One of Hanky Panky’s most notorious employees has died. Mille Kinoy was our first “real” bookkeeper, having taken over Accounts Receivable from yours truly in 1981, at which point we had been in business for 4 years. Mille implemented a ledger card system that telegraphed the growth of the company via the ever expanding number of rolling carts on which the alphabetical cards rested. At the end of each month, accounts had to reconcile—to the penny. If they didn’t, Mille didn’t rest until the error was found. “Nobody move,” Mille would announce, only half in jest.
Mille and I shared an office for about 15 years, during which time I had ample opportunity to witness her quirks and collection methods. All store owners had one name—”Dear”—all department store presidents were liable to receive a personal call from Mille if she was not satisfied with what she was hearing from their Accounts Payable departments. Sheriffs in remote towns would routinely be solicited by Mille to assist in collection efforts. (Who knew you could do that??). Mille was responsible for setting the standard that Hanky Panky still enjoys for some of the lowest bad debt rates in the industry.
And Mille could be bawdy. Although she rarely cursed (head for the hills if she did!) she could tell a killer dirty joke and she would flirt shamelessly when a good looking young man came through the office to repair a fax machine or read the electric meter. Mille came out of retirement to join Hanky Panky but maintained her youthful habits, traveling by subway from distant Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn to arrive at the office by 8 am.
Mille worked for Hanky Panky for about 25 years. But because the computer revolution had sped past her, it was sadly inevitable that her position was doomed. After stalling for several years, we had to let her go and so, at the age of 99, she joined the ranks of the unemployed.
Pauline (Mille) Kinoy died last week just 4 weeks shy of her 106th birthday.
–Lida Orzeck, Co-founder & CEO
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