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My first job as a full fledged Executive Secretary was at a private company downtown. I was hired to work with the Deputy General Manager. It was a Swiss/Egyptian company that worked in the field of electricity. They represented international corporations and submitted offers from them to tenders for power plants or such. Lots of money involved. The working hours were unbelievably bad. A two shift workday, six days a week. But I was gaining a lot of experience and the general atmosphere within the office was good. A few months after I was hired, we were all sent on a one week trip, supposedly a training seminar, to Geneva, the company’s headquarters. It was a lot of fun, but my impression of Geneva, which is not quit fair as I was there for only a few workdays, was one of extreme quiet, very clean, and would kill me in the long term. No LIFE! Nothing like my beautiful, noisy, dirty Cairo.
I was with them for nearly a year, but the working hours and just one day weekend were taking their toll out of the rest of my life, so I went looking for another job. I saw an ad in the paper for a job with an international company which happened to be based literally round the corner from where I lived. So I sent an application for the job of Executive Secretary to the Managing Director (a promotion from my current position). My application stipulated that if they had a two day weekend and a one shift workday, I would be interested in applying for that job.
They called me within the week to come in for an interview. We set a day, the timing during my lunch break from where I worked. I went on the appointed day and waited for the boss to interview me. And waited. And waited. Half an hour before I was supposed to be back in the office I got up and told the Secretary that I would have to go as I had a job to go to. She jumped up and dashed into the office, dragged the boss back out. He apologized that a meeting ran late. I said no problem, but cannot sit for an interview now as had to get back to my office, and if they want to, we can re-schedule. On the spot he re-scheduled for the very next day, but I would not let him off the hook and said I would hope he would not have any meetings that would conflict with that appointment, and do I need yo call in the morning to re confirm? He had the grace to flush, apologized again, and we settled on the following day.
The next day I was on time and he was waiting and ready for the interview, which turned out with me doing all the asking. I had to bring the interview to an end because of my time, to go back to my office. I asked if he would like to schedule a second meeting as I had to curtail this one, if there were other questions he had in mind, he said he would let me know.
The next day a hand delivered letter was sent to my house which was literally round the corner, offering me the job.
I worked with that company for ten years and with two bosses. It was a good run. But after ten years, a change was good, so again, went job hunting, with a now impressive CV.
To be continued …