Finally, an Assistant Worth Hiring

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Photo: Ali Goldstein/NBC

Most assistants are, let's face it, pretty useless. They schedule lunches with people you don't really want to have lunch with, call your wife by your mistress's name, and give you that I have a degree from Vassar look every time you ask them to do a Sisyphean task or personal errand. All of which are reasons why we don't have one. That, and we are not important enough. But should we ever have a personal assistant, we would like one like Leon Renyop, who told CNBC about some amazing feats he accomplished while working as an assistant to a film and TV director, including a time he was "saddled with finding an ethnic baby to be photographed for a greeting card of questionable taste." Sayeth Leon:


He couldn’t very well tell the infant casting agencies that the baby was needed for a goof, so he fabricated the alter ego “Geoffrey Bozenkampf” complete with accent and Gmail account, and acting as Geoffrey he claimed he needed the baby’s image to use in a short film. Then, because his director boss is “obnoxiously frugal,” Leon had to find a way to print up 150 of these holiday cards for about $80 (Kinko’s quoted about $250 for the job). “Find a way, there’s gotta be a way,” came the director’s typical refusal to take no for an answer. Leon faked a fall and injury at Kinko’s for an instant 60% discount, and in this case, for the win.


Another time, the director called Leon around 9:30 on a Saturday, requiring 200 tennis balls before noon, so he could teach his girlfriend tennis—and he needed to get the balls for a cost of about $10. “There’s gotta be a way.” Leon ran around town, finding those ways, not all of them necessarily legal. “I hopped the fence at a country club with a basket I picked up at the grocery store and picked up like 30 orphan balls, I got chased by the tennis coach. Then I called a buddy who was a member at a country club, who knew a crooked groundskeeper, who sells balls he steals from the country club. I drove like 30 minutes and did this sketchy tennis ball transaction in his alley like I was buying a pound of cocaine and I had to haggle him down.” It took until about 12:15, but Leon once again made it happen.

Think of how much fun you could have with this guy. Leon! Fill my foyer with 44 red balloons! Leon! Get me John Travolta's hairpiece! Of course, the lateness is inexcusable.

Confessions of a Personal Assistant [CNBC]