The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is DELETE. My response will be this little tale of persnickety spelling. (With thanks to Alexas Fotos and Pixabay for this image.)
Adamson had some reservations about the newly hired secretary. He paused a few paces back from her desk to observe her as she typed up his letter to a client. She was pleasant enough to chat with, and definitely attractive. Perhaps that was her biggest appeal to Fotheringill, who’d hired her. Adamson felt their manager tried to cater to certain clients who had an appreciative eye for pretty smiles and youthful curves.
Observing Miss Secretary at her work, he wondered if this girl had the spelling smarts to do a competent job. Red lines popped up frequently on her screen, indicating that SpellCheck wasn’t happy, and she seemed to hit the DELETE key so often. When he saw the words “a discrete inquiry into the matter” appear on the screen, he gritted his teeth.
Stepping close to her desk, he pointed to the error on her screen. “You have the wrong word there. It’s supposed to be D-I-S-C-R-E-E-T.”
She looked up at him. “Does it matter?”
“Definitely. Look the word up in the dictionary.”
Half an hour later she entered his office with a self-satisfied smile and laid the letter on his desk. He looked at it and his eye automatically went to the needed correction. He shook his head as he read, “We’ve made a discreet inquiry into the matter and found that the concreet was delivered at 9am on May 3rd.”
He pointed to the offending word. “Did SpellCheck not tell you this word was wrong?”
“It was underlined, but I figured, if it’s DISCREET, then it will be CONCREET. It’s your report and you know how to spell,” she replied, sounding rather huffy.
Further down in the letter he spotted another error: “This clause in the contract will be deleeted…”
He slapped his hand to his forehead. “One size fits all,” he muttered.
He handed her the letter. “If you wish to keep this job, Miss Secretary, I recommend that you join a remedial spelling class ASAP. I understand there’s one held every Thursday at the community college for those who made it through school without learning how to spell.”
She bristled, grabbed the report and walked out of his office with her head held high.
He’d have a word with Fotheringill about the basic requisites for secretaries but he doubted it would have much effect. Thank God for the faithful Mrs Taylor, employed to scan and correct all correspondence before it left the office.
As he passed through the office area later, he overheard Miss Secretary complaining to one of the other staff about Mr Adamson being so difficult. “Don’t know why he’s so hard to please. He actually told me to join a spelling class! I mean, does it really matter if it’s EET or ETE? As long as the customer gets the idea.” She sniffed. “They probably don’t spell perfectly, either.”
“He’s always been that way,” the other secretary answered. “Mr Fotheringill never fusses about spelling.” She giggled. “He cares a lot more about how we look. Not to worry. Just send it to Mrs Taylor – she deals with the spelling stuff.”
Adamson rolled his eyes. Oh, well. Five more years and he’d take early retirement. Then he’d write his memoirs!