Wanda Wiggins, the secretary to Mr. Tudball, in the outrageous Carol Burnett skit, “Tudball and Wiggins”, is an exaggerated depiction of a dim witted assistant. Mr. Tudball is completely frustrated with his assistant who is always preoccupied with doing her nails, makeup, or daydreaming. She appears to be a complete idiot. Yet her ignorance is the genius of this skit. Mrs. Wiggins deliberately agitates Mr. Tudball. In the 11 minute “Intercom” skit, Mr. Tudball attempts to coach Mrs. Wiggins in his scheme to get out of addressing an important matter but Mrs. Wiggins has her own shenanigans.
There are many undefined responsibilities of an assistant. Cover fire is one. As assistants we are expected to cover for our boss. He may not be prepared to immediately address a matter, and like Mr. Tudball, needs you to help stall someone out. Run interference when necessary and triage the phones. He’ll appreciate it and you look good on your job.
Take a comic relief break, the Tudball and Wiggins skits have me in stitches!
P.S. Be honest, in our modern times, how many of you have gone to get a manicure at lunch and couldn’t quite function the same in the office afterwards? Yes, yes! Me too, who wants to ruin their well manicured tips anwering the phone?
Mad Men Secretary’ing,
Gina, The Secretariat