4 Biggest Misconceptions About Secretaries


After being on this field for some years now, I have come to terms that there are still some misconceptions out there about what a secretary really is especially here in Indonesia.

For the sake of it – or for the lack of blog post, you decide – I have made a list of the famous misconceptions about us, secretaries.

  1. We are NOT an office candy!

“Attractive” is the most abused word in job ads in Indonesia when it comes to secretary. Throw in the under 28 years old in the mix then you’ll think that all secretaries are nothing but a pretty little accessories for the office to please the eyes of the executives. Professional attires of a secretary may sometimes seem to induce some boys’ imaginations – skirts and pantyhose? It really is a matter of personal choices. Some girls wear them for themselves, not to get a raise on their paychecks or from other kind of ‘raise’. Lucky for me, I can wear jeans to work!

  1. We do HAVE brains!

We are not the dumb; we don’t sit around all day with nail buffer stuck to our hands. Some of us actually do have a lot to take care of from day to day basis. We managed wide varieties of things at the office that actually utilize our brain cells. We juggle a lot of things at once while keeping an analytic plus critical mindsets to assists the bosses. There are so much that gets into play here so yes, we do have brains.

  1. We do NOT flirt with your husbands!

Just because we wear skirts doesn’t mean we will fall on your husband/boyfriend laps so stop being so bitchy to us. Some of us actually can maintain a courteous and professional work life. Have you ever heard the terms “Don’t shit where you eat?” Yeah! That’s my motto! Also, we would appreciate if you do not use us to spy on your spouse. So lame! Of course I cannot speak on the behalf of all secretaries but most are hardworking women with integrity and professionalism.

  1. We don’t just type letters and make coffees all day!

Well, of course we will have letters/memos to type but that’s not all we do, please refer to No. 2, thank you very much. As for the coffees/teas? That’s why they have someone in charge at the pantry.

Have you heard other misconceptions about secretaries out there? Do share away.

Image from: Dreamstime


  1. October 2, 2011 / 10:25 am

    I used to get that a lot. they also used to say all we did was chat and eat all day while others worked. Yeah… not true!

    • October 6, 2011 / 9:09 pm

      Oh yeah and giggles all day too? LOL how silly some stereotypes out there huh? Thanks for adding that part, Sara!

  2. Peter
    October 2, 2011 / 3:48 pm

    Going to be difficult to convince people you are more intelligent than they give you credit for when the title of your post is grammatically incorrect.

    • October 6, 2011 / 8:58 pm

      To Peter who made the rude comment above – Writing in a language that is not your primary language is not the easiest thing to do. In fact, a LOT of people don’t even know how to speak or write a second language. Providing constructive criticism would have been more appropriate versus just slamming someone – this doesn’t do anything except to make you sound like a bully and stereotypical male.

      • October 6, 2011 / 9:13 pm

        Thank you Maria, I can be somewhat grammatically challenged, I admit that but like you said I would appreciate and actually welcome constructive criticism if it means I can learn from it and improve my writing skills.

      • October 6, 2011 / 9:45 pm

        AMEN!! I only know 2 PEOPLE who can speak and write in a second language, and many, MANY Americans can’t seem to get English right! You are doing an awesome job, Maureen!

        • October 7, 2011 / 1:19 pm

          Thank you Aubrey, it is still and will forever be a learning process so I am bound to make mistakes along the line.

    • October 6, 2011 / 9:11 pm

      It would help more if you can clarify my grammatical mistake(s), instead of judging my intelligent level based on a post title.

    • October 7, 2011 / 10:52 pm

      Peter – She’s, as has been pointed out, bi-lingual; which actually makes her more intelligent than most. How many languages do you speak? Aside from English and Dumbass…

  3. Peter
    October 6, 2011 / 10:02 pm

    Happy to help Maureen, its a shame that Miss Bicultural Mama has taken such grave offence to my comment. The reference to sexism and ‘stereotypical male’ behavior is an interesting assertion, if more than a little hippocritical. Who is really doing the ‘slamming’ with comments like that?

    If you are indeed looking for suggestions you could try “4 most common misconceptions about Secretaries” or perhaps “The 4 most common misconceptions about Secretaries”. Both correct as far as I know.

    Oh and please remember that before making any comments I had already done you the courtesy of reading your blog post in full, so just maybe I am not a female bashing monster that needs to be hung from the nearest tree.

    • October 7, 2011 / 12:13 am

      Thanks for providing the suggested improvements. As for the stereotypical male comment, that was in reference to the post which stated how many male bosses think secretaries are not intelligent, and you original comment was inferring that Maureen was not intelligent. If I had to write a post in Indonesian I’m sure I would make a lot of grammatical errors as it’s not my first language, so I give Maureen credit for having the guts to create an entire blog in English.

    • October 7, 2011 / 1:32 pm

      Peter, to be completely honest…I was taken back by your first comment. That’s why it took me awhile to reply. Your comment is not something I’m used to. Your words had the “WOW that’s kinda rough!” effects on me. To me it look like a guest coming to my place and said “Your home is ugly.” If you would’ve worded your first comment differently the effect of reading it wouldn’t feel so harsh.

      Thank you for the title suggestions. I had fixed it a little.

      Bicultural Mama replied to your comment when I didn’t ask her to but I was thankful that she feels the need to speak up. And yes, I did drop hints on my post above that most men thinks secretaries have low level of intelligence – some women have the same misconceptions as well. That’s what she used when she replied to you.

    • October 8, 2011 / 12:10 am

      Uh, you misspelled “hypocritical”. It’s HYPO-crite – as in the Greek derivative for actor – not HIPPO-crite, which is perhaps a small hippo? Just saying.

  4. October 7, 2011 / 10:23 pm

    What do you mean “not eye candy”? You don’t think post-pregnancy jelly rolls are sexy? 🙂

  5. October 8, 2011 / 12:12 am

    The “hypocritical” SPAG was for Peter, by the way.

  6. December 2, 2011 / 10:16 am

    I find this a bit funny for many reason. One, because honestly I used to have this image of a secretary as a pretty glamorous job (but hey, any job can be as glamorous as you make it to be, no?). Two, you might say I do get some of the impact of my husband’s company secretary being not up to standard. Grrr! I think secretary’s job is not as easy as it sound. Takes a lot of attention to detail, organizing etc etc etc. In fact, back in my old job, I so do not envy the secretary’s job since she actually took on some customer complaint as part of her duties. Ouch!
    Anyway, just do you job well, and to hell with people’s preconceptions. no?

  7. October 22, 2017 / 7:01 pm


    I totally agree with your dear. If you are still looking for that secretary who can serve you a cup of coffee and bring you your morning newspaper a secretary may not be the best choice.
    You should do respect of her or his profession.

    Thanks for your share!

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