The Rise to Success in the Office: Female Style

by Maria on August 29, 2017

Brad White, a friend of Crooked Timber, was home in Salt Lake City recently. His mother, Jackie White had suddenly died. It was a good death, as they go; Jackie went just as she raised a rather large G&T to her many friends.

As Brad tidied and settled Jackie’s affairs, he found stuffed at the back of a drawer an article she’d written. Going by the other documents it was with, he reckons it was written in the late 1960s or early 1970s. As far as we can tell, it was never published.

Here is some clear-eyed advice advice written for American women in the workplace, not long after the Mad Men era. Almost fifty years on, the gist of it is still relevant to many women in many more places.

The Rise to Success in the Office: Female Style

Jackie White

You start as a secretary, of course, unless it’s a one-girl office, where you may have benevolently been given the title of Office Manager.

When the boss rings, buzzes or shouts, run like Pavlov’s dog with pad and pencil in hand. Smile a lot, even if you are in physical pain or just got up on the wrong side of bed – you must be cheerful at all times, only he is allowed bad humour. If you’re young and have nice legs, cross them in full view. If you’re older and have varicose veins, scoot up to the front of his desk, so your legs are hidden.

It will help you considerably if you voluntarily clean up the ladies room or the lunch room once in a while. For this, you might be congratulated on your ingenuity.

If, after about a five year period, you have corrected his grammar, acted dumb about his female phone calls, faithfully brought his coffee in each morning, and taken the blame from the Board members for his stupid mistakes involved in the typing of the minutes of the last meeting, you may then become a Department Manager.

To be a success as a Department Manager, you must do the following:

—Don’t complain because the Personnel Manager hires the employees for your Department, yet the male Department Managers get to hire their own. Remember, you’re just a woman – what do you know ?

—When you attend Department Manager meetings, don’t say too much – nod your head up and down a lot, smile and just kind of agree with what seems to be the most popular opinion. A dissenting opinion from a man is objective thinking – from a woman it’s called “being negative”.

—Don’t openly show too much initiative or the men Department Managers may think you’re after their job. Give the impression any idea you have must have originally come from one of them.

—Don’t accept the job they offer you upstairs. They will tell you even though you lose your title of Department Manager, you will make more money. Chances are they’re trying to figure out a way to put a man in your job, because it looks better that way.

If you stay enough years and the company grows, attrition will probably force them to make you an officer of the company. This will be an “Assistant” something. (There isn’t anything else they can do with you.)

To be successful at this:

—Take the executive parking spot they have been saving for you at the back of the lot directly under the rain spout of the building next door; and don’t complain when you are expected to be the company taxi service in your car and with no reimbursement for gas.

—Try not to notice when the men executives go golfing on Friday and ignore you – you’d just have to let them win anyway.

—When you find out on Thursday morning there were important company policies set in the locker room at the Club after the company Wednesday night basketball game, act like you knew it would come to that all along.

—When you find out the kid in the next office they just hired is getting $400 a month more than you for walking around with his hands in his pockets trying his damndest to look important, don’t complain.

—When you are introduced as the “oldest employee” instead of the one with the longest term of service and you’re used as an example of “what this company does for women”, don’t let on it’s all a big farce.

If you let any of these things bother you, you will soon be known as a typical, crusty, ornery old career woman.

Just remember – Keep smiling and don’t forget the rule:

Work like a dog, think like a man,

And get paid like a woman!

Jackie’s original typed article:

The Rise to Success in the Office, Female Style by Jackie White

Jackie with colleagues, 1961 (front row, black dress):

{ 45 comments }

1

Val 08.29.17 at 2:41 pm

What an amazing story! Fantastic

2

Maria 08.29.17 at 3:24 pm

It’s wonderful, isn’t it? Very acerbic but rightly so.

This line gets expressed differently now, but same sentiment is one most of us have experienced: “A dissenting opinion from a man is objective thinking – from a woman it’s called “being negative”.”

3

Ingrid Robeyns 08.29.17 at 3:32 pm

Thanks so much for posting this, Maria, so interesting reading this. And thanks to Brad White for sharing this with us.
It’s interesting that Jackie White observed mechanisms that we can still observe these days, despite that so many believe that men and women have genuine equal opportunities now.

4

marcel proust 08.29.17 at 3:52 pm

Somewhat off topic: I was trying to be sympathetically snarky in response to Ingrid Robeyns’ comment, when it dawned on me that there is a difference between equal & identical opportunities, the former allowing for much more wiggle room along the lines of separate but equal. I haven’t figured out where this might lead to, and will have to ponder it some more.

