Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Twenty-First Century! The 21st!

I got to work late today because I had a dentist appointment in the morning.

With luck, I found a parking space on the bottom floor, and, as I was heading for the door to the elevators, I saw the nice gentleman who runs the car wash concession in our garage coming along behind me. I held the door for him and, as we were getting on the elevator, I said, "Looks like a lovely day today." He said, "Yes it is. You should get your car cleaned." I, noncommittally, as I tend to clean my car myself, said, "You're right." He says, "We're running a special for you secretaries, this week. Twenty dollars a clean, instead of twenty-five."

Me: "I'm a lawyer."

He doesn't even have the grace to look ashamed.

I worked as a secretary during college. I have a secretary today who is almost an extra member of my family and who, I will specify right now, here, on the spot, is the reason behind my success, not to mention an incredibly gorgeous woman and a saint.

But, damn. Just damn. It's 2008. There's a woman running for president. I can not get on the fucking elevator to my fucking office without being mistaken for a fucking secretary.

I am going to turn someone into a newt.

And now I have to find a different place to get my car cleaned.


LittleIsis said...

Hecate, you are my hero. It is the twenty first century isn't it??? Hopefully things will have changed by the twenty-second.

Shehuntstoo said...

ugh! when does it end!
I must say...I love reading your blog. Thank you that you have the voice you do. and perhaps one day , after all DC isn't far at all.

Inanna said...

This reminds me of a story that Carolyn Heilbrun, the eminent literary critic and novelist, and first woman to be tenured in English at Columbia, tells in one of her books. After she reached "a certain age," new, young, male faculty members would mistake her for, and treat her like, the secretary or cleaning lady. They were more than abashed when they learned who she was: the famous literary critic, full professor, and hence someone who would be voting on whether or not they received tenure. Mwa hah hah.

Aquila ka Hecate said...

I get quite a lot of this nonsense, too.

I don't get taken for a secretary, probably due to my individual and highly eccentric way of dressing, but I do get taken for some bean-counter or-worse- a graphic designer quite a lot.

terri in Joburg

Anonymous said...

I get that alot, as I've bitched to you before. I'm a technical writer and editor but somehow everyone here keeps on asking me about office supplies and where the fax machine is.


Mr.Murder said...


"Every successful business has a gatekeeper. The secretary can often establish business contacts and develop sales points for a meeting's first impressions, just from their discussions made waiting to interview the person behind the door their office adjoins.

Every successful business has a gatekeeper.

They often know as much or more than the person behind the door, and the best have been at their jobs longer than has the boss."

He went on to say their work was every bit as crucial as was finance. People who underestimate their value lack understanding of good business.

donna said...

Geez, if you weren't so proud, you could get your car cleaned cheap! ;^)

Dirk Gently said...

maybe you should dress better :lol:

(it's ok, folks - she gets it)

Anonymous said...

And I say to people, should they ask, when I'm wearing my scrubs,
"I work in ER."
and they say,
"I've always wanted to be a nurse."
(women, mostly)
"Oh, you're a nurse!"

No, it doesn't end...

darkette said...

I am a legal secretary to three attorneys, including a partner (female), studying for my paralegal certificate. I've had a number of attorneys encourage me to go to law school (I love the law, but I'm not interested in everything that goes with being a lawyer nowadays, in addition to having a family with two school-age children).

The daily garbage I get is from doctors and others who assume that my job is so casual that I can easily take a few days off when I'm sick (sorry, no, filing tomorrow, production due in two days, just got notice the other side is filing ex parte so we need to pull records, etc.), condescend to me, stick to two-syllable words, and offer to write me a note. What really galls is that this behavior is usually from female staff. Male staff are more likely to write a prescription, ask me what I need to get back on my feet faster, and ask what has worked in that past.

That really hurts.