Friday, June 15, 2012

What's in a name?

Our librarian sent all of the administrative assistants a flyer from the National Archive and Records Administration.  The title of this online seminar is "Basic Records Operation".  Mind you, I'd rather lop off my right arm than listen to this seminar but I read the flyer up until I got to the part that read "who should attend".  Guess who should attend?

The target audience for this course is records liaisons, secretaries, files custodians, and others who maintain records as part of their jobs.

Secretaries???  I've not heard that title used since I can't remember when.  Feel like I'm in an episode of Mad Men.  Time for my 12 cigarettes and a bourbon chaser!

I've actually always considered myself a secretary and never much cared for administrative assistant, but it's a whole new politically correct ballgame nowadays.  Anyway, I consulted my Internets to see what it had to say about secretaries:

A secretary, or administrative assistant, is a person whose work consists of supporting management, including executives, using a variety of project management, communication & organizational skills. These functions may be entirely carried out to assist one other employee or may be for the benefit of more than one. In other situations a secretary is an officer of a society or organization who deals with correspondence, admits new members and organizes official meetings and events.
A secretary has many administrative duties. Traditionally, these duties were mostly related to correspondence, such as the typing out of letters, maintaining files of paper documents, etc. The advent of word processing has significantly reduced the time that such duties require, with the result that many new tasks have come under the purview of the secretary. These might include managing budgets and doing bookkeeping, maintaining websites, and making travel arrangements. Secretaries might manage all the administrative details of running a high-level conference or arrange the catering for a typical lunch meeting. Often executives will ask their assistant to take the minutes at meetings and prepare meeting documents for review.

Pretty interesting stuff...not really.  Here's the really interesting thing though, the picture they have to reference a secretary is this:

Guess who that is?  Yeah, it's former President "I Am Not A Crook" Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods...the one who erased the tapes.  Couldn't my favorite Internets site have picked a more suitable example of a secretary? 

Enjoy your weekend!

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