Secretaries are not mail boxes

The article "Voice Mail Grows in Sophistication, but Many Companies Use It Poorly," May 10, angers the secretaries in my company, including me.

The author comments that in today's cost-cutting climate, secretaries are often the first to go, and that voice mail "enables people to leave more detailed messages than a secretary could be expected to jot down." That may reflect values in his neck of the woods, but not in ours.

The four department secretaries in our company are an integral part of operations, not just message-takers to be replaced by voice mail. Although we use computers extensively, we can easily "jot down" complicated and confidential messages for the executives for whom we work, since shorthand is a hire-in requirement for our jobs.

All of these executives were shocked by this slur against secretaries and assured us that we are in no danger of being terminated. Since they know of our important contribution to the company, we believe them. P. Bowler, Santa Clara, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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