Story by Martin Pasko and Rebecca Parr
Directed by Shelly Levinson
Original Airdate - December 20, 1985
Pam Dawber - Karen Billings
Charles Levin - Burt
Jeannie Elias - Marcy
Jonathan Frakes - Single Guy
Deborah Harmon - Hostess
Michael Prince - Rehnquist
Amzie Strickland - Cleaning Woman
Jolinda Collins - Model
Douglas Blair - Limo Driver
Ken Sagoes - Worman



Karen, the secretary of a clueless boob of a boss, is constantly being hounded by him to do things she's already done, or commanded to do something that he forgot to tell her to, at the last minute.  Just before Christmas, when she's on her way to a party to meet a date after working late, he tells her he needs 20 copies of a proposal on his desk immediately.  She is livid, but does it.  She finds that they've put a different copier in place while the actual copier is being fixed, and she's not familier with the controls.  She guesses, and the copier prints out her proposals quickly. 

She realizes that she needs one more, and when she goes back she leaves the copier lid up as she's copying.  In some way this sends her to a parallel universe, where secretaries are treated as CEO's are in ours.  She finds that she's the life of the party when she talks about everything she's done to make her boss look good, though no one there knows the man she was supposed to meet.  She is offered a job by a businessman at the party, with a limo and world travel.  Who would turn that down?  


Here is an episode set at Christmastime, but not necessarily a Christmas story.  "But Can She Type?" was written by Rebecca Parr and Martin Pasko, and stars Pam Dawber in the lead role.  While I was never really a fan of Dawber, I have to admit she does a good job in this story, as a secretary who works for an idiotic boss and is not appreciated, at all.  It's the best segment of this three story episode, though I can't really put my finger on why it's the best.  Possibly because the other two are not as good, so it's by default. 

The story is rather ingenious.  Many a hard-working secretary has wished that they be recognized for their accomplishments, which their boss sometimes takes as their own.  In this segment a secretary gets her wish.  One of the more subtle touches is putting buttons on the copier that make you realize are doing something to the secretary's timeline, but you're not exactly sure what, and neither is the secretary.  She sort of randomizes her way to a better future. 

Dawber mostly carries this production all on her own, and she does a decent job of it.  Jonathan Frakes shows up as an ardent admirer of secretaries, three years before his career took off in "Star Trek, the Next Generation."  Deborah Harmon has a nice role as a fashionable woman who throws a party, where Dawber shows off her secretarial skills.  Amzie Strickland, an alumnus of the original TZ story "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street" and a great character actress in her own right, has a minor role as a cleaning woman; if you blink, you'll miss her in the first copy room scene.