Lee Pitts: Don’t Do It Yourself
June 9, 2015
It seems like if you are anyone of significance these days you simply must have your very own personal assistant (PA). You know, someone to organize your closet, wrap your packages, run your errands, manage your life, pay your bills and offer lifestyle advice. Just think guys, having your own PA would be like having a get-out-of-jail-free card because you can send them to the store to buy your wife flowers to show how much you love her. (Just not enough to go to the florist to buy them yourself.)
It used to be that personal assistants and lifestyle managers were just for the rich who could not manage their own lives and were on "life support". These personal assistants used to be known as butlers, valets, servants, maids, concierges and slaves but now even poor people can have PAs, just as long as they have a smartphone.
According to a story in the Wall Street Journal this whole personal assistant thing started with something called UBER. Instead of hailing a cab in a big city all you do is call UBER and someone driving their own car, which could be an old Yugo or a used hearse, will pick you up and haul you to your destination. There are so many of these UBER free-lancers that the streets in New York are clogged with out-of-work humanities graduates trying to make a living as fake cab drivers.
This don't-do-it-yourself movement includes PAs who will wash your car, deliver pizza, park your car, be your therapist, and even doctors who will come to your home. All you do is dial them up on your phone. It seems there are only three requirements to be such a service provider: the business name must be cutesy, misspelled and written out in all CAPITAL LETTERS. Like WASHIO to do your laundry, SPOONROCKET, to make dinner, ZEEL to give you a massage, MUNCHERY to deliver munchies, DUFL to pack your suitcase, EAZE to fetch medical marijuana and SHYP to mail your packages. Although, if the folks at SHYP can't spell any better than that I have concerns your package may not end up getting to the right party.
All this is well and good, if you happen to live in big city where such services are available, but what about farmers, ranchers and other Agro-Americans who live in small towns? Don't we deserve our own personal assistants too? Granted, we don't have much need for mobile dry cleaners, car parkers or suitcase packers but there are other jobs we could use some help with now and then, like mucking out the barn, dusting the shop and hosing out the house. We need help managing our lives just as much as some New York City options trader.
I think we could keep more of our young people down on the farm with this idea if they would offer services like running for parts, preg checking, returning library books, tractor driving, feeding hay, pulling calves, spreading manure, and the household arts like cooking and cleaning.
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All these new rural service workers need is a catchy name for their companies. I'm thinking about businesses like SQUEEZE or YANK (relief milkers), COWBOYZ (day working cowboys), NOBULL (AI technicians), LONGARMZ (preg checkers), SCOOP&SCOOT or LOAD&GO (tallow works), ROVER (dog sitters), COWEATS (people to feed your cows for you on freezing winter days), and PULL (calving out heifers). I can easily see a spin-off for cattle taxis called UBERCOWZ. And for those anti-social ranchers who love to play poker and team rope but don't have any friends, just call IMAGINARYFRIEND.com.
Almost anyone has enough skills in at least one area that they could be someone's PA, and they wouldn't need a bank-breaking college diploma either. I read that some of these urban personal assistants can make between $25 and $500 an hour, the latter no doubt being a lawyer who arrives by UBER.
Initially, I was very excited about having my own personal assistant until, that is, I read how much they get paid. Then I conveniently remembered that I already have my very own personal assistant who works for next to nothing. I call her MYWIFE.