December 12, 2003

Queen Bee

Today the company big-wigs are in the office. Weíve been forewarned that today does not count as a casual Friday. We should look presentable and neaten our desks. Everyone is to be at their stations and looking busy between 2 and 3 oíclock. The email implied that this behavior isnít exactly mandatory, but that we should all care enough to be personally concerned with the news.

The warning message was sent by the assistant to the department president: the queen bee. It is strange how there are hierarchies even among assistants. Girls like her seem like theyíve been bred for the role, like Geishas, they are masters at the simple art of service. Itís fitting that her boss looks like the old fashioned version of a company superior. He wears suspenders and his grey-streaked hair pushed back in an almost pompadour. He was a sturdy booming voice that it seems was made for announcements. When he stands up to give his quarterly report he leans back on his heals and tucks his thumbs under his suspenders, like he is feeling very successful and pleased with himself.

His assistant is youthful, pert, and immaculate. You canít help but think there might be something between them, or at least that he wants there to be. I imagine this is why the very occupation of secretary was invented. When heís got some pretty young thing trailing around after him, scribbling down his every word it automatically bolsters the illusion of a manís power.

Really and truly one of the key attributes to a good secretary is a tidy and pleasing appearance. The queen bee has a short, sophisticated blond bob, good posture, an expensive wardrobe. Her desk is decorated with a quirky yet stylish lamp. She takes notes at lightening speed.

How do you become this person? You canít work up to it. No oneís goal is to be the very best assistant. Youíve got to be predestined for such a thing. Itís like being the most popular. No matter what youíre told, it isnít something you can earn; itís something youíre born with. Same as having star quality.

Posted by on December 12, 2003 3:46 PM