To My Assistant

Notes for my future assistant. Let's both of us hope that I don't change too much in between now and whenever it is I have enough wealth and importance to hire you.

Benefits (the opposite of)

I will not scold you for doing research on different health insurance plans for yourself while you’re at the office, accusing you of “wasting time,” when the only reason you have do so much research is that all the time you don’t waste at the office is still apparently not enough to make me consider giving you benefits.

Concern (false and malicious)

I will not regularly try to gossip with you about the weight problems of a female assistant at our company, and every single time, when it becomes obvious that you are uncomfortable with the idea of contributing to a conversation on that topic, insist that I’m only talking about it because “I’m so concerned for her health.”

Expensive Purchases (actually using them)

I will not make you spend hours doing research on which fancy digital camera I should buy, tell you to just “order me whichever one you would want the most,” make you walk me through the manual and all the functions once the camera arrives, and then leave it sitting on my desk for the next four months while you eye it jealously, since, after all that research, it now really is the camera you want for yourself, but will never be able to afford on your current salary.

Successes (ruining them)

If you manage to score a Friday night reservation for me at the hottest restaurant in town, I will not take that success as a sign that I’m entitled to do whatever I want and make you change the number of people in the party so many times that the maitre d’ threatens to cancel the reservation just because he or she is so sick of hearing from you three times a day. 

Vacations (unnecessary and cruel truncation of)

I will not make such a huge fuss about your going on a one-week vacation with your family that you finally decide to cut your time away down to a long weekend, and then, after you’ve moved your flights and paid the penalties to do so, decide to book myself a two-week vacation that would’ve overlapped perfectly with your original plans, “since now I know you’ll be around to handle anything that arises.”

News (on the Internet these days, mostly)

I will not tell you that “you really need to make sure you’re always up to date on everything that’s going on in our industry” and then later yell at you for “reading the Internet instead of doing work,” when in fact the thing you were reading on the Internet was a news blog detailing exactly the things I told you to be more aware of.

Migraines (natural versus unnatural causes)

I will not insist that we both come into work for a full day on the day after Independence Day and then, at 9AM that day, when you’re already sitting at your desk, let you know via email that I won’t be coming in after all due to “an intense migraine,” but insist that you should still stay at the office, “so we can still be productive,” when you are very well aware, due to the increasing incoherentness of my emails from the previous day, that my “migraine” is definitely hangover-related.

Celebrations (only allowed for me, not for you)

I will not insist that you stay totally sober while celebrating the Fourth of July, “just in case we need to deal with an urgent work situation,” and then, at around 5PM, call you from a hotel pool party, totally wasted, to see if you can come pick me up and deliver me to my home, “since I know you haven’t been drinking.”

Jokes (inappropriate and constant)

I will not constantly make jokes about sex, finding ways to pervert almost every situation in ways you didn’t even know were possible, until you finally get fed up with my boorish behavior and call me out on it, at which point I call you a prude and act like you’re the childish one.

Cheating (being as smart as possible about it)

If I should be dumb enough to cheat on my spouse via a dating website, I will at least be smart enough to not accidentally charge it to my company credit card, so that you discover the charge while doing my monthly expenses and then have to awkwardly ask me how I’d like to deal with it.