Unusual tasks your VA can handle
Jun 21 – Written By Stephanie Sheargold
Unusual tasks your VA can handle
If you’ve read, watched or even heard about “The Devil Wears Prada”, you’ll know all about the
outrageous demands placed on the naïve yet eager assistant Andy Sachs. We’re happy to
report that life as a VA isn’t normally as all-consuming; none of our clients are as insistent or
rude as the fictitiously fearsome Miranda Priestly. That said, we know VAs do come across
some pretty unusual tasks from time to time. Variety is the spice of life and makes our jobs all
the more interesting. Here are some of the best that the Timpi team have heard about.
The weird and wonderful world of the rich and Famous
The rich and famous are renowned for slightly bonkers requests. Here are just a handful of
“And RSVP ‘Yes’ To Michael Kors’ Party, I Want The Driver To Drop Me Off At 9:30 And Pick
Me Up At 9:45 Sharp.”
OK, so this is from the fictitious Miranda Priestly, but we love the fact that despite the fact it’s
startlingly rude, it is actually beautifully easy to accommodate. The fact this book is based on
fact makes us assume it’s a genuine request. Amazing!
“Absolutely no carnations.”
Katy Perry loves fresh flowers in her dressing room, apparently. But not just any old flowers
because giving her carnations in her bouquets is an enormous no-no. It might be super-specific,
but again, it’s easy to accommodate.
“No crew members called Justin.”
Not so easy to deal with here. Yes, we understand why Selena Gomez would prefer not to be
reminded of her ex, Justin Bieber, but by specifying the names of her crew members, is she
taking it too far?
“Don’t forget teddy!”.
Even the rich and famous have their softer side. One assistant had to arrange for a forgotten
teddy bear to be chauffeured to a very well-known pop star’s hotel room. We don’t know any
more than that; it’s reassuring to know confidentiality reigns supreme.
Creative Business Support
Business support isn’t just about bookkeeping, email management and booking flights.
Supporting busy business owners can mean VAs encounter all sorts of unusual requests.
“We need two penguins for a business pitch in two days’ time.”
We heard about one assistant who was tasked with finding a couple of the aquatic birds to
accompany a very exacting and creative business pitch. Amazingly, a request like this is easier
to deal with than you might expect… there are a range of animal actors and specially trained guest
creatures would be happy to oblige. The only problem with this request is the timeframe. A week
or so would mean a better choice of penguins to choose from and the chances of a better price
“I forgot his birthday!”
You’ve had a heck of a month in the business, and it’s your partner’s birthday tomorrow. Help!
Asking your VA to help you buy gifts is a fairly standard request, and yes, we’re happy to
accommodate any request. And to take the heat off, we can also book a table at a lovely
restaurant for you and your partner, making sure the maître d’ knows you’re celebrating a
special birthday. Brownie points on tap!
All the knowledge without the effort.
Too little time and too much to do? We heard of one client who asked their VA to watch a series
of documentaries on their behalf and then summarise the most important details for them to use
in an upcoming talk. Perhaps the most interesting take on this is that those people you assume
manage to fit so much in, actually just know how to get others to help them. No-one is a
superhero, they just have an incredible team on their side.
Not happy with an employee’s performance but can’t conjure up the time or energy to fire them
yourself? We know of more than one assistant who’s been asked to fire employees by their
client. Talk about being the bearer of bad news!
Labour-saving lifestyle requests
Lifestyle concierge normally focuses on helping out with those tasks our clients just can’t fit into
their days. That said, for every grocery order we place and after school club we book, there’s
always the possibility of a more unusual request.
“Can you bring me my bikini? We’re in the Caribbean.”
Yes, hand-delivering a forgotten item of clothing or prized accessory direct to a holiday location
is the kind of thing some of our VAs would love! Realistically though, we’d suggest couriering
the prized beachwear to its owner… it would be less pricey and get to the beach more quickly.
“I need someone to pedicure my parrot.”
Pet-specific requests can be wild and wonderful. We’ve heard of assistants who have been
asked to arrange an Uber to collect a cat from the vets after an operation, those who have had
to arrange pedicures for prized parrots and even had to head over to their clients’ homes to clip
a cat’s nails. Pet-care requests are fairly common, so we have our network of specialist pet-
groomers, vets and dog walkers on speed dial.
“Block her from my Insta.”
Social media accounts can cause all sorts of problems. So, you might not be surprised to hear
that VAs are often asked to block past acquaintances from their clients’ social media accounts.
It’s certainly one way of making your life easier and stress-free. We’d be happy to oblige.
Curious about putting our team of experienced VAs to the test? We’re happy to oblige with
practically any request – there’s very little that fazes us. Book in a call and we’ll be happy to
chat things through with you.