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Friday, June 21, 2013

MILKSOP Chapter 23

Tending to Business
"Biography is a very definite region bounded on the north by history, on the south by fiction, on the east by obituary, and on the west by tedium."  Philip Guedalla

Archie often read and mused about the quote by Guedalla and tried to fit himself within its boundaries. Since the East was the last place he wished to visit due to its permanence, he focused upon the other three.

His was a short history; still he had arrived at a point where he had a good wife, graduated from Law School, and had a good job where he could pay his bills with some left over.

It was in that setting that the daily grind was beginning to wear on him.

Had he been the helmsman it would have been less tedious, but he was an oarsman, and it was his job to help move the ship forward.

The days for Alice were more exciting although not incredibly exciting.

She was in a pool of court reporters that arrived just before eight and waited to see if they were given an assignment for the day. If they were assigned to a criminal case they might be there for a long time.

Each case was different, and their duties varied with the case, so they had to stay on their toes ready for whatever came their way.

The office pool was an interesting place because if they were without assignment they just sat around and gossiped about other women who were in the legal profession.

Each large law office also had a secretarial pool to draw from.  Some of the attorneys had a private secretary while others used them on an "as needed" regimen.

Archie was to have his own secretary, he just had to select one from the pool but he hadn't decided on one yet.
The girls in the pool were competing for the job with Archie, and he was enjoying watching each of them do their thing.

Meanwhile back to the court secretarial pool the gossips were in full swing.

Then one spoke up and said, “Have you heard about the young attorney over at M & A. the girls are competing to see who gets to be his private secretary.”

courtesy free clip art

“It looks like he is leaning toward, ‘Lusty Lena’ according to the girls over there.  That gal can turn a man's head when others can't get the time of day.”

“The word is she plans to take him away from the wife for it looks like he has a great future.”

“She is about ten years older than him but that is a non issue for Lena.  If she wants him - - he is her man because she exudes, Come hither."  

So far Alice had not entered into any of their conversations but this one interested her.  

She asked, “Does anyone know the name of the poor unsuspecting guy for he sure sounds like a babe in the woods?”

One of the girls spoke up and said, “His name is something like Arly or Albert, something like that.”

Alice spoke and said, “It wouldn't be Archie would it?”  They all said, “Yes, that is it.  Do you know him?”

Alice answered, “I think I may have met him once or twice.”

Outwardly Alice was calm looking, but inwardly she was fuming and couldn't wait to get to the phone.  

When she reached Archie on the phone she said, “Honey I'm off today so let's have lunch together.”
He sounded excited and said, “That will be great.”

Alice met him at the restaurant and she said, “Have you selected a secretary yet?”

He said, “No but a couple of them seem to be alright.” 

Alice said, “I know what you need so I will help you pick out one after lunch,” to which he said, “That would be good for I can't make up my mind.”

After they arrived back at the office he said, “I have to get back to work but come to my office, and bring your choice with you when you decide.”

A half an hour later Alice knocked on Archie’s door where Lena was taking dictation. Alice said, “He won't need you any longer, because Mrs. Allen will take over from now on.”

Mrs. Allen had been married for twenty years, and was very experienced with life. 
She also was a top notch secretary with excellent skills, but she was used as a fill in because most of the men wanted a younger girl.

During Alice's interview with Mrs. Allen, she explained what she wanted her to do, one of the things was to keep the rest of the girls away from the naive Mr. Archie.

To be Continued  

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