“That’s just the title!”
– The Scarlet Pimpernel (film)
Although there are only four of us secretaries to keep track of, the officers (bless them) are not at all comfortable with change. And, in their defense, the last two years has seen a lot of it.
To explain, Susie took over from E.T. Then Theeson gave her two weeks notice right before the busiest time of year and Wise was moved from my current position to replace Theeson, and the department hired me. Then Tink left and we yanked Hennessy over from the Appeals office to replace her. And since none of us were properly trained, we’ve all muddled through with varying degrees of success learning how to keep the department running.
The end result of which is that, after nearly two years at this desk, I will occasionally get emails addressed to Wise (although sent to my account, which makes no sense). And poor Hennessy is often called by my name – although not exactly, rather a poor derivative of my name – in spite of the fact that I have never worked her/Tink’s position. I’ve also been referred to as Hennessy (they never mess up her name). I still get faxes in Wise’s name, and no matter how many times she tells them to update their records the University key office still has Hennessy listed as Seaton (who worked there PRE-Tink).
Our positions aren’t even our titles (receptionist, office manager, etc.) but our names. So Hennessy is still referred to as “The New Tink,” I’m explained to new hires or returning university visitors, “This is C., our Wise.” If ever I leave, I’ll bequeath to my successor a long list of titles rivaling the caliphates!
The New C., Defender of the Supply Closet, Herder of Officers, Monarch of the Copy Machine, The Secretaries’ (Peace be upon them – please!) Voice in the Office, Giver of Wage Increases, Keeper of Fingerprints, Tidier of the Front Desk Area, Training Manager, The Hire-er of Students, and good luck to you, dear!