My New Executive Assistant It's Monday morning, a new week, and my first day without my longtime personal assistant, Mrs. Alvarez, who had her retirement party last Friday. We'd been together for fifteen years and her departure was a real loss for me ... she knew me better than anyone, my ex-wife, my current romantic interest, my best friend ... anyone. So well that she could finish my sentences and anticipate my every need ... well almost every need! But she deserved her retirement, spending more time with her husband of forty years, doing some traveling, doting on her grandchildren, and just having some time to herself for a change. And now it's time for me to select a new assistant. HR has been screening candidates and three of them are supposed to come in to interview with me today. I actually think HR is a little scared, since I ... umm, how should I say this? ... am considered kind of old school ... an old fat (and getting fatter) white guy who is occasionally a little politically incorrect. Don't get the wrong impression of me, however. I'm politically moderate and over the years have fostered the careers of a great many women and minorities. And back in my early days in the company I was thought of as kind of a dangerous liberal, always wanting to change things, like pressing the executives of that day to embrace diversity. But I am a product of my time and do occasionally, albeit unintentionally, come across the wrong way, particularly to the young folks in the company whom I suspect see me as some type of Neanderthal (a well fed one at that). I've been at work for a couple of hours now and look down at my watch -- it's two minutes of 10 and my first interviewee is due any second now. And almost on cue, one of the corporate HR drones (they all look and act alike, like they are the ones who should really be running the company) appears in my doorway with an attractive young woman in tow. The HR drone introduces the young woman as Pam Thomas and my initial impression of Pam is quite favorable. Kind of a strawberry blond, nice round face but of fairly trim (but not too trim) build, and a sweet hint of a Southern accent (old school Virginia if I'm not mistaken). But most important, she is confident, articulate, and seemingly quite smart, so much so I think she should probably be interviewing for junior executive rather than executive assistant. As we talk, I ask none of the prepared questions I'm supposed to. Instead, I have her tell me about herself and her ambitions. Turns out she is from Virginia and went to a women's school there, and I lament the demise of single-sex colleges and express my relief that there are still a few left out there, as I believe they have a place in our educational system. And I share fond memories of visiting her old school on road trips back when I was in college (and think back to one particular young woman from that school whom I dated for a few months many years ago). She tells me that boys from nearby colleges still take road trips to her old school and that her fianc� is a guy she first met on just such a visit. Although she is 30 (the same age as one of my kids), it turns out they were together for a couple of years in college, then drifted apart as graduation neared, but then reconnected years later when she "finally captured him." Now they are set to wed in twelve months. I'm thinking he is a most fortunate young man indeed. After about fifteen minutes of conversation, Pam gives me a look of exasperation and mutters, "shoot ... I have something for you and almost forgot to give it to you ... hope it's not too presumptuous of me ..." She reaches into the big bag she is carrying and retrieves a familiar-looking box. I smile and say, "someone has obviously done her homework!" She grins back and admits, "I looked you up on LinkedIn and something about your picture just told me that you're a big donut fan!" Then she looks a little uncomfortable and clarifies, "I didn't mean to say 'big' ..." "That's OK Pam! I am a fat man and I love Krispy Kreme's ... in fact, my old girlfriend from your old school and I used to go to the Krispy Kreme every time I visited town." "Really? You know that Krispy Kreme is still there!" "Hmmm, I'll have to remember that the next time I'm in town there!" Pam hands me the box and I open it, finding the very same chocolate frosted creme-filled donuts that I always enjoyed with my old college flame Lorna. I take one and push the open box back to Pam, asking if she would like one. "No thanks," she says, "gotta watch my weight or I won't fit in my wedding dress." "So all for me, I guess." "Yes, all for you," she says with a sly grin. Then adds, "and more where that came from ... if you hire me for the job." Just then the HR drone darkens my doorway, to take young Pam away, and I tell her, "I've made my decision, you can cancel the other interviews." Pam smiles from ear-to-ear and the HR drone gives me a withering glare, so to emphasize the finality of the matter, I repeat, "I've made my decision," and stand and shake Pam's hand and ask, "when can you start Miss Thomas?"