Secretarial: Bulletin Board - Goodbye to all that all that

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The Independent Culture
FANCY AN alternative to the usual grim spectacle of the office Christmas party? Richer companies are opting for something a bit different. Venetian masquerades, trips on Eurostar and celebrations at private fun- fairs and health-spas are among the most popular this year. Even not-so- rich organisations are moving away from drunken meals. Instead, some are giving everyone in the office pounds 20 to go off and have dinner alone or with colleagues of their choice. So if you enjoy the traditional seasonal jollies, you'd better stop working and get the office petition going immediately.

A NEW study reveals how widespread ageism is against secretaries. The report, which comes from the Employers Forum on Age (EFA) and the Institute of Qualified Private Secretaries (IQPS), found that one in three have been rejected for jobs because of their age. Ninety one per cent believe they stand little chance of getting a new job once they are over 45. More surprising is that 35 per cent of those who have experienced age discrimination say they were thought to be too young. According to one respondent: "I was considered too young to hold the PA position being filled. I am 27, with seven years' experience." Jackie Grant, IQPS national chairman says: "A secretary's age seems to matter more than experience - whether it's because they're too old or too young." If you're in your thirties, make the most of it.