Art World Family. That’s the phrase that inspired me to click on the listing for an Executive Assistant position on NYFA’s classified listings (UPDATE: As of Friday, February 17, the listing has now been deleted, but good thing I kept this PDF as proof), curious about what this mysterious organization Art World Family was. I never heard of it before. Was it some sort of nonprofit for families in the art world, a notoriously low-paying (for most jobs), healthcare-less, and not exactly family-friendly industry? A childcare service? A program offering art education to families?
No. It was meant literally. A family of art monsters, to crib a phrase coined by Jenny Offill’s 2014 novel Dept. of Speculation that was recently used by Zadie Smith to describe Cate Blanchett’s Lydia Tár from the eponymous Oscar-baity film. My reference to Tár is not accidental. This job listing reads as if it was written by Lydia herself! Likely mid-insanity spiral! That plus a combination of other wealthy gargoyles of the big and small screen, from any of the Roys in Succession to Schitt’s Creek’s Moira Rose to The Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly to even, Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. Psycho being the operative word. This is the most nightmarish job listing I’ve ever seen in an art industry filled with nightmarish jobs. Just take a gander at some of the phrases used here that have never been uttered by a person in touch with reality, such as “dog systems” for “potty breaks, food, day care, dog walkers, vet appts.” You mean, caring for a dog? Tell me you don’t care for your dog without telling me you don’t care for your dog! And that’s before even reaching “closet systems.” So many systems so little time! Also notice that they make sure to let you know those stores from which you’ll be picking up clothes are “high end”! Classy!
What exactly is this job you ask? Well, here’s the easiest explanation: “The ideal candidate must be dedicated to a simple goal: make life easier for the couple in every way possible.” Upon further perusing, however, this job does not seem so simple, particularly after browsing the bullet-pointed list of every task you will do incorrectly and be vigorously yelled at for in your likely short time in this position! And how much will you be paid for these 5-6 jobs rolled into one role in which you’ll be expected to be on-call before and after work, as well as on weekends, to, well, edit all their photos if I’m understanding the mention of Photoshop correctly? $65,000-95,000 a year! Seems a bit measly if you ask me! Even with the two weeks of “built-in” vacation, which I assume means you’ll go on vacation with THEM and continue to work! It’s also not lost on me that there are a few grammatical errors here (I kept it as is): I mean, “discrete”? They should hire an Executive Copy Editor too! (I don’t volunteer).
Now, I already spent a good amount of time trying to wrack my brain to figure out who this Art World Family might be. And I haven’t come to any real conclusions. I suspect it might be someone with a lot of money who exists on the periphery of the art world, dabbling in it rather than a big name art star. Even the most obnoxious famous artists aren’t THIS ridiculous! But, I could be wrong! If any of you intrepid Filthy Dreams readers want to apply and report back before you have to sign that air-tight NDA, please do! We’ll buy you a drink! (UPDATE: I’m getting intel, secret and not-so-secret (see the comment below), that the listing is allegedly from Tom Sachs and Sarah Hoover).
The listing is extensive and rewards repeated reading in giggles of disbelief. It also unfolds like a blooming onion—many layers, all of them stink, and leave a bad taste in your mouth. It also reads like a genius piece of satire about the complete disassociation of the rich from everyone else’s everyday life and viewing the rest of us peons as servants to make their lives simpler. It’s a perfect unintentional parody that I already saved it as a PDF in case they ever take it down. So much so that I didn’t want to ruin the magic by overpowering it with too much of my own input. Instead, I’ve decided on the recommendation of my cousin to copy-paste the full listing as is with a dash of reaction GIFs for flavor.
So without further ado:
High profile art world family is seeking a full-time Executive/Personal Assistant who is extremely detail-oriented, has excellent communication skills, and possesses a professional demeanor with a high level of discretion.
Must have the ability to seamlessly juggle multiple priorities in a dynamic, unstructured environment and possess flexibility to change course at a moment’s notice. The ideal candidate must be dedicated to a simple goal: make life easier for the couple in every way possible.
- Manage all travel bookings and itineraries
- Liaise with external high-end travel vendors to coordinate domestic and international travel arrangements. Create detailed travel itineraries for family to follow and make last minute complex changes when needed. (This includes all aspects of business or personal travel i.e. cars, hotels, reservations, restaurant and personal activities, and airport escorts)
- Flag and arrange any international travel visa, health, or other requirements for travel when necessary.
- Manage travel family and Studio members when necessary.
- Provide support to family and team during both domestic and international travel, making any necessary changes and sharing updates throughout the trip.
- Make restaurant reservations and RSVP to events (in communication with Studio Manager)
- Coordinate and confirm personal appointments. Prepare family for anything they may need to do ahead of time. Submit and process all paperwork related to appointments
- Follow up on all appointments ahead of time to confirm or reschedule as necessary
- Send daily schedule rundowns and reminders
- Serve as the central point of communication to household staff (includes chef, nannies, landscapers, dog walkers, housekeeper, contractors, and building managers)
- Coordinate all cleaning, repairs, and guest stays
- Manage dog systems (potty breaks, food, day care, dog walkers, vet appts), and help Studio Assistant with in-studio cats
- Apartment rooftop garden maintenance; watering twice a week, checking in to check on garden
- Run home-related errands around Manhattan and Brooklyn (Ex: dry cleaning, dropoff/pickup clothing from high end stores, purchase gifts, grocery shopping, FedEx drop offs/pickups, delivering gifts to friends residences, etc.)
- Coordinate deliveries at private residence while maintaining a high level of respect for privacy
- Be at residences to let approved messengers in and out when needed
- Coordinate schedules and payments for personal and home invoices with external accounting team
- Keep private family documents up to date and organized (e.g. passport renewals, birth certificates, global entry forms, drivers licenses, etc.)
- Manage online subscriptions
- Manage IT needs (phones, iPads, computers) with Organizational Officer.
- Pack for travel
- Organize closet systems
- Setup and oversee libraries reorganization
- Work with Studio to help with ad hoc studio tasks (e.g. event planning and setup, studio organization, studio tours)
- Maintain guest lists for openings and events. Provide clean and updated list to Studio Manager ahead of exhibitions
- Draft thank you notes when necessary
- Assist Organizational Officer and Studio Manager with Studio parties and events
- Answer phones and greet guests
- Put together presentations and PowerPoint decks for work and personal projects
- Make in person and online purchases (i.e. shopping, subscriptions, show tickets, etc.)
- Draft external correspondences for review
- Assist in content creation for social media
- Manage all medical need requests
- Must be comfortable with children as the family has a four year old child. You will be in their personal residence spending a lot of time with nanny and child. Sometimes left with the child alone. Flexible to be on call outside of the 10am-6pm workday. Will have to answer messages and take care of tasks before and after work, as well as occasionally on weekends
- Must be extremely discrete and professional in all communications
- Must have a valid driver’s license and be comfortable driving in and out of New York City (Ex: to Long Island)
- Some out-of-state or international travel may be required
- Knowledge of the art and fashion world is a plus!
- Bachelor’s degree preferred or 2+ years of administrative or personal assistant experience. Proficiency in Google Suite (Sheets, Docs, Slides)
- Proficiency with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator a plus
- Final candidate will be subjected to background checks and a non-disclosure agreement must be signed upon hire
To apply, please submit 1-page cover letter, 1-page resume, list of 3 professional references, and something of your choosing that gives us a sense of your personality. Submit all application materials via email with “Executive Assistant” as the subject.
All very clever, but the author would not qualify as an “Executive Copy Editor.”