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.

Presents (thoughtlessness that counts)

If I decide to give you an iPad for your birthday, I will order it online to be shipped to the office, instead of making you go pick it up during the worst part of rush hour traffic and then, instead of just letting you go home afterwards as an extra little birthday present, make you bring the iPad back to the office “so we can play with it” [Translation: so I can play with it, decide that I want one too, and make you go back to the Apple store again to get mine.]

Micromanaging (misunderstanding the meaning of)

I will not constantly insist that I am not a micromanager, accuse other executives in the office of being micromanagers in a disdainful tone of voice, tell you that “you’re lucky my managerial style is so hands off,” and yet still require you to send me a list of every single thing you did during the workday, down to listing the name of each document you filed, at the end of every night.

Housekeeping (surprises in)

I will not ask you to run out and grab some cleaning supplies for my maid, and then, when you arrive at my condo to drop them off, find it empty, and call me to tell me so, say, “Oh, I forgot! She’s on vacation this week. Well, since you’re there, and you just got all those supplies, I guess you might as well….”

Mice (form vs. function)

I will not make you spend several hours researching the best wireless mouse for me to buy, and then, when I finally get it and end up constantly misplacing it, knocking it to the ground, and absent-mindedly carrying it with me to the bathroom or kitchen and leaving it there, ask you to “get me some kind of cord to attach this thing to my computer,” rebuffing your suggestion that I just go back to my regular mouse, which has exactly the feature my new one is missing, but is “too old-fashioned.”

Performance Reviews (unexpected and unpleasant)

I will not surprise you with a negative performance review, try to placate you with the explanation that “I didn’t want you to get promoted away from me, since we work so well together,” and then act hurt when you reveal that you would actually quite like to be promoted.

Significant Others (dealing with them)

If my significant other and I are disagreeing on an issue, I will take his or her calls to the office and handle the conflict directly, rather than refusing to pick up the phone and telling you, “You deal with it. I don’t want to talk to him/her right now.”

Snacks (availability of)

I will not require you to carry a bag of my favorite snacks on your person wherever we go, and then get mad at you instead of myself when I have kind of a binge-y day and eat all of the peanut butter M&Ms in under 20 minutes, before you realize what kind of snacking day it’s going to be and have a chance to restock.

Cell Phones (basic mechanics of)

When I press mute on my own cell phone while talking to you, I will not then assume that it’s your fault you can’t hear me screaming, “Can you hear me? What’s wrong with your phone? What did you do?” on my end of the line.

Alarm Clocks (you are not one)

I will not require you to personally provide me with wake-up calls every single day of the week, not only forcing you to get up at the insanely early hours I do on weekends so I can attend my expensive exercise class, but also making you spend a good 10 minutes of every day alternately cajoling and threatening me over the phone to get me out of bed. 

Fractions (understanding them)

When our company has a half day before a holiday weekend, I will let you leave halfway through the day, along with everyone else, instead of forcing you to have a 2/3 day, a 3/4 day, a 1/1 day or, more likely, a 5/4 day.