5

Suzanne 08.29.17 at 4:48 pm

Thank you so much for posting this. Wonderful read.

I will say in the interests of gender equity that female bosses are no better when it comes to stupid mistakes in their minutes.

6

JRLRC 08.29.17 at 8:19 pm

Smart and caustic critique.
I´m pretty sure she was a very interesting woman.

7

bob mcmanus 08.30.17 at 1:02 am

Not funny at all.

Sorry, but this exactly what I mean by complicity. Should we see her as comparable to a colonized intellectual who learns how to please the metropolitans and rise in the colony economic structure? “A guide for the field slave to become a house slave by pleasing her masters? Is this forgivable, understandable?

With multimillionaire liberal women and PoCs moving into places of power, it is time to confront complicity and cooptation at every level, and remind people that they just don’t have to play along. Of course it is very hard.

8

Saurs 08.30.17 at 8:31 am

Christ, mcmanus, Judy Brady wasn’t actually wanting a wife, and what Jackie White wrote above was not intended as a user’s manual or an endorsement of a system that denies women opportunities for professional success.

Also, why are only liberal women compelled to solve sexism in your calculus?

9

Ebenezer Scrooge 08.30.17 at 11:02 am

Funny thing is that if you think about jobs along the lines of gender roles, the real content of executive jobs is very traditional femme. High value on interpersonal skills: check. Multitasking: check. Strong ability to “present” to the outside world: check. Cooperativeness: check. The traditional manly skills–obsessive focus & risk-taking–just aren’t that important for senior executives. Read Chester Barnard if you doubt me.

I guess that this is just more evidence for discrimination in the workplace.

(Obligatory disclaimer. Of course, there are lots of nerdly women and beautifully socialized men. I’m just talking roles, not actual human beings.)

10

bob mcmanus 08.30.17 at 12:19 pm

8: Well, Spivak says that complicity will be the last and most difficult hurdle to deal with. Appears she is right.

Labor unions have a long history of management buying out the leadership, generation after generation, until they are currently company unions.

Or neocolonialism, where last year’s revolutionary is this years company boss.

I expected nothing else: “But not her fault, not my fault, not our fault evah nevah.”

Clinton is selling her book tour at $50-165 a pop. Poor thing might be down to a couple hundred million. Anybody pay attention to Obama’s speechifying? These are chosen as role models.

American feminism: “Show us the money. We want to be the new boss.”

11

Lynne 08.30.17 at 12:26 pm

Here is one woman speaking to others in the same boat—anger and humour together, otherwise it would be unbearable. When my son recommended I watch Mad Men, I said I had lived through that time and really didn’t want to re-visit it. Wish I’d known Jackie White. Thanks to her son and Maria for posting.

12

bob mcmanus 08.30.17 at 12:55 pm

Also, why are only liberal women compelled to solve sexism in your calculus?

Christ, saurs, really? Why do women have to liberate themselves, why don’t the men liberate us?

But I am approaching the post mostly from a classist position, and I don’t laugh at jokes about becoming a boss. Men have little to do with feminism at all.

Why do workers have to strike when it’s the bosses fault and they benefit from the system? So unfair. This is a moral problem, right? /sarcasm.

Yeah, yeah, ‘splaining. Outa here. Don’t care much after Clintonism.

13

Ben 08.30.17 at 2:08 pm

I was waiting for the mcmanus troll but it was weak tea this time. Get what you pay for, I guess.

But it did make me wonder what kind of satire the essay was trafficking in. Spotlighting things everyone knows but aren’t talked about? Wryly noting “we know what you’re doing”? Humorously spreading the word on what actually goes on in corporate offices to people who don’t know? What would the intended audience be?

14

Sebastian H 08.30.17 at 2:14 pm

You wonder at the number of women who were just born at the wrong time to have their extra-family values. If my mother had been born even 5-8 years later I think she would have been a well known psychologist. As it was she gave up her career to raise a family, and then in my early teens had started a business doing motivational counseling for the proto-Silicon Valley management types at IBM and HP. She made very good money doing that for a few years and then stopped because making more money than my dad was causing friction in her very Baptist marriage. Ugh.

15

Josh 08.30.17 at 2:54 pm

Ben, I think it functions as what we’d call consciousness-raising a few years later. Describing an injustice (at least in part) so that others who’ve seen/experienced it will recognize it and have their anger validated and be like “Yup, it’s not just me.”

