Frankly, I couldn't do without Cathy. She's everything to me-administrative assistant, organizer, psychologist and dear friend. Professional Secretaries Week is coming up, and I can't think of anyone who deserves recognition more than Cathy. When she's not around to keep me on track, I become unglued. She's honest, she's direct and she's a class act. I get compliments all the time from people about her good nature and unfailing willingness to help. She also has a lot of old-fashioned girl in her. Her husband, Michael, and her Yorkshire terrier, Rocky, are her life. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't hear some new saga about Michael and Rocky. I just love those stories.
Cathy started working at Crain Communications when she was 16, so she's been with the company almost 21 years. We joined forces about 10 years ago, but at first I thought she was a little too shy for the job. As the months passed, she seemed to become more comfortable and assertive. Today I couldn't think of a better match.
But what really sticks in my mind from those early days was how much Cathy adored her father. He had become quite ill and eventually had to undergo a number of complicated tests. Because her mother had passed away some years earlier, Cathy would spend long evenings with her father after working all day. This went on for months, and I watched with sadness as her dad continued to fail and then passed away. I was able to identify with her because I had lost my dad a few years earlier. Those were tough times for Cathy, but she gave her job 100% every day.
Cathy has learned to never give me an original of anything. In fact, she usually makes four or five copies of any correspondence and then gives me one, along with an admonition that I'd better not lose it. Invariably I do misplace it. But Cathy seems to have a magic touch. I've seen her sift through piles on my desk and in seconds find something I've been trying to locate for days. There are other things, of course, that mystify me. She seems to read my mind when it comes to scheduling a trip or arranging a meeting. By the time I get around to telling her what I want to do, she already has arranged flights, hotel rooms and all the other things that need to be done for a successful trip. She's always there when I need her but never makes a big deal of it. The expression "steady as a rock" comes to mind.
When Cathy takes a vacation, I just hope I can get through each day without doing something foolish, like scheduling two or three lunches on the same day or agreeing to a speaking engagement in one part of the country when I'm scheduled to be in another part. It's happened. She's also a master at reminding me about important things like birthdays and anniversaries.
What does it all boil down to? I'm just plain lucky, the way I see it. And I know many of you have the same feelings about someone you work with, someone just like Cathy who you can trust at all times. They're the ones who keep the stress level at low tide and who really keep things running.
So Cathy, thank you for just being you. I know Michael and Rocky are just as proud of you as I am. You're one in a million!
Indispensable is the word,
Charles S. Lauer