I landed my first job as secretary for the Sr. Vice President of American Savings & Loan here in Wichita.  The people were nice and the work was fun.  There were no computers yet, so we worked on reports on our old-fashioned typewriters.  Back then they seemed quite modern though.  The Selectric II had the little “type ball”, or “golf ball” with the characters on it – and the ability to backspace and correct.  No more typing erasers – we could erase with the touch of a button!

IBM Selectric II typewriter
IBM Selectric II typewriter

My parents told me, “Finish your dinner.  People in China and India are starving.”  I tell my daughters, “Finish your homework.  People in India and China are starving for your job.”  – Thomas L. Friedman

I called it a "type ball" & my boss called it a "golf ball"
I called it a “type ball” & my boss called it a “golf ball”

Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect!  – Owens Lee Pomeroy

The bank was at 3rd and Main in downtown Wichita.  Lunch was a big deal for the secretaries and the Woolworth lunch counter was a favorite!  We walked to lunch when the weather was nice.  I remember how good it felt to get out and walk after being cooped up inside all morning.  Woolworth’s was in the 200 block of Douglas, so we didn’t have far to go.


Woolworth’s had an old-fashioned feel to it, probably because it had been there for such a long time!  They had one of those little photo booths where you and maybe one other person could snuggle up and get a photo taken for a dime.  The lunch counter was quaint like an old-time soda fountain – again, because that’s what it was.  My favorite for lunch was the taco salad.  They made a terrific taco salad!

 It’s never safe to be nostalgic about something until you’re absolutely certain there’s no chance of its coming back.  – Bill Vaughn

Maybe that taco salad tasted so much better because I knew I was making the money that paid for it.  It gives comfort to a soul to know they are self-supporting and able to earn a comfortable living, earn the respect of co-workers, earn the right to enjoy life and be happy.

Nostalgia for what we have lost is more bearable than nostalgia for what we have never had, for the first involves knowledge and pleasure, the second only ignorance and pain.  – Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

God has been so good to me through the years!  I have some very good memories, and I’ll always remember the lunches we enjoyed at the Woolworth lunch counter!  🙂




Today is one of my favorite days.  Here in the U.S., it is ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS DAY!!!  I am a retired Administrative Professional, but hope all of those hard-working people out in corporate America have a wonderful day and get the appreciation they deserve!

When I began my career in 1980, the job was called “Secretary” and yes, Matilda, we did make coffee back in the day!  I did not mind making coffee for my boss – at all!  I did not see it as a lowly task, but I viewed it as a duty I performed out of respect for him.

There’s a reason my boss got the “big bucks”.  He was a bright, creative person with a gift for making a lot out of very little.  Have you ever known someone who could go into a room with a glob of clay and walk out with a masterpiece?  That is what my boss could do!  If I could make sure he got a decent cup of Joe in the morning, I was happy to help in that small way.

Basically, an admin assistant is crucial in a workplace because without them, the instances of missed meetings and miscommunications would rise drastically. I thought of myself as the traffic cop in the middle of the bumper cars! Waving my arms madly, directing this exec and that one, reminding them of things that had obviously washed over them.

Times have changed, but the role of the admin assistant remains pretty much the same. It’s important to be a positive person who can take corrective criticism. It’s really just an exec taking out his/her bad day on you. They have to feel comfortable enough to say anything and you have to be secure enough in yourself to take it. Just keep smiling and listen. Don’t get sucked into the drama. They are entitled to an opinion, but don’t express yours. Just keep listening.

Listen and state facts. Stay neutral on everything and always support your boss.   🙂