By Rupert P. Sorelle and John Robert Gregg.
Published by The Gregg Publishing Company, New York, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco, 1922.
If you ask most men to say what a secretary does, you're unlikely to get an answer that fully reflects reality - even from executives who benefit from having a personal assistant of their own. It's easy for them to paint a broad picture of typing, filing and copying, but press them on the details and you'll soon discover a distinct lack of knowledge. Perhaps you might hear sexist quips about secretaries making coffee, if not far-fetched fantasises about personal assistants pleasing their bosses while bent over or kneeling under a desk. Some men are seduced by the stereotype of the sexy secretary in a different way, daydreaming of wearing tight skirts and blouses as they adopt what they see as a supremely submissive role themselves. That can be a lot of fun in the right circumstances, but it doesn't encourage respect for the women whose unsung efforts keep so many businesses running in the real world.
For many, the word “secretary” brings to mind a female office worker, with a male secretary likely to suffer scorn from some, even without him crossdressing. This was not always the case, however. At the start of the last century, it was perfectly acceptable for a man to work as a secretary - indeed, such a position was respected because of its responsibilities. One need only flick through the pages of the following book to get a feel for the full extent of these - a far cry from a brainless bimbo being employed solely to sit and look pretty. Then, as now, secretaries were expected to think, taking care of often tedious, yet vital matters on behalf of their superiors. Their roles required them to know much more than merely how to use the coffee machine, a fact that a modern mistress can turn to her advantage.
As the original preface remarks, Secretarial Studies is divided into convenient sections, each of which focuses on a distinct area of the personal assistant's responsibilities. A submissive man, perhaps dressed the part, may be tasked with completing one or more of these at a time, with the questions and assignments at the end of each lesson providing a means to test his comprehension of its contents. It is to be noted that not all the answers may be found in the text itself, but rather may require the reader to undertake significant additional research - something that will stretch the would-be secretary's abilities in itself. If you do not wish your submissive to go to such lengths for the sake of roleplay, you might instead instruct him to construct plausible, yet fictitious answers in keeping with the character he is adopting.
Similarly, where the text suggests that the manager will direct the student in a particular way, for example, providing subjects to research on your behalf, you might simply tell a sissy secretary to use his own initiative rather than expecting you to supply every last detail - again, a valuable skill for an assistant to cultivate, and one which will serve a man well in other areas of life too. To make the exercises more provocative, you might have his answers feature one of his particular weaknesses, such that a submissive crossdresser with a penchant for panties must alphabetise the labels on his lingerie, then weigh such garments with a view to mailing them, or else research market trends in women's underwear. To have to work at a made-up lingerie company will be no less demanding for its distracting possibilities, especially if the pretend secretary is expected maintain a professional demeanour throughout.
The same approach may be employed where the book calls for dictation and transcription. A search online will yield videos on any subject you might imagine, but if you do not even want to spend the few moments it takes to find suitable material, this too can be delegated to your secretary. Whether a submissive man finds himself having to hurriedly write down a woman's thoughts about sexism in the workplace, or merely must focus on something as staid as a stock market report, he'll have his work cut out for him if he's to provide a properly formatted transcript for your perusal at the end. You need only give it a glance to see if it makes the grade, but you don't have to stop there - your secretary can be instructed to practise his public speaking by reading it out afterwards, whether to an audience or in front of a mirror. It is, of course, entirely up to you whether you set standards that are attainable should your submissive assistant strive to meet them, or are so unrealistically high as to serve as a pretext for a predetermined punishment.
