||[Nov. 23rd, 2002|06:51 am]
|||||Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 5, the Emperor Concerto||]|
I have reached a new milestone in my life.
I have a secretary.
Now, granted, said secretary is stationed at the downtown office, while I'm out at the campus satellite (insert Sputnik noises), and she is the secretary for a number of paralegals. Nevertheless, I am apparently free, and in fact encouraged, to refer to her in the possessive. People say, have your secretary send those forms to you, or fax it to your secretary. The attorneys in the office have said to me, "Oh, you can send that to my secretary" as if I would already know who this person was, like an identifiable appendage.
This is not the old-school senior attorney. It's the younger women attorneys. They actually apologized that, because I am not at the downtown office I will have to do my own typing. I have entered a world I do not understand.
So far, my secretary has served two functions: she has faxed me forms that I did not receive and she enters my timesheets into the computer system. The firm has no centralized case management--everyone writes their billable time on a form and gives it to his or her secretary to enter into the billing system (the computers aren't even tied to a central server for document backup--everyone saves to C:, a fact that alarms and amazes me). We aren't in the same building, so I can't give her things to copy or mail, and documents to me come to my office, not hers. Nevertheless, despite the fact that she is well-known to the other employees in the office, they refer to her as "your secretary."
I feel odd, possessing someone's skills. And even odder thinking about being so possessed. I have been people's paralegal, receptionist, buyer, even secretary. I never even noticed. But now, that little thrill of possession, I've felt it. i may be some sort of sick meglomaniac to feel this way, but it's there--just a hint. And I'm certain that I'm not alone.
No wonder men treated women so badly all those years. It's not a healthy feeling. Objectification would be a simple matter.