On Friday evenings as we begin the evening meal that ushers in the Sabbath, it is customary to sing a poem/song (Eshet Chayil) to the woman of the house that begins as follows:
An accomplished woman, who can find?
Far from pearls is her value
Her husband’s heart relies on her and he shall lack no fortune.
Judaism has it right here. The wife gets her due, as she rightly should, a serenade sung to her by the entire family.
As we usher in the workweek, however, there are no such songs in our cultural or national heritage for our valued and beloved assistants.
Mary Abrams, the estimable Associate Director of the Executive Office Center, suffices with, “Good morning. How are you? How was your weekend? I could sing to her, I suppose, but at the risk of having a pencil thrown at me.
Mary was only sixteen years old when my brother hired her as a part-time receptionist for our former real estate company, First Choice Real Estate. Today, twenty-six years later, (it could actually be twenty-seven), she is married, and the mother of three children.
I asked Mary recently to give me a suggestion for my next blog. “Write about me,” came her retort. She was joking, of course, but her reply contained the knowledge that she is as relevant to the
Discourse on Business as any other subject I may choose to write about. And the fact is, she is right. Executive Office Center
Mary has been with us for so long that it would be natural to take her for granted. She probably thinks that we do, but every day, I am guided by her natural intelligence and her unerring intuition, and am newly impressed by her devotion and resourcefulness.
Mary played a critical role in the success of First Choice Real Estate, and she is the heart and soul of the Executive Office Center at Fresh Meadows. It is only a matter of time before she becomes the executive steward of this company.
Mary proofs everything that I write. She tells me what’s good, and what isn’t, what belongs and what doesn’t, what is great, and what will get me into trouble. This will have to pass her scrutiny, too.
Such is the value of a good assistant.