Our rude secretary....

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ecteach, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Jun 7, 2012

    The secretary at our school is so rude. Today I literally waited 5 minutes for her to "wait on me." She wasn't on the phone, or with a parent, just shuffling through things on her desk. Then when I asked her to do something that was totally in her job description, and something that I am unable to do, she refused. She does this thing all the time for other teachers. (Don't want to say what on a public forum, because I am paranoid..lol...but it is something that is totally not a big deal.)

    I am always very polite to her. She never acknowledges when I am standing right in front of her desk. She just keeps going about her business. I HATE THIS!!!! If someone comes into my classroom, I feel like I automatically acknowledge them.

    I KNOW I have never done anything to her. What could be the problem? I stay as far away from the office as I can. I only go up there when I really need something.

    Should I confront her or let it go and be thankful that I only deal with her when I have to?

    It is the end of the year...........THANK GOD FOR THAT!
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jun 7, 2012

    Our secretary is the same way, as are most school secretaries I've seen. I think they end up dealing with so much that they just get burned out and are irritated all of the time. I definitely tread lightly around ours. Personally, I wouldn't say anything- but that's just me.
     
  4. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jun 7, 2012

    I wouldn't take it personally. She's most likely the same way with others.

    Can you possibly email her instead of waiting to see her in person? Maybe she'd respond better that way?

    I agree with Waterfall, though--most of the secretaries I've worked with have been the same way!!!
     
  5. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    Jun 7, 2012

    Mine has her days. I just go up for what I need, tread lightly and I don't say anything. On her good days she is very pleasant! :rolleyes:
     
  6. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Jun 7, 2012

    That is so sad about these secretaries. I have run into a couple of these while subbing BUT thank God that there were more nice ones than the rude ones, AND that I did not get rude back at them. I have always been told to treat people very nicely because they just might be having a bad day. Well! That is fine and dandy BUT if it is the same person and it's the same every day THEN there is definitely a big problem, and it needs to be corrected. Management need to really see how these kind of people operate and they need to be advised about how to treat others. NOBODY has the right to unload their trashy attitude on others. They need to leave the bad attitude outside the front door, OR under the front mat, and pick it up at the end of the day. At the end of the day though, all the bad attitude has been stepped on and smashed in, that there would be nothing to pick up!
    These secretaries just need to do what they are paid to do; Suck it up, and serve with a smile! What if it was Jesus that they were serving? What if they were on camera?
    These are some of the thoughts that a lot of people need to keep in mind when dealing with the public. It should help a lot of them; to do their best ALL THE TIME.:cool:
    Rebel1
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Jun 7, 2012

    Our secretary is phenomenal. The school would fall apart without her. She does way too much but she will never ask for help!
    I'm sorry you don't have a clone of her :)
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jun 7, 2012

    I wouldn't say anything. Just keep being your polite self. :)

    I love our secretaries. Love.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jun 7, 2012

    Maybe she's not happy in her job, but it shouldn't be your problem. I can never understand people who are rude like that. I am always nice and polite to everyone, even if I am having a bad day. We all have bad days, but that doesn't mean we should take it out on others.
     
  10. Learner4Life

    Learner4Life Cohort

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    Jun 7, 2012

    :yeahthat:

    Our secretary is awesome! It's our business manager that acts the way you're describing.
    The crazy thing is, the secretary has been at it for almost 20 years and still doesn't get paid what a 1st year teacher does and the business manager has been at it for 10 years and makes more than a teacher with 15 years experience.... how does THAT figure!?!?!
     
  11. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jun 7, 2012

    I don't know the secretaries very well at my current school. They are friendly to me and helpful whenever I stop by though. But I absolutely loved the secretaries at my school in Idaho. It was a much smaller school, so that's probably why I got to know them better. They would always be willing to help with anything. Since it was a smaller school, they even had to go out and do recess duty! I always said that they shouldn't have to do it-they had too much to do. One of them used to be the computer teacher and would even come down to my room and help me with computer stuff if she had time.

    But I do know that it can be a very stressful job. There is a ton of work to do, not always very much recognition, and often the parents that come in are very rude to them. I can see why a secretary could be grouchy, but they shouldn't be taking it out on you!
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 8, 2012

    Ours are amazing.

    A few years ago, Marty, the principal's secretary, suffered a fall over the summer and became totally incapicatied. (That injury eventually led to her death a year later-- she was the first of our six losses last school year.) In the immediate aftermath of her fall, she was unable to speak aloud, but could mouth words. So she dictated something like 10 pages of directions to her daughter, to be forwarded to the new secretary.

    Ours are worth their weight in gold.
     
  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This.

    All three ladies who work in our office are outstanding; the school would definitely not run without our Administrative Assistant. I do know, however, that they are very busy, often working on several things at once. They aren't able to always simply stop what they are doing to help me with something. Unless it is an emergency situation with a student, if they are in the middle of something, I'll write a quick note or shoot off an email with my request.
     
