Friday, January 20, 2012

Sundance...a.k.a. Your boss's second Christmas vacation


Today your boss gears up to leave for the annual meeting of the minds that is the Sundance Film Festival. So until your he/she loses cell reception, it's entirely likely that you'll receive demands that range from improbable to complete violations of the space-time continuum. But if you want to keep your job, you'll do it with a smile.

The folks at the Hollywood Temp Diaries have seen all this stuff before. The key to being a good assistant during this hectic time (other than having an MFA from the University of Texas film school) is preparation. That's what I'm here for.

Following are the things your boss is likely to demand at this snow party Sundance...
- Confirm the car service to take your boss to LAX. Not a cab. Not Super Shuttle. A CAR SERVICE! You boss is still pissed off from Thanksgiving when you sent he/her to the airport via United Taxi.

- Did you secure a window seat on Delta #1166? And yes, your boss wants a meal on the flight. Don't even ask.

- Make sure there is a car service to pick up your boss at the Salt Lake City. Not a cab. Not Super Shuttle. CAR SERVICE! Your boss is still pissed off from Thanksgiving when you assumed he/she would want a ride with his/her family.

- Have you secured tickets to all 121 features even though your boss will probably only actually check out three of them (and leave two early out of boredom). The only reason he/she will stay for all of the other one is it was written/produced/directed by someone they're trying to poach from ICM.

- Get your boss free lift tickets to Alta. And only Alta. Why? No snowboarders there. If your wanted to hang out with a bunch of dirt bags, he/she'd go to the Winter X-Games. [Note: Once your boss finds out that all the cool kids are snow boarding, call Snowbird and Deer Valley, or get discounted lift tickets online.]

- Get your boss a map for downtown Park City (in color). It matters not that everything related to the Sundance Film Festival is on a five-block strip of Main Street. Your boss still wants a map.

- Be able to explain Utah's very confusing liquor laws, or better yet, just make sure your boss takes a bottle of Grey Goose along for the ride.

- There are approximately 300 different parties at Sundance during the "filmfesst." Get your boss passes to each one (+ guest).
- Get a duplicate key to your boss's house. This way, when he/she calls you and tells you to send the pair of Uggs they forgot, you'll be a step ahead of the game. [Note: If required to do this, do not use this as an opportunity to rummage through your boss's stuff. Just steal it instead.]

- Extend your boss's hotel room reservation for two days. Trust me, they'll call asking. So just do it now.

- Confirm your boss's return flight has a 24-hour layover in Vegas and make a reservation at the Wynn.

- Figure out a way to expense everything


Adam said...

As a not-yet-assistant, I always wonder just how many of these are true. I suspect you are exaggerating by less than 25%.

Business Affairs said...

Adam: as a former asst to a demanding exec (and not even one as insane as most), I can vouch that at least the gist of it is true, except for the part about insisting on car service. What assistant would ever THINK of ordering a cab??

Just reading it makes me start breaking out into hives.

I just want to add a little way of coping with this kind of crap that I figured out recently: if you've made a reservation or something and your boss asks you to check again, don't bother. Just work on the other million and a half things you have to do that are actually important for a minute, then tell them that you checked and the reservation or whatever is indeed still in place.

Even if it ends up completely falling through, you can just say it was confirmed when you checked. Sometimes that does happen anyway, so you may as well not bother checking for the thousandth time.

Anonymous said...

Just FYI - no snowboarding at Deer Valley! Don't fuck that one up.

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