My blog has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Assistant Files

Remember how I said assistants are basically pretty cranky people?

…Yeah, that's still true. But what I didn't mention is how sometimes it's the smallest, lamest thing that can make an assistant happy. We put up with a lot of crap, so our standards are pretty low. Seriously. We'll count it a banner day if we get a word of praise and a bagel with cream cheese.

Number one on the list of Stuff Assistants Like?

INFORMATION. Maybe it's turning my boss onto that script that everyone will be buzzing about tomorrow, or knowing which exec is out at which company. Whatever the case, information is good. It gives me an edge on the competition and helps me do my job. (Notice how being informed is also the exact opposite of most of the items on my Stuff Assistants Hate list.)

Here's some other stuff assistants like**, in no particular order:

* Free food at the office. I work in an expensive part of town. Expensive as in EVERYONE ELSE GETS TO EXPENSE THEIR LUNCHES. They don't think twice about an eighteen dollar salad, but as an assistant, I am poor. Heck, I'll even take food scraps. Scavenged leftovers from the conference room? That's one less meal I'm buying today.

* Open bar events. As in, basically free; see above.

* Holidays. A day off? Enough said.

* Basking in Reflected Glory. Okay, I don't like to admit this one, but it's kind of nice when someone is impressed by who you work for. Which is just SAD, because that has nothing to do with ME. Of course, I try to tell myself that it does actually have something to do with me, that they must be impressed because working for someone of that caliber means I'm a REALLY good assistant. And then we're full circle back to SAD, so.

* Gift runoff. You know, anything your boss doesn't want, like Lakers tickets (he's already courtside with Jack), or muffin baskets (he's doing Atkins this week).

* That five hour block of time when my boss is in the air between L.A. and N.Y. and required to turn off his Blackberry -- delicious radio silence.

*Award season screeners.

* The Top-Secret Assistant Benefits Package. I'm not at liberty to divulge the details of this benefits plan, but it may involve messenger service, unfettered access to a postage meter, and a lifetime supply of post-its and pens.

But hey, you know what else assistants like? Reading a great script. The kind of script that gets your heart pounding, and reminds you why you chose this crazy industry to begin with. The kind of script you can't wait to show your boss, and that gives you delusions of promotions and producing credits.

So what are you waiting for? Make an assistant happy. Get writing!

Andy Sachs

**Not intended to be a comprehensive list.

If you enjoyed this post, follow me on Twitter or subscribe via RSS.


chaia said...

The free food thing cannot be underestimated. Xmastime in Hollywood? BONANZA. I don't bring my lunch for the whole month of December.

Seth Fortin said...

This is hilarious. And, by the way, applicable to other industries. When I was in college I worked at a hospital, and I used to scavenge from the catered meals drug companies put up when they were trying to sell a new drug. Sad but cost-effective.

E.C. Henry said...

I'm a bagel and cream cheese guy too. Glad to hear you have access to a lot of fringe benefits. You're so blessed to be in a place afluent with money -- enjoy it! Most places of work these days are cutting back on everything -- even coffee, a writer's best friend! Where I work my boss has this fancy one cup brewer, but I've been told before NOT to help myself. What's next, being required to supply my own toilet paper?!

But back to the positive. What do you like to read, Andy Sachs? Not what does your boss like to read. What genre do you gravite towards?

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

P.S. I've written 9 spec. scripts I'm currently trying to sell. If you ever wanna read any of 'em let me know. Currently I'm hard at work on an epic, two movie story. Most challenging script I've attempted to date. THOSE two movies won't be ready for show untill Febuary 2009 or so.

Julie Gray said...

I hate to break it to ya, EC, but Andy Sachs is not one person; it is the pen name of a handful of anonymous assistants who write for the Rouge Wave. None of the Andy Sach's can read unsolicited work but thank you for asking :)

E.C. Henry said...

Thanks for the information/clarification of how the "assistant files" column works, Julie. If those assistants ever change their policy and are willing to read any the 9 specs I'm trying to sell, please let me know, as their the ones I wanna get my work to.

"This gun's for hire,
Even if we're just dancin' in the dark" - Bruce Springstein

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA