The Secretary’s Tale
I guess I should say a few words, given this is my retirement party – it’s hard to believe I’ve done this sort of job for over forty years now, ever since I left school when I was fifteen. But I also want to take this chance to share some of the less pleasurable experiences I have had, the times when I had to do things because someone forced me to.
When I started out, I was one of a number of secretaries in a pool for a medium sized company, fresh out of school with my newly minted shorthand and typing certificates, sitting at my typewriter and going at full speed. This was in about 1973, and the dress code was not too formal, so I dressed in a way I felt comfortable – which for then was a white cable knit top with a diamond effect down the outer sleeves, hotpants in crushed blue velvet, and knee length white leather boots.
Anyway, I’d just about finished my shift when the head of the secretarial pool came to me and said one of the managers needed someone to dictate a letter to urgently. So I grabbed my pad, and went up to the third floor of the building where they had their offices.
He was what was the stereotype of a manager – middle aged, portly, balding, and the way he looked at me when I took a seat was not the most settling. Anyway, I was a professional, so I sat down, crossed my legs and started to take his dictation as he rattled off a letter to some customer – which was when the two men walked in without warning. They had the necks of their jumpers pulled up to cover the lower half of their faces, and one of them pointed a very real and very deadly looking gun at both of us while the other ordered the manager to open the safe in his office.
Well, the ever so upstanding manager refused – which was when the second man pulled my hands behind my back, and I felt something like twine used to secure my wrists together. It was thin, and cut into the skin, mainly because he showed no mercy as he pulled it tightly round my limbs.
He then knelt beside me and tied my ankles together, and I could see it was farmer’s twine he was using, the thin cords rubbing against the clean white leather as my ankles were pulled tightly together.
As he was doing this, the first man was standing over the manager as he opened the safe, before he used the gun to knock him into unconsciousness. I opened my mouth to scream, but before I could say anything a handkerchief was pushed into my mouth, with a whispered admonishment not to spit it out.
Ten minutes – that was how long they were in there for, and they left me too scared to move and call out as they emptied the safe and walked out. The manager was lying on the floor, unmoving – and it was nearly anther fifteen minutes before the head of the secretarial pool came in and found both of us.
I later found out the manager may have had another reason to see me – so I guess I was grateful to the two men from walking in, but it was some time before I felt safe enough to be left alone in the room like that again.
Yeah, that was the way it worked at that time – they seemed to feel we were there for more than just dictation and typing. I left that company soon after and went to work for a lawyer – but even there, there could be unexpected visitors.
The time I’m thinking of, I was wearing a red and black minidress. It had long sleeves, the skirt with red and black vertical stripes, the top half more like a harlequin pattern. It was made of a jersey like material, and I was also wearing a pair of knee length black leather boots with four inch heels.
I was one of three in this office, and we took turns staying in the office while the others went for lunch. That meant we had to bring our own in, so this particular day I had one of those Tupperware boxes, in which sat two slices of Nimble with some cheese between them, an apple and a carton of milk.
I heard the office door open, and without looking up said “I’m afraid the office is closed for lunch. We will be openggnnnwhthtthhh?”
Someone had shoved a folded cloth into my mouth, and I could feel the rough skin of their hand on my lips as I was forced to look into the eyes of a middle aged woman, wearing a blue coat and a matching hat, peering at me through tortoiseshell glasses.
“Where is he?”
“Oh never mind,” she said as she opened her bag, and took out a roll of brown packing tape, “hold her hand down.”
I was sitting in a steel framed chair, as I saw whoever was behind me use his free hand to hold my left wrist down, while the woman wrapped the packing tape tightly round it and the arm for the chair, then doing the same thing with my right hand.
“Take your hand away.”
“Look, wharrudnggg,” I said as she wrapped the tape tightly round my head, sealing my lips as it stuck to my hair.
“You just keep real quiet,” she said as she knelt down and taped my ankles together, and then my legs above and below my knees, “I need to look in his office.”
Well, I had no choice but to watch as she went in, followed by this hulking brute of a man. I could hear them searching for something, before they came out, the woman putting a file in her clutch bag as she said “nothing personal dear – strictly business.”
That made me take a trip to the hairdressers, as my long hair had to be cut away, and I started to wear it in a shorter style. Ironically, it also led to a better job, as a few years later I was the executive secretary to the CEO of a company.
Now that term Executive Secretary caries all sorts of connotations, but I was never romantically involved with a boss. There was one occasion with this guy, however, when things got a little – kinky.
We were into the late eighties by this point, and I was dressing to impress – a white blouse with a white man’s tie, a short skirt with an ethnic print, white stilettos and dark tights. It was late in the evening, and I was working on the travel schedule for my boss. He was in his early sixties, and as he looked out of his office and said “can you come in for a moment,” I stood up and walked in.
