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Commentary: Now hiring! Low-profile art world family seeks personal assistant

Have you heard about that so-called worst job ever that went viral? The one posted by an anonymous New York “Art World Family” seeking an employee to help run a domestic staff consisting of “chef, nannies, landscapers, dog walkers, housekeeper, contractors and building managers” ? Someone who can also “manage dog systems (potty breaks, food, daycare, dog walkers, vet appts)” and “liaise with third-party high-end travel vendors to coordinate domestic and international travel arrangements”?

After Artnet and the New York Times reported on the Internet outrage at the posting, I checked out the job description saved online by art writer and blogger Emily Colucci and thought, “What’s everyone fussing about?” Isn’t posting what every high-level Hollywood assistant actually does? Is the problem that this Art World Family was bold enough to explain the humiliation of the job in great detail? Or that the art world should be more sophisticated than Hollywood and less prone to torturing its underclass?

As a working artist myself (aspiring novelist, here!), I thought maybe I should give the job a shot. After all the negative attention the Art World Family in question had to remove its ad, so it’s possible I would score the performance. I have to admit: it sounded like a lot, especially managing “dog systems” and picking up clothes from the “high-end” stores. If my number 1 priority was to “make the couple’s life easier in every way possible”, I would need that my own assistant to live my own life.

To channel the Art World Family spirit, I made my own post for help. I hope I get a bite soon. If you’re reading this, maybe it’s you?

Organization: Another Art World family

Place: Los Angeles

Sector: Art, administration, other

Position type: Fixed full time

Description: Low-profile Art World Family is looking for a full-time Executive/Personal Assistant who is attentive to details, has good communication skills and is professional. Discretion is essential: don’t joke about it our home on TikTok! Must be able to juggle multiple priorities in a chaotic, wildly unstructured environment and change course on the fly. (If the toddler says she needs to pee, she means it.) The candidate must be committed to a single-minded goal: making life a little less Dickensian for us in every way possible.

Overview of responsibilities


• Manage all travel bookings and routes. Familiarity with low-cost Airbnbs is a must, as is the ability to write thoughtful, but suitably swearing letters about broken cooling systems and leaking toilets in the aforementioned low-cost rental properties.

• Maintain contact with Budget Rent a Car. There’s a manager at the Burbank airport office named Brian who we’re on good terms with. Negotiate rent discounts and don’t fall for those crafty pay-first gas deals. It is impossible to return the car with an empty tank.

• Provide support to family and in-laws during both domestic and international air travel, and assume the seats will be on the bus. Note that Dad doesn’t like long flights because his sciatica is acting up, and Mom needs those plastic-wrapped travel slippers and an eye mask — reversible flannel, with a splash of lilac spray from Bath & Body Works.


• Make reservations for restaurants and respond to events. We love that floating sushi boat restaurant on Colorado Boulevard, but the kids always want Happy Meals, and that’s fine. But never get them soda, only milk – sometimes it can be chocolate. Use your discretion.

• Coordinating and confirming personal appointments. Attending our yoga classes can be hit and miss. If we miss morning class, prepare for late afternoon regret.

• Prepare family members for everything they have to do in advance. Usually that’s pee for the kids and coffee for the adults.

• Send regular schedule summaries and reminders. We’ll never remember volunteering to hang balloons at the school’s family party.

Personal/Household Duties:

• Act as the central point of communication for housekeeping staff. For our Art World Family, that means my husband, me and — well, I think that’s it, just my husband and me.

• Manage cleaning, repairs and guest accommodations. The vacuum cleaner is missing the right wheel and the dishwasher will leak if the rubber strip on the door is not secured. We use my husband’s late grandfather’s lint brush to get the cat hair off the furniture. The guest quarters are in the 14-year-old’s bedroom – so when my parents come to stay, take down the Guns N’ Roses poster and swap the black curtains for the sunflower curtains in the hall closet.

• Manage cat systems. The litter box is in the 5 by 4 guest room, sandwiched between the toilet and the wall, so it can be quite difficult to get to. The cans of Friskies are in the pantry; we use the clear plastic fork in the dish rack as a food scoop. We bathe the cat ourselves once a month, but bonus points if you can trim her claws!

• Garden maintenance. Water daily. If you see the cat pooping in the yard, give her a quick spray with the garden hose.

• Do home related errands. Some art world families ask their assistants to “take care of dry cleaning, drop off/pick up clothes at luxury stores, buy gifts, run errands, FedEx drop off/pick up, deliver gifts to friends’ homes.” We don’t expect the same, but if you have time to drop off the old baby clothes at the Salvation Army and pick them up at H&M and Target, we’ve got a Boy Scout cookie bonus for you!

• Sometimes playing with the children? It’s more of a polite question than a requirement, but we don’t have a sitter, so the kids can roam the house after you ask if you want to do something fun with them: Legos, Play-Doh, and sometimes a game called, “Queens”. and Servants”, where they are the queens.

Other tasks:

• Manage online subscriptions: HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+, Hulu, and sometimes PBS Kids. But if the toddler is done with a binge of the new show, make sure you cancel it because all those subscriptions can really add up.

• Manage IT needs (two iPhone 6s, cracked iPad, 2016 MacBook Air)

• Organize closet systems. My husband’s pants keep getting mixed up with mine because they share a single shelf in the back of the closet.

• Maintain guest lists for openings and events. Just kidding! We’re not there yet.

• Write thank-you notes when needed — usually after Christmas and birthdays. It’s not OK to write, “Thank you for the gift card.” You must indicate what the gift card was used for, for example Roblox or a Baby Alive peeing its diaper.

• Create presentations and PowerPoint decks for work and personal projects. I’m thinking dream boards or Pinterest posts with our creative goals. “Finish that novel in 2040!” for example, or “Get out of bed, it’s a start!”

• Make in-person and online purchases. Ralphs always has that mega block of cheddar cheese on sale for $8.99. The kids can eat grilled cheese for days.


• Must be comfortable with children. The toddler can talk blue stripe and loves an audience.

• Must have a valid driver’s license and be comfortable driving throughout Los Angeles and surrounding areas, which is a lot. Sometimes you drive all day and wonder what went wrong with your life. Do not worry! That’s natural.

• Knowledge of the world of art and literature is a plus! Knowing fashion, not so much. We don’t want you to make us feel bad.

• Save that MFA in creative writing for the cutthroat publishing world in New York! We just need someone who can tolerate that weird high-pitched squeaking sound the ice machine sometimes makes. And skill in child survival is a must.

• We hear that it is standard practice for Art World Families to conduct extensive background checks on final candidates, and that signing a non-disclosure agreement is essential when hiring. We’ll just google you and ask for your last employer’s phone number to make sure you’re not a serial killer. We can also check your ability to sit through an entire episode of “Captain Underpants” to prove your psychological fortitude.

How to apply:

Submit a cover letter, resume and a list of three references (one could be your mom!). Also tell us what your favorite food is so we can stock the fridge. Finally, do you do Wordle? We have a vicious contest with my parents so any help to win would be great!