What Can I Ask My Assistant To Do?

Dear Cubicle Coach:

I'm a new boss who inherited an assistant, the first I've ever had. What's appropriate these days as far as her doing personal stuff for me goes?

Dear New Boss:

CC frowns on the "Triple mocha on the double, honey" 'tude. Wait till you've made your first billion for that. More appropriate is, "If you're going down to the cafeteria, could you pick me up a cup of coffee and get one for yourself, too?" and handing over enough cash to easily cover both. CC has heard of assistants sent to feed hamsters, pick up birth-control pills, fetch french fries from one particular McDonald's 20 blocks away when another was just across the street. Remember back to your days at the bottom of the food chain. What would have seemed suitable and what would have made you reach for your mallet? People secure in their power don't treat underlings like swine; it's the empty suits who feel the need to flaunt their "authority."

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