The Personal Assistant to the Artist, like any Celebrity Personal Assistant, is literally given the keys to the kingdom. They're often required to assume the identity of their employer to relieve said employer of life’s nuisances; reporting lost credit cards and acquiring new ones, ordering anything on the phone or online, changing passwords, posting tweets, responding to emails, etc., To accomplish these ‘menial’ tasks, they have to have the kind of personal information we’re all told never to divulge; SSN, Passwords, PIN Numbers, etc.
In the wrong hands this information could be used to perpetrate serious crimes, not the least of which is embezzlement. But there’s another risk. These Personal Assistants, (PA’s) work 24/7, they spend an inordinate amount of time with their boss, sometimes they even live in residence. They have no personal lives, the Artist’s life is all they're exposed to and sometimes the lines get blurred.
The PA is the gateway, even the Celebrity’s Manager and Publicist have to go through the PA at times. It can get heady when the PA is out doing errands and runs into one of her boss’ famous friends who greets her warmly, especially if there are onlookers. Well, she does know them; she met them at the house, or she stopped by theirs to pick something up.
A lot of bosses give their Assistant’s their ‘throw aways,’ for example, they just got a Berkin Bag, so they give the PA their now gauche Chanel clutch. Or designer clothing, etc. When you’re wearing bona fide trappings... well, the word trappings says it all.
For the susceptible, a sense of entitlement can creep in. If they show up at a private club, unless they’re with their boss, they’ll probably be turned away at the door, but when they’re wearing the Artist’s image, they’re treated like royalty. When they make restaurant reservations they demand the best table, and they get it, well, their boss does. The overworked PA who is totally immersed in the identity of his/her employer, can come to expect the same treatment.
Case and point, I was having dinner with a PA friend who just got back from a European tour. We were at a trendy LA restaurant that was quite busy. When the waitress didn’t serve us fast enough, my friend spoke to her like she was something scraped off her shoe, “I have been sitting here for 10 MINUTES with a closed menu, do you KNOW what a CLOSED MENU means? Did they NOT teach you that at WAITRESS SCHOOL or did you come directly from TACO BELL? When a guest is seated at a table and the MENU IS CLOSED, it means that guest is READY TO ORDER, it is YOUR JOB to take that order AS SOON as you see that closed menu - and you should ALWAYS be paying attention to WHEN that menu gets closed.’
I was mortified, I said to the waitress ‘Please excuse my friend’s rudeness, she just got off a plane and is suffering from a weird sort of jet-lag that renders one obnoxious upon hitting terra firma.’ The waitress smiled, my friend looked at me like I committed some heinous crime and was about to speak, but I was faster. ‘I know it was a rough 8 weeks with your asshole boss, I know you’re exhausted, I also know you're a nice person and would never normally talk to anyone like that because you know it’s unforgivable, so shut the fuck up and place your order, because now you’re making our lovely server wait while there are a lot of hungry people just as anxious to order!’
Mercifully she has always found her boss’ arrogance to be nothing short of vile, it took my confronting her to shake her back to reality and apologize profusely to the waitress and confirm that what I said was true, she was lovely from that moment on and left a very generous tip.
But that can happen. When you spend 24 hours a day with someone it isn’t uncommon to pick up some characteristics, and when you’re expected to ‘be that person’ regularly, you can lose sight of yourself, especially when you perceive their life to be perfect.