DEAR READERS: Don't tell me tomorrow is National Secretaries Day again! Well, it is, and it's rather amusing to note that secretaries disagree broadly on how "their" day should be celebrated - if at all. For example, a Girl Friday in Tampa, Fla., wrote:
DEAR ABBY: I hate National Secretaries Day. My boss feels obligated to take me to lunch, and I feel obligated to go. He's a nice man, but all he talks about is himself. How boring! I'm sure there are many secretaries who would be thrilled to go to lunch with their bosses, but I'm not one of them. - NO NAME, PLEASEA female certified public accountant led a workshop involving secretaries and their bosses. She asked secretaries what they wanted most from their bosses on Secretaries Day. Then she asked the bosses what they thought their secretaries wanted most on "their" day. There were 201 responses from secretaries, and 143 responses from their bosses.
Twenty-two percent of the secretaries said they wanted a day off with pay! Only 6 percent of the bosses said that's what their secretaries wanted most.
Concerning flowers: Only 7 percent of the secretaries said they wanted flowers. But 25 percent of the bosses said they thought their secretaries wanted flowers. I've printed a "prayer for secretaries" (author unknown) several times, and have had numerous requests for a copy of same to be read at a retirement party for a devoted secretary. So clip it now; you never know when it might come in handy:
PRAYER FOR SECRETARIES
"Dear Lord, help me to do my work well; to have the memory of an elephant, the patience of a saint and the hide of a rhinoceros. And when the boss asks me to stay late to type a three-page letter that absolutely must go out today, and he doesn't get around to signing it until tomorrow, please help me to keep my mouth shut.
"Dear Lord, never let me lose my patience, even when the boss has me searching the files for something that is later discovered on his desk!
"Help me to have the knowledge of a genius, although my education is limited to high school and secretarial training.
"Help me to understand and carry out all instructions without any explanation.
"Let me always know exactly where my boss is and when he will be back, even though he never tells me when he leaves.
"And Lord, when the year ends, please give me the foresight not to throw out records that will be asked for in a few days, even though I was told emphatically, `Destroy these - they are cluttering up the place!' Amen."
A Sacramento secretary who spoke for many wrote:
DEAR ABBY: Please print this message to my boss on National Secretaries Day, but please don't use my name:
If you want to show me how much you appreciate me, skip the lunch and flowers and give me a raise. - MONEY TALKS
P.S. What do you think is one of the most chronic problems of business etiquette confronting today's secretaries? The "his/her" identification! One must never assume that the boss is a male, that the nurse is a female, the police officer is a policeman or the firefighter is a fireman. I think you get the idea.
What teenagers need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with their peers and parents is now in Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and address, plus check or money order for $3.50 ($4 in Canada) to: Dear Abby's Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)