Mystery Blogger Gayle: Traveling Client

8:00 am

It’s another sunny day in Southern California. I’m in a good mood because my celebrity boss — all-around good guy, beloved by millions — is off to the Olympics later tonight. He’s not in the Olympics — just going to China to see the sights and see some sports. What does this mean for me, his lowly assistant? TIME OFF! WHoo! I am so excited about having 12 days off. I don’t have a lot planned (I can;t afford to fly to the Caribbean for a week!!) but still just to have some time off to visit with friends that I don’t get to see that often, sleep in and eat way too much dessert just because I feel like it sounds like heaven to me. I’ve really been looking forward to this break.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my boss but it’s nice to have a break from time to time. I fix myself some eggs for breakfast and I’m off to Starbucks before going into the office…for the last time for the next 12 days – YES!!!

10:00 am

The boss man isn’t at home. Having a massage and haircut, the note says. Okie dokie.

Hold on. There appears to be an “issue” with some remodeling being done at one of the zillion homes my boss owns. This home is located in my backyard… almost. In hindsight, I guess I should be happy it’s not in the South of France. The boss yesterday mentioned that a little pond was being put in the backyard and while I was gone could I pay the guy putting in the pond. Everything is all set up, he just needs a check. Ok. I figured that would be the extent of my involvement.

I was wrong.

10:45 am

I receive a nasty call from Ellen at the homeowner’s association. Cease and desist! You can’t dig up a backyard without all kinds of approval. Stop or we’ll send over lawyers to sue you.

Whoa. Backup everyone. I talk them down explain boss will be in China for two weeks. What do they need?

Approval from the Architectural Committee.

You mean the boss never signed anything or got an okay?


Damn.  So we need SIGNED papers and plans and approval from the neighbors.

Did I mention he is getting on an airplane for China tonight?

Yes you did. Cease and desist. Oh and can we call you while he’s away should anything else come up?

I have a bad feeling about this.

11:30 am

I am driving to the house in question (a one hour drive from the office) while talking on the phone with the next door neighbor     Lisa.
The Coastal Commision has all kinds of rules about what can be built here. I told the landscaper and your boss that last week. And now people are out here digging big holes and it looks like a lot is going on that wasn’t approved. I wanted to warn you since he is in China right?

RIght now I wish I was in China.

Oh and can I call you while he’s away should anything else come up?

11:45 am

The pond guy and I connect after playing phone tag. I’m just the guy putting the pond and waterfall and the stuff in. You need to get the landscape designer to turn in the plans you need.’

OK. Who would that be exactly?

Can I call you while he’s away should anything else come up?

Insert my eyes rolling here.


Landscape designer calls me as my cell phone battery starts to seriously fade.

I’m Yolanda. I hate rules and regulations!

Oh great.

I don’t draw up plans. Actually I will have to contact my drawer…(OK she said another title for what he does but I didn’t catch it since the phone is almost dead at this point.)…Mario.

You know what happened next…

Can I call you while he’s away should anything else come up? That vacation time is slipping away…I can see it going going gone.

12:15 pm

The boss has returned from massage and haircut. and calls me. I explain the situation and say I will fax over the architectual comm. paper he needs to sign and he will need to fax it back. He sounds very sheepish on the other end of my I am not dead yet phone (apologizes to Eric Idle and Spamalot) .

1:00 pm

I’ve plugged in my cell phone to recharge it am eatting the salad I picked up and have faxed over the papers to the boss get the signatures back and the phone rings to tell me I have 2 voice mails. Why didn’ it just ring straight through? Whatever.  Eureka it’s Mario.

I need to come over to the house and I will need a copy of the landscapes CC&R’s before I can drawup  the plans. What’s the address?

Can I call you should anything else come up?

You bet your a**. I mean of course I am at everyone’s beckoned call.

I drive over to the boss’s house (the one with the pond) to leave the copy of the CC&Rs at the front door for Mario. The boss was the other voice mail. Um thank you for handling this. Have a nice vacation. Right. You think I’m going on vacation while this is still up in the air? No way!!

1:15 pm

Neighbor calls. The workmen are leaving but now a truck has pulled up with all these boulders and they’re putting them on the driveway. You might want to get an ok from the HOA for that. Just letting you know. Gee thanks.

1:17 pm

Call Ellen. Can we have boulders in the driveway? Of course. We aren’t going to give you any problem with that. What happened to the Cease and Desist attitude from this morning?!!

Can I call you while he’s away should anything else come up?


2:00 pm

Walk into my apartment exhausted. My son was home and had just bought a pizza. Cool! I put down my purse and phone take a slice     put it on a paper plate turn on my lap top setting the plate down on the bed. The phone rings.

Not knowing if ‘s one of my newly acquired friends — Lisa Mario Yolanda or Ellen — with another problem I scramble to pick it up.

Nope. Wrong number.

I turn to sit back down on the bed and there is my cat sitting on top of the slice of pizza.

Some days you just can’t win.

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