“How long have you worked for me, Joan?”
“Three years now sir,” I said with a smile.
“Well, I shall be retiring soon, but there is something I would like to ask you to do for me, if you wish. You are free to say no, but if you do, I will pay a bonus this month to you personally.”
“Of course, sir, what is it?”
“Kneel on the floor, and put your wrists together in front of you.”
Well, it sounded unusual, but I did as he asked, watching as he took from his briefcase a blue and white checked scarf. He folded it into a band, and then to my surprise her used it to tie my wrists together in front of me, before he took a long silk strip with a striped pattern from the bag, walked behind me and tied my elbows together, the band pressing on my back.
“Sir, what are you doing this for,” I said as I sat down, looking to the side as he tied my ankles together with a third scarf.
“To see how it feels to me,” he said as he took one last scarf, a red bandana with white spots. I watched as he roiled it into a band, and then passed it between my lips. I felt the cotton press my tongue down, and it tasted slightly of scent, as he sat back and just watched me.
That’s right – he just watched me, as I looked back at him. This went on for about an hour, before he untied me, removed the scarf gag and said “thank you Joan, you may go now.”
He left the company a few days later, and I got the bonus, but it have to admit – of all the times I found myself in that situation, that was the strangest.
About ten years ago, the company I was working for at the time had a seventies day for charity. Now I have managed to keep my figure – yes I have – so I chose to wear a brown and cream striped tank top over a full sleeved brown blouse, a fawn mini skirt and brown knee length boots.
I even had my hair done in the style of Olivia Newton John at that time, albeit with grey fringes. Anyway, we were having a great time, running charity stalls and generally goofing around, when I excused myself and made my way to the toilets.
As I was coming back, I noticed a shadow in one of the offices, which I thought was a couple of the younger members of staff sneaking off for some quality time. The right thing to do would be to sneak away – but I could never be accused of doing the right thing, so I went in – and saw two young women hacking into the computer system.
“Oh dear,” one of them said, as she pointed a small gun in my direction, “we had hoped to slip in and out without been seen. Please, close the door, and come over here.”
Well, what choice did I have? As I walked over, the girl at the terminal looked at me, and said “Not bad – you look good in that outfit. Pity we need to make sure you stay here.”
“Yeah – not the first time,” I said as the first girl walked behind me, put my wrists together behind my back and used a plastic zip tie to hold them together. I then gasped as they used a second one to pull my elbows together behind my back, forcing my chest out before I was made it sit on the floor, two more ties used to secure my ankles and my legs together below my knees.
As I tried to move them, the plastic and the leather rubbing made it sound as if there were mice in the room, as I watched them continuing to hack into the system and download information onto some discs.
“Right, I think we have everything,” the second girl then said, “we need to keep her quiet.”
“Agreed,” the first intruder said as she looked at me, and took a small sponge ball from a bag, “open wide.”
As she pushed the ball in, I was surprised as it expanded in my mouth, soaking up the saliva as the girl then pressed some sort for tape to my mouth. It certainly held my lips together – it also seemed to move as I tried to speak, sealing it tightly as I watched them make their way out of the room.
It was another two hours before someone finally came to see if they could find me – by which point, I had decided a career move for the last few years of my working life would be a good idea.
And so, here we are. But I want to take a moment to talk about what happened last week, in the hope it is a lesson to all of you.
I was about to leave the office, with only young Angela in there with me. I was wearing what I have on now – this green silky shirt dress, with a thin brown belt, and my brown knee length boots, while Angela was wearing a white sweater, blue trousers and black knee length boots.
So when the masked men came in, and Angela started crying, I took her by the hand and said that we should just do as they said, and let them take whatever it was they had come for. That is important – your personal health and safety are the first and only thing that matters.
They used white rope to secure our wrists behind our back, our fingers unable to reach the knots, and then used more rope to secure our arms, stretching the material of our dresses over our chests as they did so. I could see the eyes for the one binding Angela sizing me up as my arms were drawn to my sides, leading him to make a comment about what a beautiful MILF I was.
I had no idea what that meant, but I felt somewhat flattered – as we were made to sit back to back, and our ankles tied together in front of us. I had my legs secured together above my knees, gathering the skirt of my dress around me, while poor Angela had hers secured together below her knees. We were then brought together with rope around our midriffs, as I gripped her fingers to offer some sort of moral support.
They then pushed scarves into our mouths, and wrapped this tape – medical tape, I think – round both our heads, both to hold them together and also to keep the stuffing in our mouths. We then had to watch as they plugged a USB device into the laptops, and downloaded onto somewhere files as well as emptying our accounts.
I was there for Angela through all that – and should it ever happen to you, which I pray it never does, always remember your safety and that of your colleagues is more important that anything your employer says. Now, let me just say thank you for the gifts, and I will miss you all...