  14. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I have been lucky with mine, also. Small school so that helps but it also demands the secretary do the job of three people. So I leave them alone when they are counting money and thank them profusely when they help me. I also gift them at the end of the school year in some way.
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Jun 8, 2012

    My school's secretary is pretty good. I've never had a problem with her. She seems pleasant and will help you if needed. The secretary at my former school was just the sweetest person and would do anything for anyone. From reading these posts I see that is a rare thing!
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    :agreed:
     
  17. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jun 8, 2012

    Our secretary is amazing, but if we had the problem you describe I would politely word a request to our building problem solving committee about the issue; when the principal heard that others were having the same issue, it would be dealt with.
     
  18. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Jun 8, 2012

    My former secretary was a terror unless you were a man or it was your turn for her to be nice to you. Each year she would pick one or two people and be nice to them, then the next year they were on the
    __ __ __ ___ list! You never knew when it was your turn!! She would accuse us of stealing supplies. She would refuse to give us phone messages until two days later which left you deali with angry parents.

    You couldn't even say good morning or she would bite your head off! Oh, the memories!! I could tell stories forever. My best advice is deal with her through email as much as possible. Keep your sent emails as proof you asked her to do something for you. Find someone she does like and ask them to help you when it comes to dealing with her. We would always ask the guys to go ask her questions because she was always nice to them.
     
  19. gdmckav

    gdmckav Rookie

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    Jun 8, 2012

    I have always found it helpful to get off on the right foot with secretaries in my building. Fortunately, many of them are fantastic at their jobs and very friendly to work with. Like with any job in a school, a secretary can feel like a thankless position on some days. This is particularly true after parents and/students may have just been rude to them.

    On a side note, I usually bring in donuts on Fridays to thank them and boost morale at the end of the week.
     
  20. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    We're very lucky at our school, too. We have three and they are all sweet, cheerful and realize that their job is to make our job as teacher easier.
     
  21. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Next time could you perhaps say, "Excuse me. You look REALLY busy, but I wondered if you could possibly...I'd do it myself, but I really can't and I've heard you're really (efficient, good, quick- choose your adjective) at it!" Even though you shouldn't HAVE to do this, in relating to different personalities (esp. those you need to have on your side) it really can make a difference sometimes...and it might take several tries to crack the ice...Also, can you make it your business to deal with her on a more personal, spontaneous basis occasionally? Maybe it's BECAUSE you don't see her often that she feels she doesn't really know you well or "owe" you anything.
     
  22. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Same here, AND she speaks fluent Spanish! We love her!! :)
     
  23. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    I go out of my way to make nice with secretaries. In two of the schools I've worked for the secretaries were really nice and I talked to them nearly every day. The school I'm currently out has a rotating door for secretaries. The main one who'd been there the longest was let go mid-semester. She was rude and nasty to both the students and the teachers, so I'm guessing there were finally enough complaints. The lady who replaced her seems nice enough as well as the other secretaries (attendance, assistant to the principal, etc.).
     
  24. traveler

    traveler Comrade

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    Our office manager (no longer called a secretary in our district) is wonderful and truly runs the school. We all wish she was the principal and have encouraged her to go to school and get her Admin credential. I don't think she will though, sadly. Our custodian is the one we all walk on eggshells around. He is suer moody and gets ticked off VERY easily. You can read his mood from 100 feet away. He won't let us use the Multi Purpose Room as he feels it is his domain. We offer to clean up if we use it and still he won't budge.
     
  25. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Mine too!! She literally saved me every day during that first September. I would go to the office at the beginning of my prep every day with a list of questions and to make sure I had all the necessary forms in.
     
  26. AZMrs.S

    AZMrs.S Cohort

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    I should add that mine was very nice and helpful most for the time. She had her days but she was also set to retire at the end f the year and some days I think she was just done.
     
  27. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I LOVE our secretary-- during new teacher orientation she was introduced to us and she told us "I'm not just the main office secretary or the principal's secretary, I'm EVERYBODY'S secretary so let me know if you need anything." And she's dead serious too-- she will help you out with ANYTHING. An absolute saint, with always a smile and a kind word to say to you. :)
     
  28. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I've always had good-great secretaries. Some were better then others at getting things done for me. Okay, the most awesome one was "Gunny" sent a sick child to the office? That child was going home, She didn't take any excuses from parents, there were no sick children in the office waiting to go home. She was the same way with us, if we had a deadline for turning something in, she made sure we had it done. There was no crossing Gunny. She got things done. She was awesome! I loved it!

    The only time I've complained about secretarial staff is when I've been told that the secretary was rude to someone on the phone.

    Although, I'm upset with my secretary & principal right now. The S took a call from an upset parent of mine. She threatened to hurt me. She told the P immediately. Nothing was done. I wish one of them would have told me about the threat BEFORE I saw the parent the next day.
     
  29. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Jun 10, 2012

    You never know how our secretary is going to be, so you go in holding your breath. Very sad!
     
  30. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I told our Office Administrative Assistant this week that if she ever turns on me, I'll have to kill her :lol:; she's the one I vent to.
     

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