Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Life as an Assistant

As you walk through life you should learn from every experience you acquire. You build from each of these individual moments, creating a thorough base of knowledge with which to navigate and interpret the world around you. But what happens when you seem to forget some of the lessons learned from previous? When you forget to apply these hard learned (sometimes painful) experiences to your everyday life? Disappointment. Frustration. Smacking your head directly into the corner of the door jam and repeating to yourself over and over again, “never give away the original.”
I forgot to transition lessons from my life as an assistant to my newfound role as wife. Now it is fairly obvious that the same rules would apply. I had assisted both men and women in my days working the lower level of the production ladder so I understand it is not a gender thing. There is something about being a boss and having an assistant that makes you somewhat inept. I am not slamming any of the people I worked for, I think they just became dependent on someone else always having the answer or the paperwork. Turns out a husband relies on you the same way, I should have known that…it’s logic.
As we navigate the great shed collapse of 2011 I make the mistake of answering Chris’s cell phone. When assisting others you avoid answering any phone not ringing directly at your desk. Do not answer the boss’s cell phone because you are then responsible for whatever the person on the other end is going to request. It always ends badly as the person likely request something they know the boss won’t like and they play to your sensibility, what they request sounds logical but they leave out key information. It is the one phone you can legitimately not answer without being in trouble, so just let it lie. Mistake one.
I am now firmly planted in the center of the shed issue and trying to figure out what we should do about the warranty. I put on my best problem solver cap to come up with a plausible excuse as to why we cannot take pictures right away and the kind lady on the other end of the line seems amenable to my solution. Perfect, great, she gives me her email address to send the photos upon completion. Being the organized person I am, I write all of this information, warranty number, ticket number, phone number on the same sheet of paper. Keep it all in one place, right? ONLY IF YOU ARE PUTTING IT IN THE COMPUTER. Mistake number two.
The final, extremely large mistake comes as I hand the piece of paper to my husband. When I look back on the moment I hear myself saying the words, “This ia all the information so put it someplace safe. Are you sure you don’t want me to keep it?” This is met with a large eye roll and an indignant, “I am organized,” response. I do not claim to be a good filer, I am not. I make piles, but I can always tell you EXACTLY what lies in each pile and can find what I set down. Chris loves everything put away. Trouble being he has no idea where he put it away.
I reluctantly hand over the piece of paper, as my brain says, no screams, “Write the email address down! Put it in your Entourage!” Did I listen? What do you think? Now we have the photos and after a full dissection of Chris’s desk we still don’t have the email address to send them to. We also lack the phone number to call and the warranty information and the ticket number. NEVER GIVE AWAY THE ORIGINAL. It’s Assisting 101. I can only hang my head in shame and know this is my fault, without a call log or a copy you get screwed every time. Never answer the cell phone and ALWAYS keep a copy.

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