The year was 1997. Bill Clinton, fresh from a convincing victory over Bob Dole, was just starting his second term. Titanic dominated the box office, and Pierce Brosnan was still James Bond. Seinfeld and Friends were the top TV shows. And the Cleveland Indians lost, in heartbreaking fashion, in a seven-game World Series with the Florida Marlins.
That year a new but very experienced legal secretary, M.J. Salmons, joined our firm and was assigned to work for me and another lawyer. Seventeen contented and productive years later, effective at the end of the work day today, Janie is hanging up her keyboard to join her husband in retirement. Yesterday we cut the cake to celebrate her years of service and wish her well in the new phase of her life.
It was a lucky day for me and my fellow attorney when Janie came to our firm and was assigned to work for us. We established a great working relationship immediately and in the years since have pulled at the legal oars together without a hitch or hiccup. Her good work has shown how important the role of a knowledgeable professional secretary can be, as she has taken on increasing responsibility for preparing reports, responding to requests for information, scheduling, managing files, and countless other chores that have made my work days much, much easier. I don’t know how many briefs and motions and pleadings we’ve produced, but I do know this — her departure will leave big shoes to fill.
But although Janie’s work has always been top-notch, it’s her winning disposition that we’ll miss the most. With her 100,000-megawatt smile, ready chuckle, and unfailingly cheerful, always-helpful attitude, she brightens the work day. She’s the sort of person whose positive phone personality gets mentioned by impressed clients. And as technology has increased our efficiency, she’s taken on responsibility for more lawyers — currently, there are six of us in the Janie stable of attorneys — without a complaint. As one of my acquaintances observed, she’s not a secretary, she’s more of a saint.
Thank you, Janie, for all you’ve done. Godspeed and smooth sailing in retirement!