It was a different world back in the 1960’s, and the TV series “Mad Men” did a great job of taking us all back to a point in time when people did things very differently than they do today. In the show, Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) was fortunate enough to have Peggy Olsen (played by the inimitable Elisabeth Moss) as his executive assistant (aka secretary). Interesting note: by season 7 the tables were turned and Don reported to Peggy.
Peggy’s job as an executive assistant was to smooth out Don’s life, to the extent that all he had to do was attend to the “important stuff” while she took care of everything else. And made sure that he did all the things he needed to do to become successful, and all in a timely fashion (“Hey Don, before you head out can you …. “). That was the essence of the executive assistant, and only the rich and powerful were assigned this luxury, as the cost would have been prohibitive to provide one for every single person in the organization.
So, what exactly did Peggy do? Well, lots of things! Calendaring, scheduling, reminding (lots of this!), organizing, running of reports, troubleshooting issues, strategic counsel, managing expense accounts, implementing new processes, managing the data in multiple systems (especially payroll), onboarding, offboarding, communications, and coordination of events.
And did we mention having to remind Don constantly, but delicately, of what he needed to do? That was a full-time job all in itself. And Peggy also helped Don complete things he was too busy to do himself, or could never do properly even if he did have the time (generally due to three-hour business meetings over lunch and cocktails)? Read the complete article here.
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