Intimidated By An 11-year-old
Jeff Lewis admits to being impressed by his 11-year-old client.
There is something strangely familiar about Erin Lassner, my 11-year-old Encino client. She is tough, strong-willed, direct, and sometimes completely inflexible. She reminds me of someone, but I can't quite place it. I respect her intensity and passion which made me want to spend time with her and take her "under my wing." The first day we met, she requested a one-on-one meeting to discuss her bedroom. I had never had a consultation with an 11-year old and found the idea amusing. I indulged her request and set up the meeting. She arrived with a file full of pictures and ideas. She must have put in hours and hours of researching. Needless to say, I was impressed. This girl was a trip. I could not believe she was only 11 years old. In fact, for weeks I was convinced she was a little person but deemed it inappropriate to ask. The night she left me the stern phone message, I realized she was indeed 11 years old and probably the child I never knew I had. She was disappointed with the paint samples and apparently couldn't wait until the next day to tell me. I received her message just before 9 p.m. when she should have been in bed. She used her father's cell phone probably fearing she would get caught if she used the house phone. She was sly about it, which again impressed me. I did eventually find a color scheme that satisfied her and for the moment she is content. We are supposed to continue to shop for bedding and window coverings for her bedroom and I expect it to be very entertaining. After just a short time working with Erin, I realize I have found my next assistant, or maybe she has found hers.
At home, its obvious that the job of house assistant is starting to wear on Chris Keslar. He seems discouraged, but I have been trying to give him more project management and design-related tasks. He just isn't moving up the ladder as fast as he expected and that has bred a storm of negativity and entitlement. I expect everyone who works for me to pay their dues like I did. There will be no more free rides at Jeff Lewis' office. I worked very hard for everything I have accomplished and I expect my employees to do the same. No exceptions. I have been trying to keep things a little lighter by joking with him, but my admittedly strange sense of humor is lost on him. Even Zoila has joined in the teasing, but I am afraid he just is not used to our casual and slightly unprofessional working environment. I haven't given up on him though. He is a very hard worker and it may take some time but I think when he becomes more comfortable and familiar with our work style he will fit in nicely.
Next week look forward to a triple threat of unexpected surprises.