It’s weird and funny. My neighbour, another secretary, was swearing all the time because of the tape. Yes a tape, in the year 2009, this office use tapes.The secretary was listening the dearest commissar on the tape, who is unable to speak in proper English and who is incapable the make a decent dictation. And when you hear his voice on the tape, you got the impression he is drunk or speaking with a full mouth. The worst is he cuts the tape all the time and you can’t type a single coherent sentence. I overheard my college was telling to another person on the phone “I type decision for him 5 years ago, and let me tell you he didn’t improve himself”. It’s surprising the way secretaries complain about him. Once, a secretary from Ottawa called asking for help because she didn’t understand what he was trying to say.
People around here don’t feel valorised. When you type a draft, which is that, a draft, not the final version of a decision, the paper goes to the commissar and he corrects the mistakes. Believe me; I saw the corrections from others and the poor draft looks like a crime scene. He encircles all the mistakes (grammar and misunderstandings) with red pen, after you look that, the secretaries’ faces change dramatically from “hard job” to “I want to die”. For arriving to the final decision there’re like 4 corrections, and that takes time.
Yesterday, a new girl came to the office to pass a Dictaphone test. It supposed to replace me due to my “grammar limitations”. Ok, ok, I’m not a secretary I’m just a clerk!!!. I saw her draft and …well; the office will have to look for another person. People aren’t so good in English, in French they’re…ok. Don’t forget you have to make a redaction too.
To be in a place where you feel you’re not working but having fun….it’s rare.