Thursday, March 22, 2018

Confessions of a Nagging Secretary

Howdy, Campers!

Don't forget to submit your bulletin updates before you leave today! You can still get the EarlyBird rate if you submit your updates before 9:00 tomorrow morning; anything after that costs the full rate.


Rachel Lulich

Activities Director
Bulletin Dictator
Receptionist Extraordinaire

And that's how it all started. An simple attempt to make the weekly reminders I sent to the church staff feel a little less ... naggy ... and a little more fun. But it didn't stop there. Oh, no.

Good morning.

This is an official notice to inform you that you currently owe one (1) bulletin update to the Bank of the Bulletin. Payments are due COB today. The Bank of the Bulletin will extend a grace period until noon (12:00) tomorrow, 27 April, 2017, for those unable to make their payment on time.

If you received this notice in error, or have already paid your bulletin update bill, please disregard.

Thank you,

Rachel Lulich
Vice-President, Outstanding Accounts
Bank of the Bulletin

It all seemed so innocent, but this was only the beginning. Things escalated quickly. Just a few weeks after my first foray into creative nagging, I wrote this poem in the style of The Faerie Queene, which I was reading at the time (and still am):

When Orpheus to Hades went
To save his dear Eurydice
No greater love could he have had
Than that, which is my legacy - 
To print up Sunday scrolls anew
For everyone and all to see.

Alas! I'll ne'er complete the work
Unless you lend me solemn aid; 
To populate the columns bare
Is no work for a single maid.
It must by one and all be shared -
Therefore, help me fill the page!

By Wednesday afternoon, I pray
You make your needs and wishes known,
Else Thursday before lunch will do
To give me needful time in loan
That I might make our bulletin
Reflect the seeds our church has sown.

Soon, I was rewriting song lyrics from popular classic musicals...

Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles,
I ask for bulletin updates,
Send out my emails empirical and lyrical
And wait to see your response rates,

When you respond before Thursday,
That is a miracle.
When I can use the words you say,
That is a miracle, too.

But of all the bulletin miracles,
The one that must be the pinnacle,
Is when I get to print it at two p.m.,
And the printer doesn't jam!

...creating fake menus for beverages I don't even drink...

Craft Beer List [excerpts]

Narthex Pale Ale
Light and frothy, this NPA is brewed from the finest fellowship fields ready for harvest can provide. Featuring elements of group activities and contact information.

Last-Minute Bitter
Sure to make any secretary furrow her brow in displeasure, this acquired-taste beverage has a blood-pressure-increasing flavor and a lingering aftertaste. Only recommended for brave souls with no palate.

Grace Extension Barley Wine
Distinguished by a higher percentage of good-will, the Barley Wine is smooth and refreshing, perfect for last-minute but by-no-fault-of-your-own consumption.

...and more song re-writing:

All the updates seemed so far away
Now it's send-email-reminder day,
Oh, I believe in yesterday.

I need your response immediately. 
This is no time for malingering - 
I need updates before you leave.

Why you didn't tell me the details already
I can't comprehend, but you have until Thursday
                at noon, oh

Yes, today
Is the day to send me what I need
For announcements you want all to see
Oh, please respond to me quickly.

I was hooked. Every week, I churned out creative emails trying to nag people and make them smile at the same time. Nothing was safe. Not the Crocodile Hunter...

Oh, look at that! What a beauty! It's a Church Secretary in her natural environment. This is a really rare find - usually these creatures are shy and wary of people; they run and hide if you get too close, but it looks like this adult female is not worried about us at all, so let's move in a little closer. [...]

...not the news media...

Secretary Nearly Forgets to Remind Staff of All-Important Deadline

It was ten past three in the afternoon when Rachel Lulich, secretary at her church, first realized she had not yet sent out her customary reminder email to the staff, urging them to submit their bulletin updates in a timely fashion.

"It's the same thing every week," Lulich told reporters, looking dazed. "I think of some silly, creative literary device, and I use said device to remind everyone that I need their bulletin update no later than noon tomorrow." [...]

...not Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

The Secretary of the Church

Here ev'ry week the bulletin
Has updates that must lie within
That are to come and will have been,
And thro' it all the distant din -
     The tick-tock of the clock hands' perch.
The staff are prompt and rarely late
So valuable do they all rate
The work that they have done to date
     Round about the church.

Thursday nears, deadlines chase;
Each staff member participates
In the weekly info race,
Submitting theirs with every grace
     As in their offices they perch.
Three long columns; two long pages
Overseen throughout the ages
By the commonest of sages
     The secretary of the church.

Not even The Sound of Music could escape my thirst for creative fodder:

This is Wednesday going on Thursday
Dear Staff, it's time to print
Better be quick
Be detailed, not cryptic
For this week's bulletin.

This is Wednesday going on Thursday
Updates are due at noon
If not before - 
Each week it's a war
And losing's inopportune.

Totally unprepared am I
If you are not on time
Creative, annoying, blunt am I
When it is nagging time

You need someone
Organized and fun
Telling you when to email
I'm a secretary and writer
I'll make sure we don't fail.

But every once in a while, there's a break in the clouds. Every now and then, there's no time for writing creatively on the job. Yes, there are even times when the mind fails. And at those times, all one can do is quote Alice in Wonderland and make a direct plea...

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important update!

And it seems my creativity is all used up for the moment, lol. Please send bulletin updates with all appropriate haste, no later than noon tomorrow.

Thank you.

The Worn Out Secretary :D

1 comment:

  1. This is priceless! I am sharing with our church office manager, who is in charge of our bulletins.