I just started reading When Life Gives You Lululemons, which is a sort of sequel to The Devil Wears Prada, as it features the character Emily Blunt played in the movie…and hey I just realized Emily Blunt’s character was also named Emily!
…No, you’re right. That isn’t an interesting factoid at all so much as a humdrum coincidence.
I’ve also started watching the Netflix romcom Set It Up, which has a similar smart-but-underappreciated-assistant-works-for-tyrant-of-a-boss vibe.
The overlap of content I’m currently taking in has carried me down memory lane to my days working as an administrative assistant in various offices. While I don’t have any nightmare scenarios of Miranda Priestly proportions, there are a few bewildering instances that stand out. Allow me to share my top three:
Bewildering Instance #3: Happy Birthday, Boss’s Wife!
I had a boss who approached my desk, handed me his credit card and said, “You’re going to need to buy my wife a birthday present during your lunch break and then wrap it.”
She got a watch that year. I hope she liked it.
This shopping trip was definitely a better task than that time a man walked in, handed me a stack of hundreds of business cards, and told me to put them in a binder alphabetically. He wasn’t even my boss, just another employee. What an ass.
Bewildering Instance #2: Validate Me!
The end of the work day was nearing when my boss exited his office, put his head on my desk and whined, “Am I a bad father?”
I’d worked for him for a month at that point. I had no idea whether or not he was a bad father. What I did know was there was only one right answer to that question. I soothed his ego as best I could without rolling my eyes.
Bewildering Instance #1: The Bad Sister
My sister had decided to leave her post as receptionist of an office. She talked her boss into hiring me as her replacement.
One day, early into the job, my boss called me into his office. He actually bellowed my name from his desk, so it was clear he wanted to see me immediately. I was worried about leaving the phones unattended, but I figured it must be important. When I entered his office, I saw a handsome young guy in there. “Annette! This is my son!” my boss gushed.
He was definitely trying to set us up.
When I relayed this story to my sister she responded with, “That’s weird. He warned me to stay away from his son because he said his son’s a real playboy and I’m much too nice for him.”
That’s when I learned I’m actually the Bad Sister.
In conclusion, treat the assistants in this world with respect. At best, they’re mocking you behind your back. At worst, they’re compiling information with which to blackmail you/write a future NYT bestseller.