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.

Answers (patience)

When I ask you a question, I will wait for you to answer it fully rather than immediately assuming that whatever you say will be incorrect and yelling “Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!” before you even get your 3rd word out.

Have you entered the To My Assistant contest yet?

I’m sure you’re trying to choose from your plethora of horror stories. In case you need inspiration, here’s a suggestion: scheduling nightmares. We’ve all experienced the hellishness of scheduling, re-scheduling, cancelling, and re-re-scheduling meetings for our bosses. Maybe you’ve experienced the glory of scheduling all of your boss’s hair, manicure, and waxing appointments? Or maybe your boss took things even further and gave you the responsibility of scheduling his children’s after-school activities? Whatever the scheduling debacle may have been, I’m sure you have a story.

Here’s a sneak peak of some scheduling nightmares featured in To My Assistant:

Submit your worst assistant story to tomyassistant@randomhouse.comby Friday, 4/26. We’ll pick the three most egregious stories to post anonymously on tomyassistant.com. The three lucky winners will receive a To My Assistant Prize Package, including:

  • $10 Starbucks card—forget coffee for the boss. This one’s on us and for you.
  • A copy of my new book, To My Assistant
  • Your very own set of neon green post-its with “inspirational” quotes to get you through those late nights when your boss just won’t let you leave.

Your Name (spelling it)

When your name can be spelled a number of ways, or is unusual in its spelling, or is neither of these things, I will take the time to learn how to spell it correctly, rather than consistently misspelling it in my emails, despite the fact that I have to spell it correctly every time I type your email address.

HAPPY ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS DAY!

Today is the day that we assistants are finally recognized for our hard work and dedication and are showered with gifts of appreciation from our bosses! Stacks of receipts that need to be included in expense reports that are due in two hours, complex yet vague lunch orders, business-class flights to be booked using only miles or points - all of these rewards belong to us today. And every other day of the year.

In 1952, the International Association of Administrative Professionals started this holiday, probably while complaining about their jobs over some very cheap drinks during happy hour. Since it’s unlikely that your boss will reward you with anything other than your usual horrific workload, let’s celebrate with some free coffee.

Enter the To My Assistant Contest to win a $10 Starbucks gift card. You’ll also receive a copy of my new book and your very own set of neon green To My Assistant post-its, which you should probably keep in a special place in your desk drawers so your boss won’t “borrow” them.

To enter: submit your worst assistant story to tomyassistant@randomhouse.com by Friday, 4/26. We’ll pick the three most egregious stories to post anonymously on tomyassistant.com.

COFFEE’S ON US! SUBMIT YOUR WORST ASSISTANT STORY TO WIN A STARBUCKS GIFT CARD

Does your boss make you mix half-caf Diet Cokes? Fill out her child’s preschool applications? Print out and file EVERY. SINGLE. EMAIL? Sadly, we’ve all been there.

My toughest days as an assistant inspired me to write my new book, TO MY ASSISTANT, which compiles all the crazy things we assistants promise NEVER TO DO when, one day, we have assistants of our own. And now your assistant horror stories can pay off, too.

To celebrate the publication of TO MY ASSISTANT (today!), my publishers have taken pity on all the over-worked and under-appreciated assistants out there. To enter the TMA contest, send your worst assistant story to tomyassistant@randomhouse.com by Friday, 4/26. We’ll pick the three most egregious stories to post on the site. The three lucky winners will receive a To My Assistant Prize Package, including:

  • $10 Starbucks card—forget coffee for the boss. This one’s on us and for you.
  • A copy of my new book, To My Assistant
  • Your very own set of neon green post-its with “inspirational” quotes to get you through those late nights when your boss just won’t let you leave.

Misery loves company. Help us spread the assistant love by sharing the contest on Facebook and Twitter, and forwarding it to all your cubicle-bound friends wondering why their parents spent six figures on a liberal arts degree.

Conversations (contortionist)

When I come out of my office to talk to you about something, I will stand in front of your desk and talk to your face. I will not come around and stand behind your desk, forcing you to turn your head but not your chair, because I’m standing so close to you that to swivel your chair would mean your knees brushing up against mine.

Free Food (thanks but no thanks)

When I’ve ordered too much food and can’t finish it, I won’t bring my half-eaten leftovers out, dump them on your desk, and say “You can have this if you want.” What I’m really saying is, “Throw this away for me after enough time has passed so that you don’t look ungracious.”

Google (the limits of)

I will not call you from a city in a foreign country that you’ve never been to and say, “Find me a good place for dinner tonight. Somewhere the locals go, no tourists, but make sure the waiters understand English. And make sure they have a vegan option available in case I feel like it. Also I want to eat in an hour, so make sure it’s near [intersection of 2 streets that I mispronounce horribly.] Thanks bye!”

Knowledge (yours)

I will never sneeringly call you a “nerd,” “geek,” “smart-ass,” “dweeb,” “over-achieving freak,” or “weirdo” just because you know more about a specific subject than I do.

Health Insurance (skewed priorities)

I will not withhold health insurance from you under the guise of it being “too expensive for our small company,” but then make you research all the options for health insurance for my dog and, after making a decision to go with the most expensive plan, insist that you put your own name down as the point person for the account.