In places, the book makes reference to other works that have unfortunately become lost to the mists of time - in particular, an accompanying exercise book that has proved impossible to source. In its absence, it is suggested that the student constructs the necessary forms, something that may be accomplished with the aid of modern software or else with nothing more than an old-fashioned pencil and ruler. The text's age is also apparent in the equipment that it mentions, it being unlikely that anyone outside of the antiques trade will have even heard of a Wales Listing Machine or a Motor Addressograph, let alone be expected to use such obsolete contraptions in the course of their work. It is hoped that this will not detract from the purpose to which such sections may still be put, namely to require the student to learn about an irrelevance for the amusement of his superior - indeed, that they may offer a fascinating insight into the past even for those who do not have anyone to direct their work, as well as serving to illustrate how fleeting the latests fads in office technology often turn out to be.
Secretarial Studies has fallen out of copyright, but previously available digitisations fell somewhat short of the exacting standards that should be expected from a secretary's work. I have not only had my husband produce a transcription of the text that is free from the sort of errors introduced by automated scanning, but have also had the original artwork updated for greater clarity. I hope that the results will prove useful in teaching submissive men that the duties of a secretary should not be underestimated, however arousing the idea of dressing up and working as a woman's personal assistant may prove to be.
The text of the original book now follows.
For their assistance in making Secretarial Studies a real factor in preparing a higher type of stenographic worker, grateful acknowledgment is made to:
Rogers Peet Company, Lord and Taylor, The Guaranty Trust Company, The National City Bank, The National City Company, The Yawman and Erbe Manufacturing Company, The Library Bureau, the Rand Company, The Amberg File and Index Company, Charles Scribner's Sons, Publishers Printing Company, United Fruit Company, Addressograph Company, American Multigraph Sales Company, Rand, McNally and Company, Federal Reserve Bank, Wabash Cabinet Company, Todd Protectograph, American Express Company, The Western Union Telegraph Company, The Radio Corporation of America, the Postal Telegraph Company, Central Railroad of New Jersey, Pennsylvania Railroad Company, New York Central Railroad Company, Clyde Steamship Company, Cunard Steamship Company, Ltd., and Ward Line.
It is now recognized that, while shorthand and typewriting skill are basic in a secretarial course, this skill, when acquired, is only a tool. On entering the high school or the private business school, students have little training and no experience in business. They know nothing of the ordinary procedure of business, its structure, its functions, or its language. The most commonplace business transactions appear to them to be unintelligible. Whatever preparation they get to equip them for entering the business world, which requires intelligent performance of tasks, must be acquired in the school.
With these thoughts in mind the authors of Secretarial Studies have attempted the solution of three specific problems:
To develop and perfect the secretarial student's ability as a shorthand writer and typist;
To broaden his knowledge of business procedure,
To provide sufficient practice in the laboratory work in solving definite secretarial problems, so as to add definitely to the student's equipment as an effective business worker.
In working out these problems, two factors have been kept steadily in view: the student's preparation and ability to understand the secretarial problems presented; and, the value of the problems in extending the student's knowledge and increasing his skill.
A study was made of the usual activities with which the stenographer-secretary is concerned. It developed that, in a large majority of cases, these duties were regulated almost wholly by the nature of the business.
Nevertheless, certain factors are typical of a large number of businesses. These have been woven into the text in such a way as to give a content that will be valuable in any business.
The discussions and problems in Secretarial Studies are of two types. One deals with matters that are almost entirely informational, but necessary to the student's understanding of secretarial work. These have not been treated in the book as a mere fund of detached business information, but are intimately related to the problems in the laboratory assignments. The second group is intended chiefly to develop the student's ability to find the answer to new problems. The underlying idea is to develop constructive business power.
Secretarial Studies has been worked out on the unit plan. Each section deals with a distinct problem in the student's business training, and is divided into convenient groups for instructional purposes. Each of these groups is followed by practical problems.
The textbook of Secretarial Studies is supplemented by a book of blank forms containing the laboratory materials needed for completing the assignments; and by Secretarial Dictation, which contains all the dictation material needed in connection with this course. A teacher's manual gives outlines of the work, suggestions for organizing it, and answers to all problems where definite answers can be given.1
 As noted previously, it has proved impossible to source these books. Please contact me if you can find them!