Vital signs: A new range of sloanes

Vital signs: A new range of sloanes - The original inspiration for Sloane Rangers - an idea that ended up as a detailed description of an entire tribal group - came from secretaries ... young posh secretaries.

by PETER YORK, in his persona as Peter Wallis, is managing directorof consultants SRU, e-mail: peter@sru.co.uk

The original inspiration for Sloane Rangers - an idea that ended up as a detailed description of an entire tribal group - came from secretaries ... young posh secretaries.

When I started writing for Ann Barr at Harpers and Queen, Ann and I found ourselves talking obsessively about a new kind of girl who'd appeared in our lives. A recently evolved type with a revised dress code, who brought a touch of old class to new 1970s situations and new bosses. Those bosses had nice new money, and Sloane Rangers played an important symbolic role for them. By 1982 our little apercu had turned into the epic Official Sloane Ranger Handbook.

Secretaries are important; that's why the archaic structures of the job don't matter. However much you process and e-mail and search and fax for yourself, you need somebody to understand and anticipate, sweep and negotiate and mediate your energetic messy presence in the working world.

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