A voice on the telephone recently asked me, “Are you his secretary, or do you prefer to be called his administrative assistant?” I told him, “I am his secretary and very proud of it.” You could hear the relief in his voice as he replied, “Thank goodness. I can deal with a real person the one who really runs things, and I don’t have to deal with a prima donna who takes offense at the least little thing!” Now, I’m serious. This really happened. I think he voiced a common feeling because people know that a secretary, especially a legal secretary, is close to the boss, can be trusted with information, and will handle all matters correctly. (But we know who really runs things, and it’s not the secretary.)
The United States of America is the leader of the free world, and its President is the most powerful individual in the world. What are the President’s cabinet members called? Secretaries.