Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Time for a shave, a shower and a sherpa?

Hitting the ground in Chicago is always a fascinating experience when I'm away for a long time. There are friends I've missed, clients to regain some work from, food that can't be duplicated properly anywhere else, and the overall sense of longing for home that is dispelled the minute the tires hit the tarmac.

When I travel, I tend to throw appearance to the wind. I let the scruff grow out, my hair gets longer than normal, and I let my work schedule seek whatever delay is possible. Coming home changes all of that.

Today I sliced off almost 3mm of face fuzz, bringing me down about 10 years in appearance. My showerhead, one of the most powerful (and probably illegal!) ones you can buy, blasted me clean. I wonder if I stink when I deal with those weak, low-flow hotel showerheads?

My schedule filled up within hours of my email-blast to clients. Just a few days back home and I have no idea how I'll accomplish all that is needed work-wise. I think it's time for a new assistant, someone who can handle the humdrum inane ritual of juggling future schedules, past bills, current voicemails, emails, tweets, Facebook updates and more junk.

My previous assistant was a great guy: 23, college drop-out, responsible but not much of a risk taker or a dreamer. He worked for me for 3 years, at which point I helped him start his own small business. I hate seeing people work as an employee when they're gifted enough to be the boss. In the 2 years he's been free from my daily grind, he's built himself enough reputation to do quite well for himself. This "recession" isn't effecting him at all. Neither is it hurting me.

So what is the right way to find a great, hard worker? I pay very well, I only work people 3-4 days a week (although they get paid for 5 days a week since they might be on-call via their Blackberrys), and I even cover a vacation or two a year for them.

Craigslist is out: the vast amount of spam replies overwhelms the real ones. Craigslist seems to have become a central gathering point for awful realtors, irresponsible hipsters, and spammy porn-hawkers. I don't even bother going to the Personals section as I don't (a) pay for sex, (b) seek out transvestites, or (c) want to meet another tub of lard who has kissed too many frogs. So that's way out.

I won't go to an online job site, either. I don't need another geek with delusions of grandeur. It's a rough job, finding a good assistant.

Do I go male or female? Old or young? Trained or fast-to-learn? I guess I'll put the word out.

However I do it, I need that sherpa: someone to carry my virtual pack, navigate my pretend mountain of junkmail and time-wasting.

After I conquer that, a lover for the spring and summer would be a nice addition. And, no, they won't be the same person.