Swimming in the Steno Pool: A Retro Guide to Making It in the Office

Front Cover
W. W. Norton, Apr 25, 2011 - Business & Economics - 291 pages
10 Reviews

Feed your boss’s ego. Dress for success. And don’t let your heels trip you up on the corporate ladder.

Millions of women have held the position of secretary, alternately lauded as a breakthrough opportunity and excoriated as dead-end busy work. From the female pioneers who infiltrated Capitol Hill offices during the Civil War to today’s tech-savvy administrative assistants, secretaries have withstood criticism for abandoning their rightful sphere (the home), weathered the dubious advice of secretarial guide- books, taken hits from feminists and antifeminists alike, and demanded the right to resist making coffee—all while making their bosses look good.

In Swimming in the Steno Pool, author-secretary Lynn Peril profiles the various incarnations of the secretary, from pliable, sexy mate of the “office husband” to postfeminist executive-in-training, drawing inspiration from a wide range of “femorabilia” and secretarial guidebooks of yesteryear. Featuring an array of fabulous illus- trations promoting office equipment and office girls alike, Peril delivers a feisty, witty celebration of the women who’ve been running the show for decades.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
0
4 stars
5
3 stars
3
2 stars
2
1 star
0

Review: Swimming in the Steno Pool: A Retro Guide to Making It in the Office

User Review  - Anne - Goodreads

3.5 From a scholarly point of view, I'd have to say that wasn't a bad read at all. I am most impressed with the author's feat of primary research (not sure how I wouldn't have wanted to burn a few of ... Read full review

Review: Swimming in the Steno Pool: A Retro Guide to Making It in the Office

User Review  - Pancha - Goodreads

This book makes me so thankful that I started work after the invention of the word processor and that I've never had to get someone coffee. Read full review

About the author (2011)

Lynn Peril is a secretary and the author of Pink Think, College Girls, and Swimming in the Steno Pool. She lives in Oakland, California.

Bibliographic information