Being a secretary is no easy task, especially when so many out of the ordinary tasks are expected of one; like writing speeches for the boss, arranging cocktail parties, or worse, being in control when a staff member has a suspected heart attack! Other unusual incidents could be expected too, like a finger cut on a sheet of A4 paper, an accident with scalding coffee, a phone call at 02:00am saying that the boss has arrived in New York; and at that time of night, who would care anyway!
Other than all of the above, a secretary should be, above all, dedicated, focused and well organized, an indispensible part of the team, and not be too "high and mighty" in the position, demoralizing other staff members. In the "skills department" excellent spelling and grammar is a priority, and the ability to interpret the employer's unfathomable hieroglyphics is essential.
Aside from being some kind of saint, tolerating the boss's wife might be an added challenge a secretary could face; one she may need to have patience, grace and strength to deal with.
Take for example, a particularly difficult wife, who happens to walk into the office; and suddenly there is complete silence. In her mind she assumes that, without her presence, this "happy-go-lucky" group of staff are just a bunch of overpaid opportunists. She may even dismissively insist that this employee (the secretary, that is) with an elevated status (in her mind), should take a half eaten cake back to the supplier because the cream is sour.
Other "salt in the wound" incidents may include the boss asking his secretary to dance at the yearend function while his wife glares contemptuously; or the demeaning declaration that you are "one of the family" bellowed out loud after the boss has imbibed copious amounts of whiskey!
One extremely overworked secretary, on the verge of handing in her resignation, came to the conclusion that constant repetition of the creed "What does not kill me only makes me stronger" could be her only salvation. She kept her job! And her boss kept his sanity.
On that note, we would like to extend heartfelt wishes that on the 2nd of September, strength will be restored to soldier on, appreciation will be shown, and feelings of purpose and drive would encourage secretaries everywhere to show themselves worthy of the position they hold.