Frivolous Friday: Are You Good Enough to be a Secretary?

Happy Friday! For many of you, today represents the end of your work week.  Here’s some career-related frivolity to celebrate the weekend’s arrival.

I invite you to consider whether you have what it takes to be a secretary in the 50s and 60s.  Below is a Reflector Number Quiz used in the Secretarial Training Program in Waco, Texas, from January 1959 to June 1959. Let’s see what our career advisers might have told us had we been enrolled in the program.


Tricky… I do make friends easily, but they aren’t always, shall we say, visible to other people.  Thus, I am unsure about my answer for #3.


The first four of these are pretty easy to answer: No, no, no, and probably not enough. I’m not doing very well on this quiz so far.


As for #11, I certainly like the sound of my own voice, but that may not be what they’re asking.  Regarding #15, gross, although it would probably make #17 easier.


I just don’t know anymore.  At this point in the quiz, I’m a little distracted by the fact that I’ve only counted five questions that have much to do with a secretary’s job responsibilities. And that’s being generous. Yes, this is technically a personality quiz, but this feels more like I’m filling out a questionnaire for Super Duper Person of the Year consideration and not so much like I’m finding out whether I would make much of a secretary…

Anyway, now for the moment of truth. Do you have what it takes?

Secretaryquiz5“A score of 80 percent or higher reveals a good personality rating for the business world.” Really? I think it reveals you might be a candidate for sainthood.

Not surprisingly, I failed miserably.

Want more useful career tips? Check out: “Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees”

For more frivolity:

Source: Flashback! Secretaries of the 1950s and 1960s: Do You Have What it Takes to be One? | The Text Message


8 responses to “Frivolous Friday: Are You Good Enough to be a Secretary?

  1. Um … yeah. Is that quiz even possible to pass? As you say, perhaps it’s viable as the sainthood entrance exam … or maybe a test of the honesty of your introspection and self-assessment.

    At least #13 includes the “usually” qualification.

    • Right?! If you’re at all humble and/or self aware, which seem desirable qualities in a coworker, you’re probably not going to answer yes to 80% of the questions. But if you’re cocky (and likely a pill to work with because of it), you’ll pass with flying colors. No one wins.

      • OOh! Inky fingers! The horror! Probably make the secretary faint.

        On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 6:12 PM, Not So Distant Past wrote:

        > ** > NotSoDistantPast commented: “Or words per minute, or shorthand, or even > a passing interest in learning those skills… ” >

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