Secretaries’ Day

a Trenody

Extract from my latest book – M for Misc…

Threnody Higginbottom is my secretary. I call her Miss Smith. She files everything under M for Miscellaneous.

 It’s always nice to give a little surprise on Secretaries’ Day. Last year I surprised her with an expensive (and hardly used) “Get Well” card. The year before it was a birthday card –a real one and in good condition.

Make no mistake, I am aware it is incumbent upon the boss to do something bordering on the generous on Secretaries’ Day, otherwise one gets tea slopped in one’s saucer for months afterwards. So I took Threnody to lunch at Bobo’s where, I was pleased to see, they’d installed seats at last. It made it a lot more comfortable than having to stand with elbows on the counter admiring the back-lit blown-up photographs of sausages and chips.

“This is your day,” I told her, “and you may order whatever takes your fancy! Spare no expense! Even the ‘Special’ – a ladies’ steak and chips, if you like.”

To be frank, this annual lunch requires a very real sacrifice on my part. It’s not just the money it’s that Threnody is so very reserved. She sits up very straight and tense while I tend to be an exuberant eater, waving my fork around and dropping things down my tie which, when I get home, I often dig straight into the compost heap.

I allow her to drop the “Mr Clarke” and just call me “Sir”. I call her “Threnody” although, formally, I never address her as anything but ….

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3 thoughts on “Secretaries’ Day

  1. Well Mr Clarke, I don’t remember you doing anything special for me when I covered secretarial duties for you at The Star in from 1976-78-ish, ha ha! I was actually Harvey Tyson’s PA but worked for you, Arnie Benjamin, Jack Kros, John d’Oliveira and Harold Fridjohn. I remember well, fresh outbid London, you dictated a letter to me mentioning Hluhluwe game reserve; I thought what the bloody hell is he talking about and spelled it Shlooshlouie in my notebook. Luckily, I learnt fast. So good to see you still writing away. With regards, Anne Trappitt (do you remember me?)

    Liked by 1 person

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