Beware the Secretary That Thinks

A favorite website of mine called Ask The Workplace Doctor really dropped the ball on their answer to this query, How Can I Combat Watchdog Secretary?.

The guy’s complaining because the secretary “thinks too much.” Contrast this with Unbillable Hours‘ slamming of secretaries (particularly those who swim in the float pool) who don’t think ENOUGH. Is there a happy medium?

More importantly, let’s look at this whiner’s chief complaint: His secretary is making life unpleasant for him because she questions the expense vouchers he’s turning in. He’s wondering how to tell her to mind her own business. Well, excuse me, but that is her business, especially if he’s skimming off the top or otherwise involved in shady deals. It’s called complicity. She should care. It affects her and her company, and possibly the company’s clients if they get wind of the shady dealings.

Furthermore, he declares that she makes it harder on herself by “questioning things that don’t affect her[.] We are a government agency, so the money doesn’t affect her wages.” Oh, yeah, a government agency. Everyone knows they don’t have budgets and they don’t answer to committees trying to set and manage those budgets.

Meanwhile these government agencies have whiney brats working for them who couldn’t get fired except on a court order with just enough nerve to dare to bellyache about how his secretary (who’s probably smarter than he is anyway) continually catches him fudging on his expense reports. And WHO is the problem here?

He — and The Workplace Doctor, too, apparently, because this is never mentioned — forgets one important fact. She works for the company, not for him. Her allegiance should be to the company, not the individual. And he admitted that they are on equal footing so it looks like he’s powerless to do anything if she continues to monitor his expense activities.

Perhaps he should just quit and go to work for another corporation — one whose accounting practices are more relaxed. Like, for example, Enron. Or Tyco. Or Dynegy. Or….

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