Just a Secretary...

6 years ago

I cringe any time I have to tell somebody what my job is.

"I'm an administrative assistant at blahblahblah."

Because I know how that comes across. In fact, I was on date number 1 with D when he started making cracks about me being "just a secretary."

And now it's been on my mind.

Probably a little bit more so after the events of Wednesday morning.

If you were on Twitter, you saw that I was a little worried that a mistake I made would cost me my job. I was pretty sure that the work I've put in for the last year and a half would supersede this little mistake, but still...I wasn't 100% sure. A client called in pissed about the mistake I'd made. So my boss brings me in and we talk to her on speakerphone (which, by the way, I hate more than anything else in the office). I apologize. I own up to my mistake. I apologize again. I don't even bother giving her excuses, because I don't think it matters. Yes, I did this wrong. Yes, I am very sorry. End game.

But it's not enough.

She rails on, and by the tone of her voice, I know what she is thinking.

She's just a little secretary. She doesn't know anything. An idiot could do this job, and she can't even do it right. She must be a moron.

I might just be a little overly sensitive about it, but knowing she is thinking something like that really kills me.

Because I'm not "just a secretary." I don't sit around answering phones while I do my nails and flip through gossip magazines.

I help keep this office running. When the office manager had a stroke over a year ago, I took on all of her duties. When the training coordinator quit a few months ago, I took on all of her duties. And even before either one of those events, I still played my role in making sure things ran smoothly. Especially any interactions between our consultants and the customers. I never "just answered the phones." If that was all I did, I would tell my boss to pay me less because it would be a waste of his money to pay someone just to answer a phone that rarely rings more than 10 times a day.

Okay, I wouldn't really have him pay me less. In fact, whenever I feel like I don't have enough to do, I always go to the boss and the consultants and beg them to give me more work. I like earning my paycheck.

I wanted to reach through the phone and throttle this woman. I wanted to scream at her that this is the 21st century. I don't know anybody who wouldn't be offended at being called "just a secretary", or it being implied that any idiot could do her job (administrative or otherwise). I wanted to invite her into my office for just a day to see what I do to keep this company running. I wanted to wave my degree in her face. I must not be too stupid if I have a college degree, right?


Or maybe I'm just making a big deal out of nothing. It's hard to tell if my frustration is because I know I do more than my job title implies, or because I know I could be more than my job title is.


I was going to put a disclaimer here to avoid offending anybody, but I changed my mind. This isn't geared towards other people. This is geared towards me. So take it as you will.

This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

More from living

by Julie Sprankles | 21 hours ago
by Michelle Carlbert | a day ago
by Fairygodboss | 6 days ago
by Catherine Conelly | 6 days ago
by Sarah Brooks | 7 days ago
by Julie Sprankles | 7 days ago
by Justina Huddleston | 8 days ago
by Fairygodboss | 13 days ago