I Quit! Wait, Why Are You So Cool With That?

I used to be an personal assistant. I did it for about a year, until I realized I didn’t like living two lives.

A personal assistant (which is not a PA) does the things you might expect– answer phones, schedule appointments, fax, copy, file, blah blah blah. But most assistants take control of every aspect of their boss’s life. I had to pick up his prescriptions, drop his wife at the airport, forward his mail, sell his car.

Once, I even had to make reservations from across the country. He was in New York, I was in LA. He saw a restaurant across the street from his hotel, and he called me to make a reservation for him. It took me a half hour to find the damn place, because he gave me the wrong name. And he was looking at the damn restaurant. He could see it from his room!

I was fed up, but it took me a while to work up the nerve to tell him I was looking for another job. Once I interviewed and got the new job, I knew I had to tell him. I steeled myself for an extremely awkward phone call (he was in Canada by that point, if I recall).

“Hey, Boss. I’ve been thinking, I’ve been here for a while. It might be a good idea for me to move on. Don’t get me wrong! I like it here. It’s been fun, and I’ve learned a lot. You’re a great boss. I just think… it’s time for me to move on.”

“Huh. Okay.”


“You have been here for a while, Anonymous. Do you need help finding a new job?”

“Um, no, not really.”

“Okay. Good luck!”

At first, I was a little hurt. Was I a terrible assistant? Was he glad to be rid of me? Was he just looking for the right time to fire me, and I saved him the trouble?

Then I realized, this was my first real job out of college. Finding a new job was a pretty big deal for me. But I was probably his sixth or seventh assistant. It was not a big deal at all for him.

Perspective is a funny thing.

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4 Responses

  1. I do understand why some people really do need a personal assistant. I even understand why other who could easily make do without one, but hey, someone else is paying the bill, so why not.

    I do not understand why some putz looking out the window can’t call the restaurant himself…or short of that, maybe the concierge downstairs. Regardless, he’s going to make a phonecall, and then have to answer another call when the results are in. Sorry, that just strikes me as really Tardish.

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