Paperback review: To My Assistant, By Lydia Whitlock


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The Independent Culture

An extended jeu d'esprit, being a series of promises made by an overworked and underappreciated office junior to the assistant she will have when she finally gets to be a boss.

Thus, she vows she will never ask her assistants to summarise a Wikipedia article, or rebuke them for crossing their arms, or send, on a Sunday night, 15 emails of things to do this week, or borrow their iPhone earphones and return them coated in earwax. There are also pie-charts, indicating what percentage the current boss understands of what is said (complete comprehension 4 per cent), or how the boss spends time in the office (35 per cent browsing the web, 15 per cent making coffee, 5 per cent actually working, etc). Some of it is quite funny, but it's really an idea for a humorous magazine article. At 253 pages, it feels rather stretched.