Hello fellow assistants. My “name” is Gayle. I wanted to just write about an experience I had where I realized that sometimes celebrities live in a different reality than you and me.
Many years ago, around 2002, Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter, while reporting in Pakistan was kidnapped. It may be hard to believe this, but everyone in the United States and even in other parts of the world had been on edge since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. People were constantly concerned about whether or not the US was going to go to war with Afghanistan and Iraq. Now years later it’s hard to remember when we weren’t at war with these two countries.
In any event, tensions were high. Daniel Pearl was one of four people abducted and unfortunately murdered. What was particularly shocking about his murder was he was beheaded, and it was video taped by his capturers and shown around the world.
All of this information weighed heavy on mind as I went to work one bright sunny Monday to my job for a celebrity. This fellow was a very nice enough guy but picky about things being moved around his house and not put back in the right place. We had hired a new housekeeper who was always apparently moving stuff. The pots would be where pans were supposed to go; the knives in with the can opener; or some such nonsense. This was not life threatening but certainly annoying to the celebrity. I usually helped ruffle feathers and whatever the misunderstanding was, we were all able to handle it easily and move on.
On this particular Monday, I came in early. No traffic I guess! My boss had a party the night before, with a caterer and staff, and a few chairs and tables were still sitting out. But otherwise, it appeared that everything else was in its place. Boy was I wrong…
Immediately I noticed little yellow sticky post it notes on the counter in the kitchen. “Tell Anna to stop moving the statues!”
What statues? What? I had to think for a minute. I immediately went outside to the patio where the party had taken place. A number of beautiful five foot tall METAL Asian statues are out on this patio overlooking a lovely large garden. Kwon Yin the goddess of peace had a yellow sticky post it note on it. “This was moved a foot. Tell Anna to stop moving stuff. Please move it back.”
It was clear that the statue had been moved but neither Anna nor I separately or even together would’ve been able to move this statue and not remembered doing it. We knew the catering staff had been there the day before and figured it was probably one of them. Our boss didn’t want to hear about it. There were other yellow sticky post it notes also with arrows pointing out why a small café table and chairs needed to be pointed in a different direction than they were. I’m not kidding.
When the celebrity arrived from his morning Pilates class he let into both of us about being tired of having to tell us where things went. I started to explain that neither I nor Anna had been involved in the party and there was no way that we moved the heavy metal statue. It didn’t matter. Just move it back which we did.
I went to lunch and was so depressed. I’d already started the day deep in thought about the beheading of Daniel Pearl and then had to deal with this incredibly trivial outburst by a person who is known world wide as being a kind and caring person. Here it is almost 6-1/2 years later and I am still upset about the entire day. I wanted to shake my boss silly and say don’t you know what is happening in the real world? People are being murdered and all you care about is a statue and a table and chairs?
Just a typical day in the life of a celebrity personal assistant I guess.