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Dear Maggie – April 25, 2024

Dear Maggie —

I am the administrative assistant at the company where I work.  Back in the olden days, as my kids call it – AKA the late 1980’s – I would have been called a secretary.  No matter the title, I am the only reason that anyone in that office gets anything done.  They wouldn’t know how to refill the ink in the printer to save their lives!  God help them if they had to manage their own schedules or keep track of ANY single piece of paperwork!  The only reason I bring this up is because I am a little sour today.  You see, yesterday was Administrative Professional’s Day and not only did I not receive the parade with a full brass band that I deserve, I didn’t even get so much as a wilted flower in a plastic pot from the Dollar Store.  No problem – I ordered my own gifts because I order every other darn thing for this office already.  (A little bird told me that I would really like some chocolates and a nice orchid, BTW – so lucky me!)  Please, tell me that Chris Stephens and Jen Shearer were not forgotten on this VIP (Very Important Professionals) day!?  It’s common knowledge that this building would crumble instantaneously without them. Remember those few weeks when Chris was gone… chaos… complete chaos!

— Controlling Chrissy

Dear Controlling —

Girl, don’t I know it!  Administrative Assistants are the backbone of EVERY organization, whether it be a Fortune 500 company or a one-woman show like Dear Maggie.  I would know because I am Maggie’s assistant, Saint Genesius of Arles. I am the patron saint of secretaries and notaries – and invoked against chilblains and scurf.  (Whatever you do, DO NOT Google image search these terms.)  I have intercepted this email and taken over Ms. Maggie’s column for the day because I am WAY more qualified to answer this one than she is (plus, I write half of her responses to things anyway!).

I’m most commonly known as the patron saint of “secretaries” – which may sound archaic now, but is a much better term than what they were called in my day… which I believe was “lickspittle”.  (And let’s be honest, everyone forgets about notaries until they need one 🙄.)  I am not to be confused with Saint Genesius of Rome, who is the patron saint of comedians, which is ironic because I fancy myself to be quite hilarious.  Luckily I wasn’t beheaded for my bad stand-up routine like he was 😵.  We’re just 2 guys with a very bizarrely intertwined backstory.

As you may have guessed, Maggie is quite flighty, and she needs a full-time aide to keep her head on straight.  SMOS has Jenn of Shearer, Maggie has Gen of Arles.  You make such a good point about Administrative Assistants keeping everyone’s head above water!  Keeping the timers straight on Jenn Shearer’s phone is a full-time job alone. The fact that she hasn’t mis-dosed a child will surely be one of the 2 miracles that will be referenced in her saint application to Rome!  She is the glue that holds us all together!

Chris Stephens is quite possibly the hardest-working woman on the planet. Thank God for that because without her no one would have a peach sign at pick-up or raffle tickets to sell (you have until April 30th to turn those in, BTW!) along with the eleventy billion other things she does for us each day.  I am legitimately concerned that this building will just crumble the moment she walks out of here when she retires. Just the other day, I heard a parent say, “considering how many times I have cried into Chris’ arms I probably owe [her] my kidney”.  I’m pretty sure if either of these ladies needed an organ donation they’d set a record for people willing to hand over a body part for them 🤩.

I may seem like I’m really tooting these ladies’ horns, but we secretaries have to stick together!  I know what it takes to do their job and it’s nothing short of moving mountains on a daily basis. Fear not though, I think that same bird you mentioned earlier visited Lindsey Trame (our resident teacher/staff gift purchaser for the PTA) and told her that Chris and Jennifer would like Starbucks gift cards.  So they each got boatloads and boatloads of Starbucks. That’s not nearly enough to show them our appreciation but skywriting wasn’t in the budget this year. 

If you see either Chris or Jen in the next few days, be sure to give them lots of love. But don’t tell them I sent you because it’s very likely they will one day be the patron saints of the humble.  And next time you see Maggie, please take control of the situation and make sure to remind her about this holiday because I’m still waiting on my boatload of Starbucks.  Let’s all count our blessings that we have these ladies on our SMOS team AND that Chris Stephens hasn’t gotten chilblains and scurf 😜.

— Maggie

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