October 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
A man friend of mine once said the best way to get through a relationship with a man was to have no expectations of him. Wait, hold up? Say what? Yes, I pondered that for about a nano-second, and then realized that is what HE expects from his relationships, and frankly, how selfish is that? How can you be in any type of relationship and not have expectations? I would expect my spouse to be kind, thoughtful, faithful, loving, and respectful, etc…or why get married?
Now when it comes to work as a personal assistant, there are some areas where it is best to have no expectations. You see it is easy to get used to being around fame and fortune. The private jets, the 5-star hotels, the amazing bonus checks, trips to Hawaii, brand new iPhones or Chanel hand-me-downs are all things I’ve been lucky enough to experience regularly. I have also been given a car, a necklace from Van Cleef and Arpels, whole gift baskets from the Academy Awards (yes the ones valued at ridiculous amounts) and so much more.
But to expect gifts, to expect a monetary bonus when you are already paid for your work, to expect to always fly first class, for example, is a recipe for disaster. After all, you agreed to work for a price, perform those services, and get paid. Anything extra is gravy! So I tell you, don’t expect the perks, you’ll be so much more grateful for them when they come and will not have animosity when you don’t get something that was never promised in the first place. What you should expect from a client/employer is to be treated with respect, appreciated for your expertise, and to be willing to work towards mutual trust.
The real lesson is to enjoy the experience and take from it what you will want to manifest for yourself. There are very few people who get to intimately witness firsthand how the very wealthy live so to be able to experience it and learn from it, is a very “rich” experience. Very few people go to work in sprawling estates. I know it’s not all bells and whistles. I was 9 months pregnant with my 3rd child and had to walk a four-story 20,000 square foot residence during a construction I was managing. I hated it then. I appreciate it now for what I learned about the process of building an estate from scratch. And while I’m on the subject of those with extreme wealth, it may surprise other assistants to know that there is not one person I have ever worked for that I would change places with. Don’t get me wrong; I work to build a residual income stream so I can have the luxury of time that financial freedom brings. But I have seen and experienced that while money dissolves a whole lot of problems, it also brings a different set of challenges with it. Like everything in life, enjoy the experience and opportunity and learn all you can.
Sue McGaughey says it best in this link: http://uflifestyle.com/2012/10/08/living-a-rich-life/
October 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
There are a lot of things that the average Joe doesn’t know exists in our world. There are travel perks that have been reserved for the élite few that want to pay for certain high-end services. I thought it would be fun to mention a few of my favorites.
FLIGHT DELAY? NO PROBLEM–Do you know about airport lounges at most airports where you do not wait with the general public, but in a plush and comfortable lounge? This is becoming popular with business travelers who can gain access with frequent travel miles as well and all first class passengers or Am Ex Platinum and above members. Upon entering you are greeted by the desk concierge who checks that you are authorized and checks your departure (if you get too comfortable and forget your flight). Here you enter a world of cyber cafes, teleconferencing rooms, comfortable lounge chairs, and depending on your carrier, some include barbers, manicurists, full spa services like facials and massages, work stations, theaters, bedrooms, lockers, showers, libraries, bar, food, sushi bars with chefs, living rooms, etc. They are tucked away at all major airports. Some major carriers have their own or partner with others. Lufthansa Germany even assigns you a personal assistant and shuttles you to your flight in your choice of luxury automobile from their private first class terminal! But alas, for us common folk, in La La Land (where who better knows that dollar is king), you can always pay to use the day lounge in the Tom Bradley terminal. Brilliant!
AIRPORT PARKING NIGHTMARE NO MORE–Did you know if you go to LAX airport there is a parking service extraordinaire? Here you can drive up to the curb, a man jumps in with a clipboard while you drive to your terminal, takes your credit card number, flight information of when to pick you up and you tell them what you want done to your car while you are gone? You can pick anything from an oil change to full detail and gas fill up. He checks off his list and bids you bye-bye. No reservations are necessary. Then when you are due to return, they monitor your flight (in case of delays) and are curbside with your car. You jump in and drop them off on your way out of the terminal. What could be easier?
MEET & GREET–Did you know at most airports, not only can your limo driver drop you off, but he can coordinate with a “meet-and-greet” service at the airport to assist your departure and arrival? This person meets your limo (or town car) curbside and assists you through to the first class counter, gets your boarding passes, bags checked, and escorts you all the way to the gate (or in most cases, your lounge). They can also meet you at your gate upon arrival, make sure your driver is curbside, and retrieves your luggage all while you are sitting in your car. This is a private service that work at most airports through your car company.
AIRPORT PARKING–Did you know when you’re in a private jet, your driver can pull right up to the plane on the tarmac and walk right up the ramp into your plane? Your driver, pilot and co-pilot load your luggage into the plane and the flight attendant makes sure you have drink in hand before you ever leave for take off? And yes, when flying internationally, the passport agent comes to you–onto your plane to check your documents. No long lines at the terminals!
DOWN COMFORTER ON YOUR PLANE BED?–Did you know on some first class transatlantic flights, they offer massages, private bars/clubs, chefs, fully extending private sleeping pods, private TV, DVD collection of movies for you to pick from, personal travel kit, down comforters, pillows, 5 star menu including steak and lobster, and just about anything else short of flying the plane! Who would want to leave when you arrive at your destination?
FLIGHT OF FANCY-One of my favorite stories was when I was working for a good friend at holiday time in Holmby Hills, an exclusive LA neighborhood. She was a personal assistant to a very, very wealthy family. Her employers decided to go to lunch on short notice with their son…in Texas! I asked her which FBO (fixed based operator) they flew out of so I could help coordinate. (FBO’s are the smaller carriers at airports terminals most private jets fly out of.) When she replied, “LAX,” I knew it had to be a large plane and not one of the smaller airports/terminals. Turns out it was a private commercial 737. I can only imagine what the gas was just for a couple hour excursion! A $100K lunch for sure!
It is important for the extreme assistant that you know what is available so you can navigate these waters for clients. And while you may be along for the ride, you’re the one coordinating with the meet and greet, the pilots, the drivers, the trip changes etc. etc., to make sure their trip is even more effortless.
In the world of travel, like anything else, you are only limited by what you can afford. For further evidence of this, check out the links below: