Maybe your boss has asked you to fetch coffee or pick up her dry cleaning, but chances are you’ve never had to do some of the crazy things that Leon Reynop has had to do. Reynop is a personal assistant for a very demanding film and television director who one morning asked him to find 200 tennis balls so that he could teach his girlfriend how to play tennis. The problem? The director wanted Reynop to spend less than $10 on them–and he wanted them before noon on the same day. Says Reynop:
“I hopped the fence at a country club with a basket I picked up at the grocery store and picked up like 30 orphan balls, I got chased by the tennis coach. Then I called a buddy who was a member at a country club, who knew a crooked groundskeeper, who sells balls he steals from the country club. I drove like 30 minutes and did this sketchy tennis ball transaction in his alley like I was buying a pound of cocaine and I had to haggle him down.”
Just another day in the life of a personal assistant. Personal assistants often work at the whims of their employers — and deal with outlandish requests and demands. Another time, Reynop was tasked with getting holiday cards printed up on an unrealistic budget. So in order to get a deal, he faked a fall at a local Kinko’s and was granted a 60 percent discount. Assistant Missy Brown recalls her boss regularly screaming at her, and calling her while she was away on vacation. Missy was tasked with everything from carrying her Chanel suits to hiring a tree doctor to take care of an ailing kumquat tree.
Thankfully, most bosses aren’t as entitled and demanding as Leon and Missy’s. But we have definitely known some difficult bosses in the past — like the one who insisted on having meetings at 7 o’clock in the morning. Or the one who thought nothing of calling at 6 p.m. on a Sunday night to discuss plans for the week. And we’ve had it easy compared to some of our friends who have actually worked as personal assistants or secretaries. One friend had to change her boss’s dog’s diaper. Another friend had a boss who didn’t believe in computers and refused to type — even though she was a professional editor/writer — so she had to translate the woman’s chicken-scratch handwriting into typed pages. And yet another friend was once ordered to Feng Shui the office.
Tell us: What’s the most outlandish, over-the-top or downright tacky demand a boss has ever made of you? [CNBC]