16

clew 08.30.17 at 5:20 pm

What would the intended audience be?

It doesn’t need an audience other than the writer. The game requires pretending, at work, that the game doesn’t exist. It’s tempting to pretend that to oneself, to avoid the fury at the injustice (which makes it hard to play): but to bury the knowledge of the inconsistency and still have to work both sides of it is maddening. Writing down the rules means you know that you know they exist.

17

Chris "merian" 08.31.17 at 2:06 am

Great vignette – thanks for posting that.

bob mcmanus: You get to use sarcasm, but Jackie White, for some reason, doesn’t?

18

J-D 08.31.17 at 3:45 am

bob mcmanus

Don’t care much</blockquote
The neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote briefly about a patient who had lost the ability to care. Nothing mattered to her. He asked her whether it mattered to her that nothing mattered to her, and she said that it didn't. So it seems it didn't feel sad to her; but it still feels mad to me (and, I somehow suspect, to Oliver Sacks). If you can't care, that also feels a little sad to me.

19

dr ngo 08.31.17 at 3:52 am

Yeah, Bob McManus has the handy-dandy All-Season Sarcasm Pass. Because Clintonism.

20

Meredith 08.31.17 at 6:19 am

“American feminism: ‘Show us the money. We want to be the new boss.’”

I am not sure whether to bother commenting on this. There’s some truth to it, of course, but far from the whole truth. And the whole truth is what matters.

What are Jackie’s exact dates? I’d love to know. She looks older than I am (b. 1950). Each decade makes such a difference (each year).

Whatever Jackie’s age, let us remember that women started entering the workforce in middle class jobs (in places like the U.S.) in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. They had been getting high school educations (and even college educations). They were living with their parents and siblings in crowded city apartments or on lonely plains. Life was more hazardous for them than for us in many ways (no social safety nets, disease, so forth). WWII disrupted a lot, meant setbacks for women, but not defeat. Jackie seems to me wonderful. She did what she had to do for her family and herself, had many friends and at least one loving child (Brad), and raised that large G&T. All power to her.

Btw, my (female) college roommate, in her summer job in 1969, corrected the grammar and otherwise improved the letters of her Merrill Lynch boss in NYC . (She had the job through her father, a Cuban refugee — another story, but he was both anti-Batista and anti-Castro.) Anyway, she went on to be a college prof. (French). We women go about our business, learning, teaching, writing. It’s what we do. We get the job done.

21

faustusnotes 08.31.17 at 9:29 am

To pick up on McManus’s “point” just a little, I don’t see anything in Jackie White’s list of snark that would change if instead of liberal feminism we had a revolution. I mean, what in the post-revolutionary economic order will change such that the men would suddenly include female employees in the locker room conversation after the wednesday night basketball game?

In McManus’s fevered imagination, would there be no bosses after the revolution? So all decisions would be made by some workers’ committee? If so, what happens if the half of the worker’s committee with dicks make the decisions after a basketball game? Will there be no basketball games? Will they be mixed sex games, with mixed sex lockers where women can participate in decisions, and there will be no sexual harassment after the showers?

There’s something missing in McManus’s “critique”, the bit where the revolution wipes away all the subtle boy’s club stuff that Jackie White is snarking about. Most of what she notices is not forced on anyone through the stultifying power of capitalism, it’s forced on women by the amazing power of dickism. How is a non-liberal marxist feminist revolution going to change this? My guess is that the only thing that will change is that post-revolutionary Jackie White will write her snarky list using the word “comrade” instead of “executive”.

22

Saurs 08.31.17 at 11:13 am

@faustusnotes

So what you’re saying is Jackie White, she of the secretarial pool set, is striking a slightly hysterical tone, a strategic mistake, lacking moral urgency, as useful as discussing the fate of trans people in Egypt, expressive not persuasive, where she should have instead taken a page from the Reagan playbook (if only he’d had one in the late 1960s) because, to paraphrase that Our Revolution fella, America is sick and tired of hearing about liberals’ damn bathrooms. Cool, cool.

23

Faustusnotes 08.31.17 at 1:39 pm

Saurs, to the extent I can understand that weird rant, no, that’s not what I’m trying to say at all.

24

bob mcmanus 08.31.17 at 2:56 pm

23: Not the sharpest tack, are ya. You have a point, although I am far from a utopian.

