Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"And This is My Competent Assistant..."

Yesterday, I met Frederic Fekkai.

Ok, ok, I didn't actually meet Frederic Fekkai. I was working at a big conference that my company puts on every year and I just merely stood next to him. As in, I could have been touching his arm if I wanted (or his beautiful locks). Inside, my body was screaming, 'Tell him you love his 'glossing' line of shampoos!'. Instead, I stood there with my hair frizzing everywhere because of the sudden downpour that Al Roker hadn't warned me about wishing I hadn't skimped at the grocery store this month and bought Suave.

As I was thinking about my poofy hair and how Frederic was probably horrified with my grooming methods, I heard him talking to his PA (a.k.a. personal assistant) about his next meeting. Then I heard him introduce his personal assistant to one of my colleagues. "This is my personal assistant, Erica."

And it got me thinking...was the "personal assistant" in front of her name really that necessary? Granted, in this case it might have been. I mean, it is what she does so it probably doesn't bother her all that much. Obviously, I don't have all the details.But I do know that it really, really, really bugs me when The Boss introduces me as her assistant.

Before I give you the background for why I really, really hate The Boss's introductions, let me give a quick up-to-speed info session. My work friend Small Fry and I used to work in the same department. In fact, she used to be the Marketing Manager. During that time period, The Boss constantly compared the two of us to her two daughters. And I always got compared to her younger daughter, the one who was more laid-back, forgetful, and somewhat lazy. Small Fry was always compared to her older daughter who was responsible and all around awesome. Sucky, right?

Ok, back to the story. Last year, I worked an event for my company and The Boss introduced me and Small Fry to some of her family members who had attended the event. She introduced Small Fry as being wonderful, capable, and used the word beloved more than once. Then, The Boss turned to me and said, "And this is my competent assistant WG2." Yep, that's all I got. Needless to say, I was livid...and quite frankly hurt. Yes, I'll admit I shed a tear.

Since then things have obviously gotten better. Small Fry was transferred to another department because The Boss found out she wasn't really all that great at her job, and I became the wonderful, capable and all around awesome Marketing Coordinator.

I had dropped the assistant out of my title. I was a new woman. Until, that is, I went to this conference (where I got to breathe the same air as Frederic Fekkai) and it's like I stepped into a time warp. The Boss introduced me over and over and over again as her assistant. This conference was filled with big whigs, so I'm sure The Boss just wanted to look cool and be like, 'Look this is a person who will fetch me coffee if I ask...and I don't even need to tell her that I like three sugars'. Meaning, I'm big time and thereby have my own assistant.

Here's the catch though - I'm technically not her assistant anymore, which is why this really irked me. I guess this just made me realize that to The Boss I am always going to be an assistant no matter what title changes or salary increases I get.

That 'ass' in my title ain't going nowhere. On a positive note, my ass did get to stand next to Frederic Fekkai.


Anonymous said...

Well, I am glad you got to meet a hair genius.

The story about how your boss introduces you to others reminds me of the movie "A League of Their Own" when Kit imitates the same thing:

"This is our daughter Dotti. And this is our other daughter, Dotti's sister. They should have just had you a bought a dog."

Yeah, well, truth is your not an assistant and you deserve to be treated better for all the work you do.

Noelle said...

Like The Office, where there is a world of difference between "assistant regional manager" and "assistant TO THE regional manager."

pie said...

ugh I feel your pain.

Your F. Fekkai recap? hilarious. I always see my favorite stars in Atlanta when I'm looking straight busted. sigh. its so sad

p.s. if someone called me merely competent when they introduced me, I wouold have gone postal. You are a better person than I am.

Crystal said...

That's totally cool you got to stand next to the hair guy. I would of said something to him because I'm just blunt and don't care. Boss's suck.

BloodRedRoses said...

UGH. There is NOTHING worse than being compared to the boss's children! It's happened to me, and quite frankly I already have a mother and didn't need the extra 'advice' thank you very much.

That was really un-smooth of your boss to demote you like that. She was prob just attempting to make herself look bigger than she is.

Awesome that you got to stand next to a hair god though!!