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The Right Stuff

Yesterday was Administrative Assistant’s Day, and (of course) it reminded me of a story.

 

Sometime in the early 1990s I had an ad in a local Pennysaver for a “part-time legal secretary” which clearly specified that “only qualified applicants” need apply.  What criteria did I list?

  1. Prior law office experience;
  2. Strong local real-estate knowledge;  and
  3. Non-smoker.

The calls came in for qualified people wanting full-time work (sorry) and unqualified people asking if I’d train (that wasn’t what I wanted at that stage).

 

I was beyond annoyed after a week of time-wasting calls. The phone rang again, and against my better judgment, I answered. The man asked if the job was still open, and when I said it was, he declared, “Then look no further! I’m your man!”

 

OK, I’ll bite.  This could be the one, I foolishly thought. So I started by asking what types of law firm(s) he’d worked for, and the answer was “None.”

 

Did he have any real estate experience? “I bought a house 20 years ago.”

 

This was the proverbial straw and I was the camel. “Sir, didn’t you see what the ad specified?  If you don’t have the skills and experience, why are you wasting your time and mine?

 

His pointed retort was, “Your ad specified you wanted a ‘non-smoker,’ and I am a non-smoker!



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