Today I’d like to introduce a new concept I termed “secretizing:” unloading all of your unwanted administrative tasks on a coworker, usually a woman.

My mother and I had a great conversation about all of the times in our lives that we’ve been secretized. We are nice people, we are competent, and we are women. We all want to pitch in for the team. But people have strapped us with duties not at all related to our positions, duties that are unquestionably another person’s responsibility, and just feel glaringly random. I’ve found myself secretized by my bosses, even, to the point where I don’t have time to perform the work I was hired for. Basically, they gave me this title but in essence I’m really just a glorified secretary.

I don’t want to diminish administrative work. I have the utmost respect for it. I just didn’t go to school with it, and it’s not my area of expertise.

To be fair, I sometimes offer to help people who are swamped, which might be why I get into this mess. You can’t close that door.

Also to be fair, men get strapped with unwanted duties as well. I worked at a record label with my husband, and there was a dark period in which an unidentified assailant kept clogging the toilet. My husband was always the one called upon by the president of our company to unclog it. Maybe he seemed the most handy. Maybe he seemed the least fussy.

What is the male equivalent of secretizing – handymanning?


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