Title: The Secretary Game

The Executive Secretary’s of very important bosses of very large companies are highly paid to protect their bosses from matters the boss finds bothersome.

So if you call for the CEO of a large Corporation, and his secretary does not know who you are, or if she does not know what you are calling about,

you can almost never reach him.

You will be told that “he is in a meeting,” “he is out of town,” “he is in transit,” “he is out of the country” “he is on vacation” “he is at the Dr.” etc.

and then, at the end of making that excuse, the secretary will ask if “there is anything I can do for you?”

These secretarys routinely dispose of many things that they think are bothersome to their bosses.

However, Bosses are trained all through their managment development to “always back” their lower level Managers, except in case of extreme abuse.

Thus, if you approach a CEO of some big outfit to try to get something done, you will likely never reach him, but will constantly be unable to “get past” his secretary.

And, if you ever did reach him, he is much more likely to decline granting you what you want than the secretary is.


Set up the scenario in which you cause her to do for you what her Boss would not do if you did, in fact, “get through” to him:

Call the President’s office several times, over several days, each day leaving a message for him to return your call.

Each time you do, the secretary will give you some new excuse as to why he has been “too busy” to return your call, and ask if there is something she can do for you.

But each time you do, you should refrain politely from telling her what you want.

After 4 or 5 calls to her office, she will be highly compelled to try to dispose of your problem.

Thus, on the 5th call, say “Well, Ms. Smith, I don’t know whether anyone can help me but Mr. Jones, himself.”

She will then ask you to tell her about your problem so that she can “try” to help you.

Now, she will be very motivated to solve your problem to avoid your persistent calls to try to reach her Boss.

She will make telephone calls to the precisely correct person to expediently get done what you need, when if you had rached the Boss himself, he very likely would have declined you.

Here is an illustration that occurrred to me in 1967 which demonstrates this method:

Each year for years, Jorrie Furniture Company took 6-8 people to the Furniture Market in High Point, North Carolina. Because of the limited need for hotel rooms in that area at all times of the year except at Furniture Market time, there were “not enough” rooms built to handle all the buyers

and we were in the habit of reserving our block of 6 rooms at the Sheraton at least 6 months in advance.

One year, the reservation did not get made and about 2 months before we were to depart for market, we discovered that we had “no rooms.”

Having been Sheraton’s client at this Hotel for many, many years, I had to find a way to get those rooms if it could be done, and I knew that I had very few chances to succeed and that I would have to carefully figure out how to get them the on the 1st attempt, because if I failed, then the managements’ minds would be “set” and I knew I’d never get those rooms after that.

I called the Manager of the High Point Sheraton, and told him of our long patronage and our failure to reserve the rooms by oversight and asked for his help,

only to be told that the Hotel was “totally booked” and had been more than 100% booked for several months and that he was “very sorry but that he just could not help me.”

So I began to call the office of the President of Sheraton International.

Each day, the executive secretary asked what it was about and if she could help me. Each day, I declined to tell her, politely

and left messages for him to please call me on “an important matter.”

Of course, he never returned my call, and each day, his executive secretary offered me a different excuse as to why he could not talk to me.

Finally, on the 5th attempt, she again asked me if there was anything she could do to help me and I “relented” and said, “Ms. Smith, I don’t know if anyone can help me but Mr. Jones, himself.”

To which she replied: “Well, let me try to see what I can do.”

I explained to her that our Company had had a block of 6 rooms in that Hotel during those 2 – 2 week periods per year for many, many years and that we had never needed to ask for a favor before,

but that this time, we were “in trouble” and we “desparately needed Mr. Jones help.”

She told me that the High Point Hotel had been booked “solid” for over 3 months but that she’d try to see what she could do.

She made a phone call “from the Office of the President of Sheraton International” to the local hotel Manager,

and the local Manager, receiving a call “from the Office of the President, gave us the 6 rooms when previously there were “none to be had.”

Robert Jorrie,