One of my favorite reality shows at the moment is I Want to Work for Diddy. Oh the foolishness that occurs in a single episode. In case you are anti all things Diddy or reality, the show is a “competition” for a group of young and not so young, but all are plenty crazy, people who are trying to win the chance to be Diddy’s assistant. We all remember how Diddy made those fools walk to Brooklyn for some cheesecake right? So we can only imagine the fun tasks that are required of the special person who is fortunate enough to be Diddy’s assistant. Of course the recurring quote from the people on the show is that being Diddy’s assistant will give them the chance to get a foot in the door. Oh the old foot in the door line, eh? Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, from myself. Watching this show has me reminiscing on my days as an assistant. I don’t like to talk about it much, because it’s the equivalent of a Vietnam flashback, but I think I’m strong enough to share with the masses. Time and distance has healed the wounds, but the memories remain. Come travel with me…
So, picture it, Washington, DC 2007 (rest in peace Estelle Getty), I found myself starring in my very own The Devil Wears Prada in blackface. But without the fabulous wardrobe, cute boyfriend, trip to Paris, and gay man who let me cry on his shoulders. Scratch that, there was an awesome gay co-worker who constantly said that we were “too fierce for this madness!” Snaps!Oh how I heart him. And back to the story. I was executive assistant to a female CEO of her own company. She was well known and respected in various political, professional and social circles. But please believe me, she was no Oprah. But you couldn’t tell her that. Don’t believe me? Sit back let me tell you a tale.
Ms. Scarlett* (as I liked to call her) and her daughter were taking a trip. Well they get to the airport and flights have been cancelled due to inclement weather. She panics and calls the office. On a Friday. At 5 p.m. When it’s quitting time. On a Friday. Ms. Scarlett informs me that she and her daughter are dressed for beach weather and it’s raining and cold outside. The taxi line is ridiculously long and so they can’t possibly stand and wait. She needs us to call for a car to take her home. Hmmmm…. “But there’s a metro station right in the airport,” I say to her former assistant who played the role of evil, backstabbing chick (think of the red head in the movie) all too well. “Oh honey, Ms. Scarlett does not take the train.” Two snaps and a neck roll. You don’t say? Mayor Bloomberg takes the train and he’s a millionaire. But ok.
Ms. Scarlett continues to freak out, she needs a car, she needs to get home RIGHT NOW! (Oh yes timeout, when she would send angry blackberry messages, she would TYPE IN ALL CAPS SO WE COULD KNOW THAT SHE WAS REALLY, REALLY MAD AT US!!!!) Now wait a minute. Boss lady has parents, a brother and a sister, all of whom live in the area. Couldn’t she call them for a ride? No, that’s too much like right. Hours are passing and night is falling across the city. I’m hungry and in need of a cocktail. We’re calling multiple car and taxi services, but nothing is available because everyone is freaking trying to get out of the airport!! More panic from Ms. Scarlett. More frustration from me and evil, first assistant who begrudgingly agreed to stay and help. Not that I asked her to. Ms. Scarlett suggests that maybe once we get her a taxi, she should get a hotel room nearby. Can we call her connects at the luxury hotels and see if they have anything available or if they will send her a car? What the hell? You haven’t even left the area yet! You live 20 minutes away from the airport! Take the train two stops to the downtown area of the city and then take a cab the rest of the way home. Too simple? Maybe. But it seemed like such the obvious solution. And that is when, right then and there at my desk, I said a prayer to the Lord above that no matter how rich/successful/powerful I ever become, please don’t let me lose all common sense. For real. Amen.
Did Ms. Scarlett eventually get home? Of course she did. We finally got a cab to come get her. But let me just say that the God has a sense of humor part of this story is that Ms. Scarlett’s blackberry had died, and she was using her daughter’s phone, but it had the child protection on it, so it could only receive calls from approved people. Of course Ms. Scarlett did not realize this. And so one cab had come to the airport and had tried to contact Ms. Scarlett when they were outside, but of course she couldn’t answer the phone. So they left. More phone calls to get another cab to come get her. Finally, finally, Ms. Scarlett and her daughter got into the right cab. And I got leave for home around 9 o’clock. Yes, four hours of what I thought and still do believe was unnecessary drama.
Yeah so forget about a foot in the door, my ass barely got a pinkie toe in that bitch. I suppose it’s about wanting something bad enough that you are willing to swallow your pride, suspend common sense and having a life, all to be at the mercy of someone else's whims, needs and requests. And clearly I didn't want it bad enough. Sure deep down I knew that there was a lot to learn from Ms. Scarlett, but I didn’t have it in me to cut through all the crazy to see the possibilities. And so I threw up my deuces the first chance I got. And I've been happy ever since. Except for when the nightmares come...
That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!
*Names have been changed to protect the crazy