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Why do they assume I'm the secretary?

I work in a location with 26 employees; I'm the only female. I hold a bachelor's degree and hours towards my master's degree. My job entails planning and managing a $13 million budget. Why then, does every contractor, vendor, customer, etc. assume I'm the secretary?

No offense to any secretary, but that is not what I am nor do I want to be. It just infuriates me when people ask me to "make copies" or "mail this" for them. My salary is probably higher than most of the people that are asking me to perform these tasks. Should I be offended?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:11 AM on Feb. 26, 2009 in Just for Fun

Answers (14)
  • becaus eyou are the only female most places like that will have a female for that job its an honest mistake in my book

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:14 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • It's because you are a woman. And yes, I would be offended if I were you. Next time ask them if they have a personal secretary because that's who should be doing these things for them. Politely let them know what your job title is and that you are not a secretary.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:14 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • Yes, I'd be offended. It's obviously sexist but besides that it's not your job. You don't actually do it, do you? I mean being nice is one thing but there's nothing wrong with letting them know that you have more important things to do unless maybe it's the boss asking you to do it! Next time someone asks say something like "Oh I would but sorry I have to finish [something more important]"

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:16 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • maybe you need to dress differently?? maybe you look too cute! maybe they are just sexist assholes? idk really ... you could go to things remembered and get a nice name plate for your desk with the job title on it.

    Answer by AmaliaD at 11:28 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • Oh, I don't know that I would choose to constantly be offended by it..... but I'd probably keep finding very coy and possibly poignant ways of letting 'them' know you're more like the boss than you are the secretary.... ahhhhh the red faces and the a** kissing that would follow. I see your point though.

    Answer by PaceMyself at 11:29 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • Female==secretary to men.. I would put a big sign on my door or desk. I am not the secretary.


    Answer by louise2 at 11:38 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • Yes, I would be offended just by the fact that because you are a women it's automatically assumed you are the secretary. There's really no way of going around it unless your job title is branded on your forehead or something. But there a secretary in your office? Next time something like that happens direct those customers, vendors, him/her.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:40 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • Get over it. Tell them who and what you are and just accept that there are sterotypes in the world.

    Answer by lstrickland at 11:51 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • It's probably just their mentality. I was over at my dad's house one night helping him with his computer. I type about 75 words per minute. And I'm working on his computer typing really fast. He looks at me and says, "Wow, you type fast! You'd make a real good secretary!" Gee thanks dad, what high aspirations you have for me!

    But if I were in your situation, I'd either hire an office receptionist or politely explain to all of them that you can't do that, you have such and such to do.

    Answer by feesharose at 11:56 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • There's nothing wrong with being a secretary. Without secretaries, who would do all the so-called menial tasks that the "big wigs" are too busy for? Without secretaries, nothing would get done! I would inform someone of your job title, direct them to the real office secretary and throw in some praise for the wonderful person who makes everyone's day run smoother and works so hard for you....the humble secretary :)

    Answer by TessaBianca at 12:09 PM on Feb. 26, 2009

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