• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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You Look Like a Movie, You Sound Like a Song



I said it would never happen, but I’ve become a nightmare. I send cloying emails every day to my editor’s assistant asking for more time, making more changes on the galleys, asking the same stupid questions about social media over and over like only a fifty-something can.  And no matter how obnoxious and ingratiating I am, this young woman remains unflappable. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough.

Meet the world’s best assistant editor aka The Slayer. She always gets back to me promptly, is always friendly and encouraging. She is also an astute reader.I trust her implicitly. And I know that she’s constantly working behind the scenes to make it all go smoothly. I always thought I was an amazing assistant, but The Slayer slays me. Honestly, I deserve an apathetic Millennial with hipster aspirations who vapes and snubs social media. The Slayer is perfect. I recently made the mistake of asking how old she is.

What kind of assistant were you?







15 Responses

  1. A common problem for those of us over 50 dealing with millennials now on the other side of the desk.

  2. I am an excellent assistant – a point of pride and shame.

    P.S. I love the blog makeover for the book.

    • Pride and shame. Exactly. When I was a trainee lawyer one of the old guys said I would have made a great secretary. (As they were then called) never should have let on that I could touch type.

  3. My abilities qualify me as a perfect ass…t.

  4. Where did I leave those glasses? I’ll have to get back to you on this. I can’t see a thing.

  5. I couldn’t do it. I’m hyper aware and on edge, so I long ago gave up hipster aspirations. Ain’t no slacker. I like the lack of a burning throat when vaping, but I hate what’s left over in the chamber — even though it’s weed minus the THC, shouldn’t we still smoke it to ash? I wouldn’t know how to get on or exit the social media highway. And I’m always too impressed with someone else’s writing to even think of, let alone suggest, changes. These are my positive qualities.

  6. Friendly, funny, committed to the writing and my people, disorganized, possessing of the patience of Job for author/editor neuroses, smart, incapable of enforcing deadlines, or really anything but house style; this is why I make a much better copyeditor than project manager

  7. Towards the end of my old corp job, I ended up in a role like an assistant, but didn’t they call it that – instead it had a fancy schmancy title – Business Operations Prime. BOP. That’s just what I did…BOP about the place, spreading angst over headcount cuts and financial crises via budget spreadsheets. That was a lot of fun. (not)

    What kind of BOP was I? Meh. Meh b/c finance wasn’t my background. I hated that job, but loved the people I worked with, although I felt the pinch of not being like the BOP before me. She was…super BOP. Younger, masters degree in finance, a whiz kid with CPA credentials to boot.

    Your young asst editor sounds wonderful.

  8. Back then…I was skinny, compliant, cordial, bored. I couldn’t type. I didn’t know shit. Married men pursued me. I rebuffed. My editor was a true professional; elegant and coiffed. I composed her letters, answered her phone, arranged her lunch dates, proofed her copy, sent out her mail. I watched the clock and bolted to catch a train.

  9. Combination: deer-in-the-headlights, ingratiating but prickly, insubordinate yet eager to please, terrifically hard-working, smart as a whip, often astute and deep, upon occasion brilliant, sometimes surprisingly obtuse, and a bargain at any price.


  11. I have recently come to understand that I am what you could call “moody”, which I now understand is why I tended to get fired from every assistant job I’ve ever had. I usually had to lie about something on my resume to get the job, and usually I would think that I was smarter than anyone I ever had to assist. And I really dislike hearing about their kids. So, yeah, I was an asshole.

  12. Why are the comments turned off for next post, Betsy? I have important weight loss info to share.

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