Please take note of the following commandments as they apply to any and all administrative staff in your realm. I have written these down so those that plead ignorance shall be ignorant no more. These are truly words to live by.
1. Thou shalt not interrupt thy secretary’s lunch. If I am eating, or on my way to eat, do not try to stop me. My stomach has been on the same schedule for many, many years. It will be bad for your digestion, should you mess with mine. Do not text or call or try to speak to me at lunch. It is my time away from you. The reason you pay me is to do work for you. I don’t do it because it’s fun or I particularly like it. Therefore, on my break time, I am not thinking about you nor do I want to. Whatever you want can wait 1 hour. If not, it’s probably beyond my help anyway.
(I told you. I get cranky when I don’t get my lunch.)
2. Thou shalt not look at pictures of my sister on my desk and say “Damn, she’s hot!” I know she’s hot. And in mentioning her hotness at all, you are obviously stating how un-hot I am in your pointless estimation. I am your secretary and I don’t need your drool all over my desk. I have spent my entire life knowing she is hot (and I am funny). You don’t need to remind me. Also, if you think saying this will encourage me to make some sort of connection with my hot sister, you are sadly mistaken. The last thing I want is to see more of you because you are dating my sister.
(Dude, were you like adopted?)
3. Thou shalt not contact me before or after my appointed work hours. I will work hard for you between the hours of 8:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Don’t call or text or try to find me on Facebook. Any and all drunk texts will be kept in a file entitled “Why I Deserve a Raise For No Reason”. Be warned ahead of time. This behavior may also result in my cornering you to show you pictures of my pets in hilarious/adorable situations and forcing you to listen to me sing Christmas carols when it’s not even Christmas so you will understand what “Don’t bother me” really means. Never forget, I can make your life a living hell, so let’s play nice and keep work at work.
(Thk u, Mr. Johnson. Now fwding this 2 ur wife. Lol, Myrtle.)
4. Thou shalt not question. I have been a secretary a long time. I know what I’m doing. If I said I did something or I’m going to do something, I will. Don’t ask me to “call and confirm”. That is a waste of my precious time and it pisses off the people that also know how to do their jobs. Trust me. We must have trust to make our relationship work. If there is a problem, I will let you know. Otherwise, believe in the power of the secretary. Her powers are stronger than yours.
(Are you sure I sign here? Maybe I should sign at the top. Can you check on that?)
5. Thou shalt remember Secretary’s Day and keep it holy. This speaks for itself. Do not ever try to “IOU” Secretary’s Day. There better be flowers and food involved at the very least. Cash is acceptable as well. A mere card is unacceptable and don’t even try to get me to make reservations for lunch in my own honor or order in and expect me clean it up. I deserve better. And if you remember me, I will be more willing to do extra nice things for you because I feel appreciated.
(Eh. It’s a start.)
6. Thou shalt not expect me to babysit your kid(s). If you choose to bring your spawn to work, they are your responsibility. I like kids. They’re cool. But you are paying me to work. I will say hi, and pat them on their cute little heads but do not expect me to feed, potty or entertain them. I have enough “kids” in this office that need my attention to keep them out of trouble. I do not have any time left over for yours.
(She said the least I could do is make myself useful and make some copies.)
7. Thou shalt not steal my pens. I know you have them. I’ve seen you chew on them and now I don’t want them back. I hate when I have 10 pens in the morning and none by 4pm. You know where the supply closet is and it is not my desk. Your arms did not fall off. Get your own office supplies. And what did you do with the 10 pens you stole from me yesterday? Use one of those. That also goes for paper clips, sticky notes, binder clips, folders and paper.
(No, I have not seen your damn pencil. Paranoid much?)
8. Thou shalt look upon my face and not my funbags. Yes, I know I have a great rack. I do my best not to flaunt it too much but by the time you get to be a grown man (or grown lesbian), you should be able to have a conversation without checking out the girls. They can’t talk back to you. Only my face can. I measured it and it’s exactly 13″ from my eyes to my boobs. You can look up at me. I know you can do it.
(But I’m not looking at your boobs!)
9. Thou shalt protect me from screaming phone calls. If your colleagues, clients or wife call and yell at me, I expect you to tell them not to talk to me that way. I don’t take screaming from you or even my loved ones and I sure as hell won’t take it from a stranger. Just like I will protect the receptionist from people who scream at her, I would like the same from you. Or the permission to scream and curse back. That would work, too.
(He says he doesn’t return your calls because you’re a fucking bitch who smells like ball sweat, ok!)
10. Thou shalt not ask me to do personal things for you. That includes jury duty, driving school, kids’ plays, etc. If I want to go to driving school, I will get my own ticket. I have my own jury service. I do not want to help you do your taxes or anything else like that. I have enough to do without keeping track of how many carbs you’re eating behind your wife’s back or when your mother’s birthday is. Now I will gladly tell people your door is closed because you’re on a conference call and not because you are really taking a nap. I will tell a client you’re on another call when you’re really playing “Wheel of Fortune” on the computer instead of taking their call. That’s fine. But let’s keep it business, ok?
(Why won’t I take your prostate exam for you? Let explain again…)
11. It puts the work in the basket. Use the inbox. Remember that scene in “Silence of the Lambs” where Buffalo Bill had the girl in the well and he would lower the basket down to her and say “It puts the lotion in the basket.”? And by God she put it in the basket, didn’t she? Scared out of her mind, wounded, hungry, almost completely in the dark and dealing with a mad man, she still managed to follow the simple basket directive. And Buffalo Bill’s basket didn’t even have a label in pretty, bold Monotype Corsiva font saying “IN BOX” on it! That girl still knew that was where the lotion went. In the basket. Not on the floor, not in the bucket he dropped her food in, not in her pocket, she didn’t throw it out of the well. She put the damn lotion in the basket. Do I have to toss people in a well and dress in drag to get them to understand “It puts the work in the basket!”
(Is it just me or is my cubicle getting smaller?)
I had to make 11 commandments because I have a thing for odd numbers. I’m sure there are more but I’m tired now. Take the gift of these words and heed them well. Your professional life can only be enhanced by it. The hand that types the papers, rules the world.