Let me see, Elaine Showalter, second phase feminism, “reject accommodating postures of the “feminine” phase, “dramatize wrong womanhood.””actual experiences of women in the past” Allison Jaggar. Then Hester Eisenstein. And three more phases.

Never known anyone who could imagine being a big company officer. Except bosses, and I didn’t like the ambitious ones.

What’s worse about the Clinton $50-165 worship sessions is obviously the constituency she is seeking, who, which women, she wants to exclude by charging such prices. Or maybe it is a test. Do without lunch if you really care.

Marxism, like everything else, has always had problems with race and gender. Not easy. Lots of work to do. Perhaps for me more than some.

But corporate feminism (and corporate anti-racism) is completely complicit with neoliberalism and economic inequality and is currently even wildly celebrating its self-cooptation. I think with massive immediate damage to the poor, working class, and people of color. And corporate feminism was the tone of the OP.

No. Not the Senator from Time-Warner and Countrywide (Harris) or the Senator from Wall Street (Gillibrand) or the Senator from Goldman-Sachs and Pharm (Booker) or the ex-Governor who works for Bain Capital (Patrick, Obama’s favorite) or the Senator for the insurance industry (Biden). They’re gonna lose. And we’re gonna lose in 2018 too, as long as we go this way. Attack all bossism and bourgeois ambition, relentlessly, wherever it lies.

Or rather, most will lose. Some will do very well. Anne-Marie Slaughter made news this week.

25

bianca steele 08.31.17 at 3:22 pm

Bob,

Where in Jackie White’s piece does it say she worked for a big corporation? I assumed she was talking about a firm on the order of hundreds or even dozens of people, not thousands or tens of thousands.

26

TM 08.31.17 at 3:40 pm

mcmanus: Blatant disgusting sexism.

As to “attack all bossism and bourgeois ambition”, yeah that is how you get racist mysogynist male workers to vote for the revolution. Oh wait, they just voted for the ultimate bossism, Donald Trump.

27

Chris "merian" W. 08.31.17 at 4:16 pm

Goodness, the other thread’s full of xenophobic trolling, this one has bob the mansplainer of feminism, who in fact misunderstands what the OP is about. Ms. White doesn’t propose corporate feminism as any kind of solution: she decided first on a career in the corporate world and afterwards wrote (but didn’t even publish) a snarky description of the conditions of success that apply if you’re a woman. Which would have been the same kinds of things that would have applied, we now know, had she decided on a personal pathway in science, union activism, farming, auto mechanics, or revolution. So your disapproval of her career choice is neither here nor there. And to spell it out to the end, what makes the text striking today is that for all the progress, the same structures are still in place at least to some extent. Gee, I came across a serious advice book with exactly the same themes only yesterday. ( https://twitter.com/hannahrosewoods/status/902927270209310721 )

As for the rest, not everything is about US politics. And much as I’d like to criticize Clinton, I’m starting to feel about nearly as frustrated as I used to feel about Sarah Palin: I never get to say the negative stuff because I am moved to first defend her against blind-sided less-than-fully-reasonable attacks. (IOW, sure, money in US politics is nothing short of diabolical in its effect, but if you want to find out who non-affluent people who are rural, of color, or or otherwise disfavored get through to, maybe look at a) who the politician actually talks with and b) look at which politicians the people actually get to talk to. And you’ll find that, mutatis mutandis, some of your pure corporate-money refusers (some of whom are more believable than others, because the whole thing doesn’t work without money anyway) are nowhere near as stellar as you’d like them to be, and that some of the more accessible and policy-wise more effective ones are counted among those you want to paint as corporate puppets. And to stereotype real Clinton supporters (of whom I’m not a part) as corporate feminists shows me that you haven’t actually hung out with any of them – it’s your imaginary speaking.)

28

bob mcmanus 08.31.17 at 4:49 pm

“And much as I’d like to criticize Clinton…because I am moved to first defend her”

Heard that a lot the last couple years from the Clinton supporters I am never around. Actually, heard little else.

Anyway now it is no longer about Clinton, but say Harris and Gillibrand, Booker and Patrick. Here’s your chance.

Biden and Kaine don’t stand a chance in hell. Franken doesn’t wanna. Amy Klobuchar probably the best of the establishment possibles.

Sorry, it is pretty clear that the US Presidency is pretty important to the world, although god knows I wish it weren’t so.

