Interveiw – ‘Secretaries Are Like Bosses in Any Organisation’ [interview]

How can the profession of a secretary contribute to an emerging Africa in general and Cameroon in particular?

When we talk about secretaries, it is not those who are behind computers today. We are talking about trained secretaries and administrative assistants. We are the backbone of an institution because we cover all the administrative aspects in an organisation. Our profession embodies all activities in an organisation. We are like the bosses of any organisation because we are the ones who do everything for our bosses. We are involved in all activities that take place in the office especially when working at the administrative management. We touch every aspect in an organisation. A secretary can work as an account assistant, a cashier and a personnel manager, amongst others. We have knowledge about all the departments in an organisation and this makes us an important element not only in the organisation, but also in the society and Africa at large.

What are some of the problems secretaries face in carrying out their daily duties?

We give in all our best. We are the first to come to the office and the last to leave. This is a challenge because, once you are devoted in carrying out your duties you hardly have time for your own family. Many people, particularly those in Cameroon, believe that a secretary is just nobody in the office. Also, we do not evolve in our career. We are not promoted from one duty post to the other, unlike other duty posts in an organisation. We are involved in almost every aspect in an organisation. This means that we can work in any duty post that we are sent to work. But we do not have such opportunities. We do most of the work, but when it comes to decision-making, we do not attend management meetings nor are we involved at anytime. We need to grow and not remain in one position from the date of recruitment to the date of retirement.

Many people complain that secretaries are rude and not welcoming to the public. Why this common complain?

This is a notion people have about secretaries. It is true because some secretaries, especially those that are young, are not welcoming. Any trained secretary will never be rude. If you meet somebody in a secretariat (man or woman) who is rude, it means this person has never done secretariat administration. These are people who just did some training on computer tools and say they are secretaries. Any trained secretary knows what to do and how to attend to the public because heshe is the first person the public meets when entering any organisation. A secretary is out to give a good impression about hisher institution. It is a pity that the young generation of secretaries are rude and I want to encourage them to know that they are the key into their institution.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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