duties
(or trying to explain why you don't) you aren't doing your other job --
the reason the payroll department puts the numbers on the check in the