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It’s a Dirty Job But Someone Else Had Better Do It

CEO Dad’s Tuesday Tirade…

CEO Dad’s Tuesday Tirade…

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I don’t know about you, but when I hear about someone having a “personal assistant,” I think of movie stars like Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt. Well, according to a recent report on NPR, now anyone can have one. That’s right, personal assistants are available by the hour to anyone who needs a body to take care of all the things they are too work/life unbalanced to take care of themselves. At first, this news gave me pause: a convenience, once the province of the rich and powerful, has become commonplace, giving people who don’t know how to slow down another handy reason to keep multi-tasking. Pawn off the daily tasks of living to a third party, and take more time to focus on work, work, work.

But then, the light bulb went off. Literally. So I hired a personal assistant to change it for me, then I got a great idea. Why throw money at someone you don’t know, when you can delegate unpleasant tasks AND spend more time communicating with the family you’ve been de-prioritizing for so long? That’s right, hire your offspring as members as personal assistants! You’ve long been trapped in the dysfunctional behavior of buying your children’s love. And let’s face it, they’ve been seeing through that horrible charade for years now, and now matter how many Benjamins you give them, their response is desultory at best. Now, you can pay the young’uns and get something more tangible out of them at the same time. Like picking up your dry cleaning, organizing the documents on your PC into a series of new folders, or simply watching “Lost” for you and telling you what the heck it means so you have something to talk about at parties. You already pay them allowance to take out the trash and do the dishes, so why not up the ante and have them pick you up at the airport after that three-day productivity conference in Seattle?

Of course, the by-product of all this is that you interact with your children more! Sure, it’s mostly giving them orders and calling on a bad cell phone connection to make sure the orders are getting carried out, but your kids will hear your voice several times during the day, and that is something they will remember when they get older and start deciding on your long-term care options. Besides, if you’re not too busy, you can toss in a question about how their school was that day, or what they think of the whole Harry Potter oeuvre. You can’t buy that kind of bonding. Oh, wait, maybe you can.

Oh, one word to the wise. I got the idea of hiring my kids as personal assistants because my first instinct was to see if my wife wanted to do it. Well, the doctors tell me the cut didn’t need stitches, and that I was lucky I ducked in time to avoid the plate she threw at me causing any serious damage. To tell you the truth, I haven’t run the idea by my kids yet, either. I’m just too busy to find the quality time I need to thoroughly present the idea. Maybe I’ll hire a personal assistant to ask my kids if they would like to be personal assistants.

Meantime, what other hare-brained schemes might we think of to avoid getting the balance right?

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