Secretaries in the Media

with Denise Johnson

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the first installment of Fed-Up Secretary’s Secretaries in the Media feature. In music, tv, and the movies, as in life, Secretaries play a huge part in everything that goes on! Here’s some interesting fictional Secretaries I recently spotted:

When I rented The Temp, the idea of a killer Secretary in the style of the killer lover in Fatal Attraction or the killer roommate in Single White Female seemed like a fun, fresh idea. And this efficient little film does have a few interesting insights into office life. My favorite scene had one very irritable Secretary caution the new girl not to do personal work for her boss. "Before you know it, you’ll be changing his oil," she cautions. Also, playing a beleagured company president, Faye Dunaway turns in a wonderful Secretary's Day speech from which all employers should take a lesson. Unfortunately, this movie turned out to be all about bosses and how ambitious Secretaries can ruin their lives. Skip this and rent 9 to 5 for the 2 milliointh time instead.

Not long ago, I rediscovered Barbra Streisand's first recording, the song "Miss Marmelstein" from the office-oriented Broadway smash “I Can Get it for You Wholesale." In an almost surreal take on the profession, Secretary Streisand sings such bizarre lines as “I’m a very willing secretary / enjoy my work as my employer will corroborate..." Maybe the girl was trying to be funny, but the idea of a Secretary liking her work is a little too far from reality for my taste!

Fox TV’s sitcom Dream On features a very crabby gal staffing the front desk. You’ve got to admire her spunk, but the consistent boss-centrism as well as the desperate attempts to find the Secretary’s soft side bug me. Why shouldn’t she be cranky? Look at the crap she has to put up with from that jerk she works for!

Yes, the entertainiment world is full to the brim with Secretaries of all kinds--and we'll be looking at more of them in issues to come! Until then, stay tuned in--and fed up!