As it widely known and discussed by, oh, no one really, I’ve been an executive assistant for the last 300 to 400 years. It’s a rough life, wrangling execs, pinning metaphorical mittens to little corporate winter jackets, but the rewards are semi-adequate in terms of both job satisfaction and financial compensation.
Of course, there used to be more perks, such as they were, both known and unknown by management. Summer picnics, holiday parties, fifteen minutes extra stolen for lunch so I can hit the sales, dubious requests to leave an hour early for “dentist appointments”…
Oh, I thought I was so clever.
Those were the days. It’s all changed, of course. While I don’t think my nipping an $8 sandwich from a meeting’s leftovers or arriving late in the morning because “the raccoons were in my garbage again” had anything to do with the current economic crisis, being thankful for even having a job for has been a long time coming for many of us.
If we are terribly loose with the word, being an executive admin could be considered a “reasonable” use of your head. Of course, if you’re both loose with the word and perhaps sniffing spray paint from a rag in your back yard, it could even be considering “interesting”. Get yourself the right boss and the days are never the same.
Of all the things I do, though, it’s the calendars that cause me the most trouble.
I think I was 19 when I set up my first 3:00 a.m. meeting. Ha, ha, the rookie doesn’t know the difference between afternoon and the middle of the night. Oh, there was laughter and offers of “advanced clock theory”, but I didn’t have a sense of humor about such things. I was mortified. I took my branes very seriously at that time and vowed that it would not happen again.
And it didn’t, not because I’m just so gosh-darned good at learning from my mistakes but because there were just so many more mistakes to make.
Why repeat your mistakes when you can make new mistakes?
Meetings in France in August? Forget about it – everyone’s en vacance.
How about meetings in China in the fall? Have you forgotten the Moon festival?
How about the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve?
Fridays in the summer?
People ask me what I do at work. There you have it – I spend a lot of time looking for availability for people from around the world to meet.
(And I take an extra 15 minutes for lunch and wander through Macy’s.)