DEAR ABBY: "Jo in Denver," the efficient, mature secretary who said the present-day office manager wants "a 19-year-old with good buns" missed the mark.
Besides ignoring the fact that many bosses these days are women, she also overlooked the fact that many companies these days are downsizing, streamlining, paying off leveraged debt. The sad truth is that many bosses would love to have a woman of her caliber, but they can't afford to pay her what she's worth, so they settle for an inexperienced 19-year-old. I know. My husband hired one. His secretary's name is "Arthur." He's Chinese and loves rock music. As far as I know, he doesn't have "great buns," but he doesn't cost $30,000 a year, either. - WITHHOLD MY NAME IN DALLASDEAR WITHHOLD: Here's a letter from an office manager who prefers an inexperienced 19-year-old for another reason:
DEAR ABBY: I'll take a young, inexperienced secretary any day over the "mature woman with years of experience." Why? Because I will not have to hear, "That's not the way we did it at Mahoney, Valenti, Schwartz and Schlockenberg." - NO NAME, NO LOCATION, PLEASE
DEAR ABBY: I couldn't believe your saying that while good looks and youth never hurt anybody's chances in the job market, they will never be valued over competence! Where have you been?
My qualifications were tops, but I happen to be a large woman (5-10 and 188 pounds), and I'm not old - unless you call 43 "old."
First, I was interviewed by the office manager; then she said the boss "wanted to see me briefly." It was brief, all right! He came in, took one look at me, turned around and walked out. (Not even a `hello.") Would you believe the office manager returned and said, "He wanted a more petite person"?
As it turned out, my disappointment didn't last long. My next interview landed me in a position as secretary to a lawyer in one of the most prestigious law firms in Manhattan. - BIG BUT BANKABLE
DEAR ABBY: I would like to respond to Jo in Denver on "Appalled in Chicago."
If you think 19-year-olds are only hired so the boss can get excited your (sic) wrong.
I am a very pretty 19-year-old secretary, but I am also very knowledgeable on secretaial (sic) skills, not only can I type, spell, add, make coffee, water plants, and run errands, I have a good attitude towards people that is how I qualified for my job. - KNOWLEDGEABLE IN PHOENIX
DEAR READERS: "Sic" is Latin for "thus" and amounts to "that is exactly the way the writer wrote it."
DEAR ABBY: We both lost our spouses - he in August of '89, and I in May of '89. We plan to marry this December.
Now the question: Should we ask our children, who are grown and married, to attend the ceremony? My husband-to-be says he is not sure his children could handle it, but if he invited them, they may feel obligated to attend.
What should we do? - "US"
DEAR "US": If there is the slightest doubt about how any of your children will handle it, please consider just the two of you quietly tying the knot alone. Most teenagers do not know the facts about drugs, AIDS, and how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It's all in Abby's new, updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)