Book Excerpt

I give examples in my book of how to change your thinking. Here’s one:

Old Thought: The celebrity is always right.

If your boss has ten lousy qualities (in your humble opinion) and one wonderful quality, choose that one that is fantastic to focus upon. If they have ten great traits, and one that drives you crazy, don’t focus on the one that drives you crazy. I know this is easier said than done. Of course, if this behavior trait appears to involve something such as illegal drug use, I assume you’ll get help handling that. Be smart! No job is worth being arrested for abetting someone. Although I know we walk a fine line, celebrity personal assistants work in a unique environment where money and temptations run high. If you are not in a situation where your life or the lives of people you work with are in danger, or illegal activities are taking place, my guess is that your day-to-day routine with your employer is not super-dramatic. However, I can guarantee that she has personality traits that can drive you up a wall. I knew a celebrity who had a bird that flew around the house and home office unattended to. The bird was trained to leave a prize in the office wastebasket on a regular basis. All this was so the employer could use the bird’s shit for his organic garden. What a lovely office environment that must’ve been!

New Thought: I won’t rehash the past, or place blame, resentment, anger, or guilt on my employer for past abuses. Instead, today I focus on the one aspect of this person’s personality that I like and think of that when I’m working for them.


I Can Be Counted On

An excerpt from “Dealing With Divas” —

Maybe I’ve been doing my job too long, but I have to tell you that I love it when my boss introduces me to people as her “rock.” The first time she went away on a long trip to Australia, I was left in charge of a huge remodel of her house. We had a new roof and new floors put in her home. The remodel was crazy, and when a gas leak was found in the roof above the kitchen stove two days before she was to return home, I admit I was a bit panicked. But, I was able to call in the proper people to handle the leak and still finish the entire job before she arrived.

You can be trustworthy with little things, too, not just with big projects. I remember one instance, around when my boss bought a home, which was built in the 1940s. Two days after she moved in, it poured so much rain that the roof and a window began to leak (this was before the new roof, mentioned earlier, was installed). The employer’s home was in San Diego, and my home was forty miles north of hers.

I received a call that went something like this: “I have a leak in my roof, and the window in the front entryway,” my boss said to me.

“Okay,” I replied.

“But my neighbor next door has a roofing guy that we can call, and they can come out immediately. At least he can cover the roof to prevent the leak getting in the house.”

“Great,” I said.

“Here’s the number. His office is amazingly only about one mile from my house!” she exclaimed. Then there was silence for a moment on the phone from my end.

I spoke again. “Um? Okay. I will call him,” I said. I called the roofer, who showed up at her house promptly—within the hour, in fact. My question later was, why did I have to call the guy who was one mile from her house when she could’ve done it herself? That was just one of those “diva moments.” But the moral of the story is, it did me no harm to handle such a small task for her. In fact, it made her trust me even more. Going the extra mile absolutely helps form a trust-based relationship.


….to read more, get my book, Dealing With Divas!


No One Is Perfect


As the former President of the Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants (, I’m often asked how personal assistants cope while working in an environment that insists that they be perfect at what they do. My answer is: no one is perfect.

When I worked as a booking agent for the Los Angeles UnifiedSchool system in the late 1970s (scheduling artists to appear in school assemblies in order to showcase their crafts to students), I learned through trial and error about booking people on the wrong day or time, or at the wrong location.

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K is for Kindness

Dealing with DivasMy LARK method includes:

K is for Kindness

And, finally the L.A.R.K. ends with K for kindness; keep going; kick old habits; and, keep laughing.  All of the above will keep the LARK flying !

Kindness is sometimes tough to find in this business or any other. Yet it’s essential to your mental health and to the health of those around you. Instead of the old saying: “Kill them with kindness” I rather like “Keep them alive with kindness.” Try this turn-a-bout on the old phrase and you’ll find yourself starting to kick the old habits of putting yourself and others down with your words and actions. Continue reading “K is for Kindness”

A is for Ask and Accept

Dealing with DivasThe first step in the L.A.R.K. method is to ask for and accept that you deserve what you want. This step is more difficult for most people than the listening exercise. Asking for what we want from our bosses (or lovers, or families, or mechanics) is a big step for many of us. Another step in the process is the realization that we actually deserve to ask for something and receive it. Talking with fellow personal assistants, I’ve found that they find this step to be very difficult to do. Asking for help, or asking for something like a day off from work or a raise, is torture to them.

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Mistakes Are Okay

Dealing with DivasIn my book, Dealing With Divas, I explore myths that I feel can be changed. Here is one of them:

# 4—Old Thought: Make a mistake and you’ll pay for it.

Mistakes are a normal part of life, and you will make some mistakes in any job. But, what’s the worst thing that can happen if do make a mistake and you tell the truth? My advice is, if you do something wrong—break something, double-book an auditorium, or simply forget an item on the list—tell your employer immediately and ask for help to fix the situation. In baseball, a player is considered a good player if he has a batting average of .333—that’s an average of hitting the ball less than four times out of ten tries at bat! It’s not ten out of ten. If you do something wrong, don’t beat yourself up over it—give yourself a break.

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