When I was just starting out as a legal secretary, it was the mid-80's. My boss was an old-fashioned guy who still dictated short letters and memos rather than using a tape recorder.
One day, he called me into his office to *take a letter.* For those of you under the age of thirty, to *take a letter* is when one person dictates whatever he wants to say in the letter and the other person writes down everything that is said in *shorthand.* *Shorthand* is a type of speedwriting in which letters and combinations of letters are written in a code made up of dots and lines and curves and then later deciphered. We also didn't have PC's (we had word processors), e-mail or fax machines and most of the bosses didn't know how to type. But, that's another post for another day.
When I finished taking the dictation, my boss got on the phone and I stood up and headed toward the door still looking at my *steno pad.* *Steno pad* is a phrase for a little spiral notebook which had a line down the middle and you wrote the dictation in *shorthand* on one half of the page and continued to the other half if it was a long letter.
At the same time as I was reading the *steno pad*, I was walking quickly toward the door because there was a very small window of time between taking down the letter in shorthand and being able to decipher it into a coherent document later. One of the problems with *shorthand* is that the lines and curves and combinations of lines and curves are all very similar and taken down more or less phonetically and very quickly. So, I always had to read my dictation immediately after I wrote it and make some quick notes so I wouldn't forget what was said.
As I was walking and reading, I ran right into the partially opened door with my right boob. Actually, I didn't just run into it, I crashed into it. I wanted to yell, 'F**k!' but, instead, just kept walking thinking my boss had turned his back to the door and had, hopefully, not seen anything.
When I got to my desk, my boss said, "Laurie?"
I said, "Sir?" (We were very polite in the olden days.)
"Did you just run into the door?" he asked.
"Yes, sir," I answered.
He asked, "Are you okay?"
"Yes, sir," I responded.
"Okay," he said.
"Okay," I said, out loud.
But in my head, "F**k!"