For over a century immediately, secretarial employment has been extolled as a wonderful career opportunity for women–and excoriated as dead-end busy employment. Both characterizations are fair. Office employment has supported or supplemented my writing career for nearly 20 years, however I still have a dense age not adding the words–aloud or mentally–”just a” or “only a” in front of the term “secretary” when human beings inquiry me what I do. I doubt I’m the only one. I mean, can you blame us? Today’s secretary is responsible for a greater array of complex tasks than her predecessors ever were, however the term itself is considered so demeaning that most offices shelved it extended ago in favor of “administrative assistant.” Indeed, “diminished image” and low pay were given as two reasons for a secretarial shortage that started in the late 1970s. Anyone who hasn’t resided under a rock for the past century is well aware of that image–the husband-hunting, pencil-pushing, coffee-getting, dumb-bunny, sex-bomb secretary depicted in advertising, novels, movies, television shows, comic books and just about every other form of pop culture for a abundance longer than you probably realize. Consider the history of that most pernicious of secretarial stereotypes: the office wife.