6 personal assistants talk about the weirdest assignments they ever got from their boss

Personal assistants to top executives, or PAs, earn an average of about $80,000 a year, according to Salary.com.

But they often have to work hard for their money and regularly go to extremes to meet the demands of their boss.

To outsiders, some assignments seem insane, but for PAs it’s everyday work.

Insider spoke with six PAs and executive assistants who work for the assistant platform Double and have clients such as Deloitte, Visa, Target and Danone on their resumes. They tell about the weirdest situations they got into while working for top executives.

‘I approached more than 80 dog breeders in a month’

During the pandemic, the driver supporting Farida Guetatlia was desperate to have a dog. She had a very specific breed in mind.

“Unfortunately, that breed was nowhere to be found in Switzerland where it is located,” says Guetatlia.

So, in a month’s time, the personal assistant approached 80 breeders in different countries before finally finding the dog her owner was looking for.

“I finally found the dog in France, so I had to figure out how to transport a dog in a country that was completely in lockdown,” Guetatlia said. “But I did some tricks to get it done. Now she is madly in love with her furry friend.”

I finally found the dog in France so I

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“I had to find a dinosaur dentist”

Lauriane Nagel says she once woke up to 13 messages from the driver she worked for in Paris at the time.

“I had helped him throw a party in his flat the day before and was worried something bad had happened,” says Nagel.

Still half asleep, the assistant opened the conversation and saw voice messages, animal and tooth emojis, and pictures of a skeleton.

“Once I read it all, I realized that my driver was a dinosaur collector and his flat was full of ancient dinosaur skeletons,” Nagel said.

“He told me that one of his guests had accidentally broken two dinosaur teeth and asked me to find a dentist in Paris who specializes in dinosaurs as soon as possible,” she says. “I managed to find a dinosaur fossil specialist who worked in a museum nearby. He could help with the repair.”

“I had to find a way to get his favorite sandwich from Beverly Hills to Dubai”

Eddie Estrada started out as a PA when he was still in college.“You have to learn what is real and what is not.”

Eddie Estrada started out as a PA when he was still in college

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He later did several PA jobs, including one for a financial company. Estrada says he had to buy cars for customers and take care of other big business, but nothing compares to a request for pastrami sandwich, a type of smoked, cured beef.

“I was working with a client from Dubai who came to Los Angeles for a meeting,” says Estrada. “He loved a Beverly Hills pastrami sandwich and wanted his family to enjoy it at home too, so I had to find a way to get his sandwich from Beverly Hills to Dubai.”

“I had to arrange vacuum packaging and frozen packaging so that we could take the sandwich apart before the flight home. And luckily it worked, because the sandwich survived the trip.”

“I had to find and buy a very special and expensive boat”

“Playing Tetris professionally all day long.” This is how Kelsey Shackelford describes her work as a personal assistant. Shackelford used to work as a director himself. When her son got sick, she needed a job that didn’t take her home from work, so she became a receptionist.

Playing Tetris professionally all day long

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One of her most memorable assignments was finishing a to-do list of things her predecessor thought were impossible to get done.

“It was a pretty tough list, including finding and buying a special and expensive boat, buying a car in another state, getting insurance for his relatives and dealing with old traffic fines,” said Shackelford. “It was surprisingly easy with the traffic fines. It only took a few phone calls to resolve.”

The hardest thing on the list turned out to be the boat.

“It took a Sherlock Holmes-esque effort to figure out who had such a specific boat and was willing to sell it,” says Shackelford. “But within two weeks I had done all those overdue things.”

“He wanted a haircut in a hair salon that was also an arcade”

Rebecca Ober studied fashion marketing, but decided to forgo a career in the fashion world and became a personal assistant.

Waiter once had to arrange a trip to China and Japan and all the associated visas for a driver. But when he arrived in Japan he had an unusual request.

Lana Wilkinson got into this job when she replaced a friend during her maternity leave. The three months she would stay there turned into three years. Later she did several other PA jobs

Lana Wilkinson got into this job when she replaced a friend during

“I don’t think anyone ever dreamed of such arrangements as a child,” Wilkinson says. “I never planned a career like that, but I turned out to be good at it and it’s interesting.”

Wilkinson once worked for a driver vacationing on a remote island off the Italian coast.

“It was an island that you could only get to with a small plane and boat, so a lot of arrangements had to be made to make the trip possible,” she says.

“The driver wanted me to arrange the cheapest flight for him. It eventually turned out to consist of a number of transfers at different airports,” says Wilkinson. “But there was a family emergency while he was there. When traveling back, he tried to limit the number of transfers. In the end, he turned out to have canceled his entire flight home and was stranded in Italy.”

“He called me when it was 2 am with me to ask how he could get back home. From that moment on, he always left everything to me and never tried to arrange his own flights again.”

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Author: Jobly