I doubt we will ever see a white male Democratic nominee again, and that’s fine. Really.
Just find me a Corbyn woman of color, a full-on anti-establishment socialist and I am on board. But I am not going to self-betray (and betray others) like I did twice with Obama. DSA for me.

(Actually I was going to post once but I felt like taking on Saurs. And the rest of the “to criticize one woman is to hate them all” crowd.)

29

ozma 08.31.17 at 5:13 pm

Brilliant. We need many versions of this, for many different positions women are in.

30

bob mcmanus 08.31.17 at 6:36 pm

Yeah, it is corporate feminism

Sexism is bad, sure people have to make a living, workplaces need to become more equal and comfortable. All these things could have been sa

But the post is a story about moving up the corporate ladder., and basically about what women have to tolerate at every level to make it to the top. At no point does she say “Quit”

Why oh why should she have to quit just cause the men are assholes? She shouldn’t, its the men’s fault. But the wanting wealth and power that comes with corporate success in a capitalist system is her fault.

Do I hear: But there is nothing wrong with that!

Your intersectionality is total bullshit, to mangle a quote.

You want the left, it’s gonna cost you. Or win without us. Good luck.

31

bob mcmanus 08.31.17 at 6:54 pm

And what does intersectionality of race gender and class mean in a working party?

It mean the class faction calls you out and gets in your face, just like the other two. It will be uncomfortable, it will make you angry, hell, the class faction will be unfair and over-generalize and be too quick to judge.

But dammit, we obviously have a class problem as big as the other two.

A coalition of opportunists will be easier to manage. Go for a Senator from Goldman-Sachs.

Barbara Ehrenreich for President.

32

John Holbo 08.31.17 at 9:43 pm

I was so proud of you after the Flaubert thread guys. And now look. If I may make the slightest suggestion it would be to discuss the original, sarcastic, and interesting post, as some have sensibly done. There is a simple solution to avoiding mcmanus-sensei’s normally superb trolling skills (though I grant this effort was far below his usual standards it fucking worked anyway dinnit?): paradoxically, the only way to win is not to play. Bend like a reed and so forth. In short, DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS. This has been a public service announcement, sans guitars, and with a small dose of puppy-shaming via rubbing noses in the thread, by your friendly CT management.

33

John Holbo 08.31.17 at 9:44 pm

Oh, sorry, I’m logged in as John as I’m on his computer; I am obviously Belle.

34

Chris "merian" 09.01.17 at 3:06 am

Yeah, sorry. I just can’t stand trolling. There’s too much of it in the world. And there was too much in 1970. Same methods, really.

35

J-D 09.01.17 at 3:29 am

bob mcmanus

Sorry, it is pretty clear that the US Presidency is pretty important to the world, although god knows I wish it weren’t so.

It is rude to barge into a discussion to raise a different topic because you think it is more important than the topic other people were discussing, and it is still rude even if your topic actually is more important than their topic.

36

faustusnotes 09.01.17 at 4:16 am

My problem Belle is that it isn’t just McManus, there’s a whole bunch of people cruising hereabouts who are making the same kind of claims – that focusing on identity issues and the specific concerns of “minorities” (like, haha, women) is a distraction and the reason that the Democrats are failing. These people, like McManus, can’t conceive of a workplace where meetings happen that isn’t an executive office, because for them the only work that counts is industrial labour, and all the non-pay issues that have confounded women at work (and in the home), and all the social issues confounding black Americans (like, e.g., being killed by the cops) are irrelevant to them. McManus may have a particularly feisty way of putting it but the sad reality is that right now on CT he isn’t alone and his position isn’t trolling so much as it is a commonly-held belief of the radical left. So I want to know what they think their alternative society is going to do to fix the kind of things Jackie White noticed.

Of course they don’t have an answer for that, and prefer to troll with meaningless pap about how Clinton is rich and Jackie White’s snark is selling out poor women. But the underlying issue is not McManus’s alone, and since 2016 its been elevated from trolling to political philosophy on CT.

37

Chris "merian" W. 09.01.17 at 3:32 pm

To faustusnote @36 I want to add two things:

To reiterate that of course the complaints that Jackie White formulates in a particularly pointed and conventionally elegant shape have been voiced by women in all sorts of social situations, from pioneer scientific women 50 years her prior to women in the 68’s protest movements.

