Nothing irritates me more than how undervalued secretaries are. Especially when it gets dismissed as “answering a phone”.
No, being a receptionist is “answering a phone”. A secretary basically coordinates all the information in an office to ensure that everybody has what they need to do all their jobs properly. And occasionally does some bits of those jobs, too. (I’ve done stuff like some aspects of accounts receivable, accounts payable, IT and tech support, sign construction, and stationary and form design, among other weird random things.)
And there’s just so many issues that I get inflicted on me or my mom by the local social services agencies that could easily be solved by them hiring a competent secretary versus forcing their various field agents and other workers to handle their own paperwork and information organization piecemeal.
And yet the secretary is often considered the most expendable person in a place, seen as easily replaceable via foisting the paperwork and information organization onto said separate workers. Which inevitably actually results in all sorts of messes because unsurprisingly your specialists have to spend so much time on their specialized jobs that they often skimp on the behind the scenes organization part. And then they’re missing their appointments, screwing up the customers’ paperwork and information in numerous ways, having the left hand not knowing what the right is doing, and so on.
Seriously, stop it, people. Hire a secretary. We need the work, and trust me, you need us doing that work, because you’re driving us insane as customers with how much your non-secretaries fuck up doing the secretarial work, which then results in them fucking up their work more often.
The last place I worked, I tried to get my manager to hire a secretary for us (It was a consulting gig so we didn’t have a lot of internal paperwork but there was some, and it was taking time out of billable hours) but he couldn’t due to company culture, despite the fact that a secretary would probably have been worth 3-5 times their salary in efficiency-increases alone, never mind any other work that could be foisted onto them.