Secretary's Day Has Become So Commercialized

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Issue 3804

Jerry Always Willing To Pick Up Overtime

BOISE, ID— Boise Tool & Die sources reported Monday that machinist Jerry Tepper, 48, is always willing to pick up overtime, should anyone wish to cut out early. "I don't know, maybe his wife is sick or something," foreman Don Jeske said. "Whatever the reason, Jerry's the go-to guy if you're looking to take off. He just can't resist the extra cash."

Annoying Ad Turns Man Pro-Whaling

NASHUA, NH— A TV ad for WhaleSave sufficiently irritated local resident Nathan Mimms to cause him to reverse his longtime anti-whaling stance. "Christ, this is annoying," said Mimms during a Monday airing of the spot, which features images of majestic whales rising out of the ocean as Enya's "Fallen Embers" plays. "Fuck the whales. I'd rather they go extinct if it means never having to see this ad again."

Philip Morris CEO Forces Senator To Dance For His Amusement

WASHINGTON, DC— Bored and in need of amusement, Philip Morris CEO Louis Camilleri commanded U.S. Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) to dance for him Monday. "Dance!" Camilleri told a whirling, diaper-clad Edwards as Buster Poindexter's "Hot Hot Hot" blared. "And keep the beat, if you want that $275,000 contribution to your reelection campaign." Later this week, Edwards is slated to don a cowgirl costume and twirl sparklers to Phil Collins' "Sussudio" for General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner.

Film Critic Belatedly Comes Up With Swordfish Zinger

AMARILLO, TX— Some seven months after the film's theatrical release, Amarillo Globe-News movie critic Irwin Hough thought up a brilliant put-down for Swordfish Monday. "Make no mistake, I'm proud of the line I thought up at the time, 'This Fish should have been tossed back,'" Hough said. "But I have to admit, that just isn't as sharp as 'Swordfish is one cold fish that deserves to tank.'"

Report: Recently Laid-Off Workers Not Doing Enough To Help Economy

WASHINGTON, DC— According to a Labor Department report released Monday, Americans who lost their jobs in the past year are doing little to aid the recovery of the nation's economy. "Unemployed Americans are neglecting their patriotic duties by spending far less than the gainfully employed," the report read. "Until these laid-off workers start pitching in and buying things, America's economy will continue to stagnate." The report did note that jobless citizens have strongly supported America's fortified-wine industry.

The Tyson Split

On Jan. 17, Dr. Monica Tyson, wife of boxer Mike Tyson, filed for divorce. What grounds did she cite in the legal papers?

Indo-Pakistani Tensions Mount At Local Amoco

DETROIT—Indo-Pakistani tensions continue to escalate this week at the Eight-Mile and Telegraph Road Amoco, where hostilities between owner Rajesh Srinivasan and in-store Subway mini-franchise manager Majid Ashraf threaten to spill over into all-out war.

Every Social Gathering Is A Chance To Hustle For Contacts

Social engagements mean different things to different people. For some, they're an occasion to get together with old friends and share some laughs. For others, they're a chance to maybe meet that special someone. For me, social gatherings are much more than that: They're a golden opportunity to hustle for contacts.

Showers With Girlfriend Increasingly Cleansing-Focused

TALLAHASSEE, FL— Over the past two months, Jeff Pinnock's showers with girlfriend Angela Dunn have gradually shifted in focus from sex play to actual body-cleansing. "When we first started dating, she'd ask me to 'wash' her breasts, and I'd ask her to help me soap up my penis," the 23-year-old Pinnock disclosed Monday. "Now, we both mostly just clean ourselves."
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Secretary's Day Has Become So Commercialized

Marybeth Pryce
Marybeth Pryce

Is nothing sacred?

Secretary's Day used to mean something. It was the one day each year when a boss took time out of his busy schedule to let his secretary know just how important she is to the day-to-day operations of the office. But now, April 24 is just a flimsy excuse to sell cards, flowers, and gift certificates. How could they turn such a beautiful holiday into something so commercialized?

Every year, the stores seem to start promoting Secretary's Day earlier and earlier. The day after St. Patrick's Day, you can already see malls replacing the shamrocks and leprechauns with Secretary's Day coffee mugs and paperweights. All for the love of the almighty dollar. Is that what the true spirit of Secretary's Day is all about? I hardly think so.

Perhaps I'm dating myself, but I remember a time when Secretary's Day was about more than exploitation and crass commercialism. When Hallmark created the holiday in the '60s, it was to celebrate the women (and some men!) who do the actual work around an office. But if Hallmark founder Joyce C. Hall could see all the opportunistic spam e-mails and phony-baloney FTD Florist ads, he'd be rolling in his grave.

Once upon a time, I used to get really excited for Secretary's Day. A week or two before April 24 rolled around, my friend Beth from the typing pool and I would stroll downtown together and browse the gift-shop windows to see the beautiful Secretary's Day displays. I'd spend most of Secretary's Eve lying awake in bed, wondering if the Secre-Fairy was going to bring me a coffee mug filled with Hershey's Kisses. Or maybe, if I'd been an extra-good secretary that year, a gift certificate for a free manicure or facial.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not greedy. I'd gladly settle for a single rose, so long as it came from the heart. Sadly, it's not that way with a lot of secretaries these days. If a secretary doesn't get a big bouquet, musical greeting card, and expensive day-spa certificate, there's hell to pay. Today's secretaries act like the presents are a birthright rather than a joyous reward for a job well done.

It's a darn shame that these gals don't know or even care about the true meaning of Secretary's Day. It isn't about the superficial stuff. No, it's about being made to feel appreciated. It's a chance for your boss to let you know that as you run for coffee and file stacks of reports and spend three hours a day breathing in Xerox-machine toner fumes, your efforts are not going unnoticed. But most secretaries don't stay in the field long enough to realize that. They usually move on to a better job or go back to school or get married.

Speaking of bosses, their attitude has changed, too. Bosses used to have a healthy respect for Secretary's Day. They'd put some serious thought into how best to express their gratitude. But now, they can just waltz into any florist in town and buy a pre-made, cookie-cutter Secretary's Day bouquet right off the shelf. Whatever happened to a boss and florist working together to create a personalized floral arrangement that reflects the secretary's tastes and personality?

I could understand people forgetting the meaning of holidays like Cardiovascular Technologist's Day or Second Cousin's Day. But those are minor holidays compared to Secretary's Day. And no matter what Madison Avenue would have you believe, it's not about baubles and trinkets. When you truly embrace Secretary's Day with all your heart, the feeling stays with you the whole rest of the year.