Subject: secretaries
From: Melissa Alton <maalton -at- UNITY -dot- NCSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 14:56:31 -0400

Hello everybody.

First of all, I did not expect so many responses and I want to thank
everyone for their encouragement and support. I posted my complaint to
the listserv because I feel this happened because I am a woman and people
don't understand what a tech writer is.

I have nothing against secretaries, but nobody wants to be mistaken for
something they are not. I'm sure this happens in other professions as
well, for instance I'm sure a lot of female doctors are mistaken as
nurses. If you were a female doctor thought of as a nurse would you be
insulted? Yes.

I've worked very hard to get where I am and am working hard to get my MS
while working full-time. The secretaries in my department don't have
college educations nor do they perform complicated tasks or solo assignments.

Yes recognition for a job well done is great, but only if its recognition
for work that you are actually doing, and not work that you are perceived
as doing...

I am going to say something because if I don't this thing will eat at me
and because I believe this negative perception can hurt my career with
this company. I haven't decided HOW to say it yet. When this whole
thing is all over I will post the outcome.

Melissa Alton

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