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ABCs of DWP (F to J) II
The tenures of Miranda Priestly's assistants were notorious for their brevity there was a forgettable list of names of potential assistants that had not even survived the interrogation from her never mind survive the Starbucks, Hermes, and Calvin Klein endurance course. Those that lasted through the multitude of demands that Miranda could dictate at all hours of the day would elevate the definition of multi-tasking to a new level. Although it was true that after a year working for Miranda Priestly, you could get a position at any magazine, it was always noted that the longest-lasting of Miranda's assistants took positions at other Runway departments before eventually moving on.
Of course, Emily seemed to have been the exception to the one year rule; this being her second going on third year -- she had yet to be able to find someone to last long enough in Miranda's presence to become the necessary and competent second assistant that would eventually replace herself. Much as she was able to finally enjoy Paris Fashion Week, she couldn't help but wonder at the twist of fate that had seen the last (truly) competent second assistant leave (quit!) while in Paris... The fact that Emily was thinking about the possible end of her tenure as the first assistant to Miranda Priestly was not a surprise to herself; even though she loved her job (or so she told herself) and worshiped Miranda Priestly as the leading arbiter of Fashion, Emily was fully aware that she could not spend the rest of her life chasing after the dreams of others.
There were any number of occasions where Miranda entertained the idea of being able to freeze Irv Ravitz into a statue for the sheer benefit of no longer having to hear his grating whine within any proximity to her. Did he not understand what it took to maintain the standards of Runway demanded consistent perfection? None of which could happen by his slap-dash efforts of budgetary cuts and 'borrowing' from other publications. Runway led, it did not follow; not while Miranda Priestly had anything to say about it.
Although she never said as much, her unblinking stare had succeeded in getting Irv to stop describing his latest efforts, his voice petering out into nothingness. She imagined cutting Irv off at the knees and leaving this aggravation for someone else to deal with, but knew that as much as much as he would bluster and shout through a situation, she'd be able to parry his clumsy jibes and make the situation suit her own purposes.
On some days, what others would have believed to be Emily's arrogant behaviour, Andy would have chalked up to Emily just being herself. When given a seemingly endless task list, niceties tended to fall to the wayside and time was of the essence. When efficiency and competency was prized much more than the pleasant social behaviours that might have gotten you through the door, the decisions were quickly made, and the chips would fall as they were.
Even after her time at Runway, Andy had not been able to forget the brisk manner of tackling a task list -- an orderly delineation of ranked importance, demands made and favours returned, and so on through the day. She might not have been barking orders into her phone like Emily did, but she finally understood how Emily's abruptness would be seen as arrogance.
Sometimes a last minute substitution worked even better than the original selection. This was not applicable to Andy Sachs' choice of an onion bagel instead of plain, but it could be considered applicable to Andy Sachs as a whole instead of any other of the so-called 'misfortunates' that had been slated to be seen by Elias-Clark HR that morning.
She broke the rules and unspoken expectations because she'd not known about them. It mattered little if she had to change directions midway three times, because there were no preconceived notions that she framed her life in.
It was this flexibility that Miranda Priestly sought -- the ability to jump outside of the box and not be afraid to take a risk. Self-imposed barriers did not interest her, but they certainly seemed to hinder creative thought from her staff.
In between the first phone call from Miranda with a list of things to do even before coming into Runway that morning, and checking in with Emily while she zipped through the doors at Starbucks, Andy often felt that her ears would burn from the permanent press of the smartphone. It was an interesting set of opposites: crisp, curt instructions from Miranda that she'd hear but not process at the crack of dawn, while Emily's diatribes more resembled an uncontrolled litany of potential woes even before Miranda had stepped foot in the office.
Some days would slow just enough that Emily's words would imprint themselves as more than another set of disasters to resolve before Miranda offered to terminate careers via the front doors of Elias-Clark. As time passed, it became almost instinctual to be able to pull together possibilities and solutions even as Emily began her own run-through of the daily schedules.
Even after Runway, Andy Sachs would miss that first morning phone call. There had been no disapproval, or admonishment attached to the tasks, and if it meant that Miranda Priestly's voice was the first she heard at dawn, she'd come to accept it as part of her daily routine. Even though she work up a little bit later now (the news stopped for no one, no matter how lowly), that sense of anticipation on hearing Miranda's voice had never really gone away.
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