And that the squaring of the circle of general economic oppression vs. group-based power structures must, will and does come from the people who are steeped in both. I’m stealing this quote from Mary Anne Mohanraj’s syllabus that she posted to her social media, for her Feminist and Queer SF class this fall. “Anyway, I don’t see women’s lib as necessarily hitched to some wagon of general social improvement [] you have to pull, except in the general sense that getting rid of social oppression of all groups is necessary to any sort of better world. But if you contemplate a revolutionary movement, it becomes a dismal thing if it is not somehow tied to utopian dreams broader than itself. I confess, I contemplate with some apathy a world in which the greed and power have simply gone coed. I mean, bully for you, cheers and all that… but…” (James Tiptree, Jr. to Joanna Russ, 16 September 1973)

Feminists, anti-racists etc. really aren’t in need to have this explained to them by the universal white male revolutionist.

38

Maria 09.01.17 at 5:02 pm

Hi Meredith @20, Jackie was born in 1935. Here is her obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/saltlaketribune/obituary.aspx?n=jacqueline-white-jackie&pid=186409804

Thanks, Belle, for jumping in. Let’s keep in mind this is a real person we are talking about, not a symbol.

39

bob mcmanus 09.01.17 at 6:42 pm

I hope I did not attack Jackie because I do not have any animus. In late 60s context, Jackie and the work are likely admirable.Confusing?

Because that is not really what we have going on here. Peggy in Mad Men was not a documentary subject or real person, but a representation of a 60s woman for the reception of a 21st century audience, for purposes of entertainment and edification. That representation should not be judged by 60s standards, or as some reality, but as a commodity for consumption and production of discourses. Thus Jackie and her satire in the OP are representations for the reception of CT and its commenters, for current personal/political purposes.

The only “real persons” round here are the posters commenters and lurkers, who themselves become images and objects once they sign off.

There are umm discourses about the political processes of claiming representations to be realities, obviously understood by feminists.

40

Saurs 09.02.17 at 5:31 am

Confusing?

No, just boring fart noises, really. Sorry, discourses about boring fart noises. Representations of boring fart noises. The kind only bad Clinton mommies doin’ it for themselves can smell, bottle up, and sell, the capitalist pigs.

41

Meredith 09.02.17 at 6:27 am

Thank you for the link, Maria.

42

Maria 09.02.17 at 9:22 am

Well then try showing better manners to the “representations”, then, Bob.

43

bos 09.02.17 at 5:22 pm

“You start as a secretary, of course”

That opening caught me, for particularly personal reasons.

Couple of decades ago was meeting some relatively new in-laws (family member overseas had got married). Introductions to my aunt were made, and the in-laws came away with the impression that my aunt has worked her way up from secretary to a senior position in the company.

This became apparent when some question was asked about this rags to riches arc. It is about the only time in my life I have seen my aunt intensely annoyed. It was true that she has achieved a senior position. The truth was that she was a Finance Director. She has also been a Company Secretary, which is a board position which used to exist in the UK and in countries whose laws were influenced by the UK.

Her arc was not some secretary to senior manager arc, though. She had been a straight A student. Had gone from school into accountancy and had been placed in her accountancy exams. This is not some minor matter. These exams are extremely competitive and to come top is exceptional. I only learned this very recently, it was not commonly known in my family.

My aunt was among the very best professionals at her job, but her own family was not fully aware of it. She had never been a secretary, but that was what strangers could easily believe.

When I look back, there was never a time that my family sought advice from my aunt in her capacity as an FD. She was an aunt. Her professional life was not known, and did not need to be known.

44

J-D 09.03.17 at 12:31 am

bos
I am reminded of the incident in the first episode of Yes, Minister in which Humphrey explains to Jim the various titles and positions in the Department: Parliamentary Secretary, Permanent Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Private Secretary, and so on, and Jim asks, facetiously, whether they all type — Humphrey responds imperturbably that none of them type, that Jim’s secretary types; and the incident in a later episode where a visting dignitary has a sly dig at Humphrey by suggesting that his formal title of ‘Permanent Under-Secretary’ makes him sound like some sort of assistant typist when in fact he’s in charge of everything.

45

Helen 09.03.17 at 11:37 pm

Shorter Bob McManus (and every other brogressive): “Don’t you be worrying your heads about those positions of power. You wouldn’t like them. It’s a briar bush! Let us poor men worry about how we’re going to run things.”

No socialist, communist or any other not-capitalist regime in history has ever *not* had leaders. If the brogressives had their way, after the Glorious Revolution we’d be ruled by bros, just like always.

Comments on this entry are closed.