Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Why Work When You Have An Assistant? Episode 1.08

I'd like to share a little story with you that will likely seem incredibly familiar to all the assistants out there. This is actually a friend's story, but it hit so close to home that I knew I just had to post it.

My friend Rigoberto [obviously not his real name] works at an office with just three people in it-- a co-worker of his and the boss, whom I'll call Xander. Now, it was a lovely Friday morning when Xander strolled into the office about an hour late, with nary an excuse for his tardiness. Within minutes of his arrival, Xander told Rigoberto that he would be leaving early today to spend the afternoon in Malibu-- ostensibly to check out some properties that related to the business. Of course, Rigoberto knew what the visit would entail and it certainly wasn't enough of an excuse for the entire afternoon, so Xander felt obligated to come up with some other reasons why he had to leave after just two hours of "work". The reasons [and keep in mind that Xander feels these are valid reasons to skip out on work] were as follows:

1) Xander needed to get his car washed
2) He had to return something at Macy's [this is my favorite]
3) He wanted to have lunch with his boyfriend, who'd never eaten at a certain Malibu restaurant
4) Xander decided what he was wearing wasn't what he wanted to wear, so he needed to stop off at home, too.
5) 'It's just too nice of a day' to stay in the office. [had that been followed by 'for either of us', I would be writing about how cool Xander is]

So Xander leaves around noon, having 'worked' perhaps two hours. Of course, the other guy who normally helps both Xander and Rigoberto is on vacation, so poor Rigoberto must bust his nuts getting everyone's work done while Xander builds sandcastles with his boyfriend. But the story doesn't end there.

I went out to dinner with Rigoberto and some of our friends that night and we actually ran into Xander at a certain trendy Silverlake-area restaurant. They ended up joining us at our table as Xander's boyfriend, um...let's call him Thor, Thor knew one of my friends and Xander and Rigoberto are actually friends as Xander is normally a cool boss overall. Here's a snippet of the conversation we had:

Xander [to me]: "So you work in Malibu?"

Me: "Well, kinda. My boss lives there so I'm there from time to time. I technically work on the Westside, though."

Thor: [excited, to me] "Oh we were in Malibu today!"

Me: "Yeah. Rigoberto told me you guys were there-- what were you up to?"

Xander [to Thor, trying to remember]: "Yeah, what were we doing in Malibu today?"

Thor [trying to be helpful]: "We had lunch at the Reel Inn. It was soooooo good."

The point of the story is that Xander really didn't even try to hide the fact that he essentially took the day off to hang out with his boyfriend. And that he obviously didn't feel guilty about it in the least. Maybe this question will make it obvious that I'm a former Midwesterner, but whatever happened to bosses setting the example for their employees? Is it just me or did 'adults' seem more responsible, heck, just all around more adult-y there?

I'm guessing it has something to do with Hollywood's youth worship, but it just seems to be that once males in the industry hit about 32, around the time they get real power and good assistants, their aging process starts to reverse [mentally only]. So by the time they're 40, they might as well be 15.

Oh and for the record, today my boss arrived at 10:30 and left at 4:30 [I arrived at 9 and will probably be here until at least 7]. He took a 2-hour lunch, spent an hour on his taxes, wasted half an hour of both our time with a 'meeting' that consisted of him telling me how his weekend went, and took another half an hour talking to his manic-depressive daughter. And the two hours he was 'working' consisted mostly of browsing the Internet and telling me useless factoids. [seriously, Lindsay Lohan is dating Christian Slater? Wow, I had no idea...that anyone would care]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Atlas, I suppose as a Midwesterner it's hard for you to realize but: it's not just Hollywood that spends most of the workday not working; almost every business is like that; and the higher up the ladder you go, probably, the more like that it is.

10:05 PM


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