A filing cabinet is a repository where papers are lost alphabetically.
Placement Director to shapely secretary: "Take the afternoon off, Miss Hall, I want to think."
Superintendent to Secretary: "You're very versatile, Miss Smith; I didn't know anyone could be so inefficient in so many different ways."—Southern California Water Company Bulletin
"Miss Bliss," said the perplexed superintendent, "I don't see bow you do it. You've been here one month and you're already two months behind."
While diplomats jockey for position in the world, political candidates jockey for position in the nation, and business and professional people jockey for position in their fields of endeavor, I sit smugly by and watch, perfectly content in the knowledge that my job is the "greatest."
What job is this? I am a secretary. Surely, then, I must be secretary to the major or the president or some executive who holds the future of the world in his hands. Or is it a famous author or a movie star whose life is filled with glamour and excitement? No, none of these. True, those I work with do indeed have lives filled with glamour and excitement. They do, without a doubt, hold the future of the world in their hands. They are the teenagers of our community. I am a secretary in a high school.
Where is the glamour? Where is the excitement? What is so thrilling? Have you ever noticed how the room lights up and the air becomes alive when several children or teenagers come in? You can feel the vitality and youth in the air like a charge of electricity. Imagine, then, how much life, vitality, and youth there must be in a building with over 1500 teenagers. When you walk into the building you can fairly feel it soaking into your system, no matter how tired or dejected you might have been before entering.
Being secretary in a high school gives me definite advantage. I am not a teacher, with powers of "passing" or "flunking," nor an administrator charged with the duties of discipline or maintaining order. I'm just someone to say "Hi" to when you come through the office—who tries to be friendly and help a bewildered or scared student find the right person to take care of his or her problem.
No serious problems come to me. We have trained personnel to handle these. But students do come with news of an exciting weekend visit to a boy friend's college homecoming or to show me a newly acquired "going steady" ring. They let me give them a pat on the back when they make the honor roll, pitch a good game, win a medal, or in some cases, when they finally make a passing grade. I have previewed their reports and term papers, loaned them safety pins, laughed at their jokes, fixed sagging hems and obstinate zippers, consoled them in their disappointments, been shocked at their frankness and constantly amazed at their knowledge and thoughtfulness or lack of them.
Where in books or movies could you get the thrill to be had in watching a shy, frightened freshman develop progressively into a straightforward sophomore, a jaunty junior and finally a sincere, skilled and somewhat sophisticated senior?
These kids are real. They are America. They are the world. Anytime I begin to worry a little about rockets or bombs or to wonder about the future, I need only look up and see young America passing by in the hall, confident and assured, giving me a smile or a wave. These are the boys and girls who will be captains of industry, captains of airliners, captains of armies, captains of their homes, and, please God, captains of their souls.
Glamour and excitement? My job is filled up and running over ... and I love it.—Helene Kopp, Guidance Department Secretary, Oak Lawn Community High School