Only the Meek Blame the Secretary

As the daughter of an incredibly talented woman who wore the title ‘secretary’ with pride for 30 years, I have to weigh in on this Yahoo! Finance story that Pepsi had to pay a billion dollar plus settlement, blamed on “the goof of a secretary.” Supposedly, a document sent to Pepsi’s law department in Purchase, NY was put aside by a secretary who was busy preparing for a big board meeting and somehow, the paper never reached the proper authorities in time to avoid getting slapped with a default.

I don’t know whether the suit has merit. I don’t know if the woman, who was probably doing the job of the four people until they got laid off, mislaid or lost the letter. But I do know this. When people sue other people, they usually start with threats and yelling. The letter isn’t the first inkling. And I also know that secretaries, now generally called admins, more often than not, save the day rather than sink it. And that ‘secretaries’ have probably avoided millions and billions of dollars of damage over the years for companies who never gave them credit.

I know my mom did. So, my message is, right or wrong, don’t blame the secretary. Put your grown up pants on. Thank her for saving you in advance.

(Now, about those pilots playing on their laptops….whole different story!)

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May 23, 2024
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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