As I get older and more powerful and more of my friends get assistants at work, I would like to set the following ground rules. I started my career assisting someone who abused his position of power, so I am sensitive to the plight of all executive assistants around the world. These kids did not go to college to be your slave. If you are so important and powerful that you need to have your executive assistant become involved in your personal life, you should have the funds to hire a personal assistant rather than abuse the company hire.
1. Do not have your assistant call me to make social plans. Your assistant is only allowed to call me if you are either locked in a room somewhere and you do not have access to your blackberry, cell phone or other PDA that I know that you must have on you on all times in order to keep in touch with your assistant. If you have the time to give your assistant detailed instructions about what to tell me in a call, you have the minute it takes to call me personally. Plus, I am not comfortable with your assistant knowing about my personal life and where I am dining with you that evening.
2. Do not have your assistant leave me a message. Please see above. Call me personally. If you get off on having your assistant call me, then have him call my assistant so I can get off too.
3. If you are having a birthday party or some other social event, do not have me RSVP to your work assistant. The assistant that your company pays for should not be used as a social secretary.
4. The only exemption to the above rules is that your assistant is allowed to call me if you have either been rushed to the hospital for a medical emergency, you have died or you are having a mental breakdown and your assistant doesn't know how to handle the situation.