Most of my working adult life has been spent kissing ass (which, when it boils down to it unless you work for yourself, comes with career territory), as I’ve found myself being a personal assistant (job description: therapist, mom, chauffeur, wife that goes home at night, nurse, pet wrangler, girl Friday, psychoanalyst, chef, medical doctor, maid, laundress, child care provider) more than once.
Being that I live in Nashville, I once scored a job as a member of an “up and coming country music artist’s” management team (translation: personal assistant).
This up and comer had more money than God. Like hundreds of millions of dollars to live on and wipe her ass with, allowing her to not work a day in her life. Ever. So what’s a gal with all of that money and limited talent to do? Be a country singer -DUH!
My first day on the job, I was supposed to fetch lunch for this budding superstar. My list said chicken broth and Sprite. Surely this was supposed to read chicken noodle soup and Sprite, yes? Nope. I sat there and watched a grown woman with the body of a 4th grader slurp chicken broth for lunch – you know, to keep that girlish figure.
That being said, I should have known better when I was requested to bird sit (yes, you read that right) her three fine feathered friends and she told me to help myself to anything in the fridge. But when I ran to see what kind of name brand goods a rich up and comer ate, I was sadly disappointed to see that A) I would be starving over the weekend and B) it was all food for the birds except for mustard, Jell-O cups and eggs.
Of course, being that this is Music City and I worked for a mover and shaker, I experienced all kinds of fun events. Like the Country Music Festival held in Nashville every June. Before we headed there for her first appearance, she said to my colleague, “Better not tell anyone you work for me or you might get mobbed.”
Other events I was able to experience included red carpet moments for her gigantic showcases. One time, as I was laying out her very high-end, $28,000 designer dress out for a show she ran in after a facial and screamed, “MY FACE IS RED!” I glanced up at her and agreed by saying, “Your face is red,” as she’d just had her mug rubbed, poked and prodded. Her response? “Eat shit and die.” I’m surprised I have any tongue left after all of the biting I had to do in order to keep a paycheck.
I also got to be a personal stylist when we were getting ready for “big” magazine shoots (you know for a free city publication). While helping her skeletal frame in and out of outfits, touching up her lip gloss, assuring her that her hair was just big enough but not too big I often got to hold her beautiful diamond jewelry between shots.
This lovely creature of a woman also purchased a puppy for her manager on Valentine’s Day. Because nothing says “I love you” like a dog you (i.e. the assistant) get to take care of. Forever. A puppy was beyond an appropriate gift for a guy who travels three weeks per month. Perfection. So you all know that this goddamn dog became my pet, right?
As we all know I’m much more of a cat lady, although I couldn’t help but fall in love with that flipping happy face. Which ended up being a good thing as the puppy single-handedly destroyed my office one night, managed to eat a bag full of mini Snickers over lunch one day therefore shitting gold for three weeks (after I was assured by the vet she wouldn’t die), chewed through the hose on my personal washing machine when I took her to my house and managed to eat through every single can of a 12 pack of Sprite, spraying the sugary liquid from floor to ceiling. FUN TIMES.
While wrestling with the dog became part of my daily duties, I also got the pleasure of carting this woman to and from very important appointments (mani, pedi, massage, hair appointments). And what better way to use my double degree from a fine university than to balance her three pet birds on my body while driving through the streets of Nashville (you know, to socialize them)?
Amazing what one will do for a paycheck, isn’t it? While I happily, thankfully, fortunately, get down on my hands and knees and praise Jesus every day that I don’t work for this woman anymore, here’s how I always wanted to respond to her requests….
Safe to say I don’t miss her! One bit.
The dog…that’s a different story.