The Red & Black

Linda Cossack (Retired Main Office Secretary)

Most people in the district know Mrs. Cossack as "the voice" of PMHS. For her long career, she was the face that greeted you in the main office and seemed to have a solution to every problem whether you're a student, teacher, dean, custodian, administrator. She shared this story last June upon the occasion of her retirement.

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Linda Cossack (Retired Main Office Secretary)

Mrs. Cossack is retired but we are lucky to have her come back and fill in for some days.

Mrs. Cossack is retired but we are lucky to have her come back and fill in for some days.

Photo by Vanessa Torre

Mrs. Cossack is retired but we are lucky to have her come back and fill in for some days.

Photo by Vanessa Torre

Photo by Vanessa Torre

Mrs. Cossack is retired but we are lucky to have her come back and fill in for some days.

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When I was fresh out of high school, I went directly to work and, I worked for Warner Bros., which then became Warner Communications. I had a good friend that, I believe, worked on the seventh floor and I worked downstairs on the second floor. I never really asked her who she worked for but, the seventh floor was known as the “private floor.” And we just got very friendly over the years and, one day she asked me if I could possibly fill in for her for a couple of weeks because she had to be out of work. I said, “Sure,” and she said, “Ok.” So, the next day she asked me to come up (on the private elevator) to the seventh floor and, I did; I went up with her and the doors opened to this beautiful office and all of this beautiful wood furniture. As we’re walking through the office, I’m looking at all of these pictures and, I’m kind of thinking to myself, “Hmm.” My friends starts explaining a few things about her boss, whom I would be assisting the next few weeks: “This is his desk”, she says. “This is how he likes his mail. This is what he does at this time – blah, blah.” After looking at the pictures, I finally asked her, “Is your boss Robert Redford?” She said, “Yes, it is.” She told me I would be fine and that he would love me and not to worry at all. So, for the next two weeks, I worked for Robert Redford. It was intimidating at first but, he was great. And at the end of the two weeks, I was hoping I’d done a good job for him but, I didn’t see him on the last day. The following Monday, when I went back to my own job on the second floor, there were flowers and note from Robert Redford. One of the questions he had first asked me when we met was, “What are your goals? What are your aspirations?” I told him that I wanted to work in a great place, maybe even there on the seventh floor.  So, in the note that he left me to thank me, he said, “Linda, you’ll go far to a much better place than the seventh floor.” I agreed with him and felt that when I came to Patchogue that this was my better place.

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Linda Cossack (Retired Main Office Secretary)