The Devil (Doesn't Always) Wear Prada
I was reading Charlotte's post over on My Pixie Blog (make sure you go and say hi!) on dreaming of hiring a personal assistant (but she will get her own coffees thank-you-very-much) and I wanted to yell Me! Me! I'll do that all of those things for you! I like writing and hugs and cookies and puppy snuggles. AND I am moving to NYC next year (well, hopefully). We're a perfect match -- See? See?
When I first read The Devil Wears Prada I nodded along with a grimace as I saw that my life (unfortunately without the amazing outfits) had been documented in those 300 or so pages of fiction. Kudos to Lauren Weisberger - she really knew her stuff. I just wish she had been joking about some of the ridiculous situations. Dealing with the children that run the business world can make me grind my teeth at night, clench my fingernails into my fists as I smile sweetly at another leering visitor and internalise more frustration than I care to admit. I know all too well how characters like Miranda Priestly really do exist (and they don't have to be Prada wearing women, believe me). I have had bosses:-
- Request not to hear my voice for an entire day (yes, really)
- Put eye drops in for them
- Do up their cufflinks (daily)
- Buy 'push presents' for their wife and newborn child
- Request hairdressers not to speak to them when they go to their appointments (that one really had issues with people talking to her)
- Ask me to sew up their split pants
- Taste test cakes for their children's 21st birthdays
- Organise haircuts in Moscow with 2 hours notice (from Sydney)
- Drop papers off at their houses on my weekends, holidays, birthdays
- Cut up boiled eggs and carrot sticks for their afternoon tea (all carrot sticks to be cut at an even length, naturally)
The list goes on (and on). Don't get me wrong, there have been amazing bosses. They have been the visionaries and inspiring leaders who taught me to navigate the corporate world with thick(ish) skin and a no-bullshit-attitude. Those ones, they are rare. They become like family, treasured confidantes, mentors and most importantly - trusted friends. You stay with them for as long as you can before you dare to stick your toe back into the shark tank again. Believe me, finding the right partnership is worse than dating.
But after all these years, I am sick of donning a suit, slipping on those stupidly high heels and smiling while another grown adult acts like a spoilt child. So Charlotte - I am happy to email your friends so they know you are still alive, I will poke you out of your chair so you come and practice yoga with me at lunchtime, I will bug you with endless writing prompts, I will even get you coffee. Just please, please, please don't ask me to put eye drops in for you. My eye drop days are well and truly over.