Thursday, August 03, 2006

so- what do you do?

I get asked this question a lot, and usually- during the summer, at least- the answer is: not much.
This week is shaping up to be an exception, though.
Rather than give you the quick, cocktail hour response to what I do, I thought I'd show you. This way I'm also creating one of the infamous lists I cannot live without.
Two birds with one stone.

First, the facts:

Who: Alexis Stember (that would be me).
What: Administrative Assistant.
When: I've been at my job for 1 1/2 years.
Where: BBDO Worldwide, a mid-town agency.
Why: Cool your horses- I'm getting there.

BBDO, which stands for George Batten agency and Barton, Durstine & Osborn, is a huge agency that's been around since 1928. We have offices in every major city in the world and are part of the enormous umbrella company, Omnicom. BBDO is headquartered here in New York and our major clients are Pepsi (all products except Diet Pepsi, which went to another Omnicom agency, DDB), Frito-Lay (yup, lots of chips and junk food around here), Mars (which means Snickers and M&M's- you can imagine what our vending machines look like), General Electric, E*Trade, Fed-Ex, Cingular, so on and so forth.

The company is split into various departments.

There is the creative department, which comes up with the ad concepts and copy (script).
There is the account team, which represents the interests of the client and acts as a liaison to both creatives and producers.
There is the audio/visual department, which burns DVD's and sets up decks (similar to videotape players) and TV's.
There is transportation, which is in charge of reimbursing people for work expenses and sending the records to our accounting department.
There is Carlson Travel, which is our in-house travel agency.

There are may other departments, one of which is the Radio and TV production department.

The production department is responsible for putting together budgets, making deals with vendors, scheduling shoots, hiring talent, overseeing edits, and ensuring that there is a finished spot (ad) the end of the day.

There are roughly 56 people working in production, all of whom need assistants.
That's where I- administrative assistant extraordinaire- come in.

Each assistant has a handful of producers they are responsible for.
Until this week, I had eight.
Due to a staff turnaround, I am temporarily down to six.

So today, my to do list includes:
1. Process 60 SAG contracts
This involves entering actors' names and information into a database, which then produces a report that goes through a system of checks and approvals before coming back to me to be separated, photocopied, and dropped or filed.
2. Do a trip report
Pretty self-explanatory. Today I will take all the receipts from an LA shoot one of my producers just returned from and break down his expenses on an Excel sheet which will then go to department heads and clients before being returned to me for copying, filing, and dropping. Finally, I'll go to transportation to pick up the money the agency owes him.
3. Do two local reports
The process is the same as a trip report, except it's for work done- you guessed it- locally.
4. Create calendar
There are three spots that will be shot in the next month that need to be broken down and scheduled on a single page, color-coded calendar so my producer doesn't lose his mind half-way between London and Jalpur.
4. Attendance
Yup, you heard right. This is my least favorite part of my job. I have to know where all my guys are all the time so we can reach them if necessary. When I calll, I pretend to be their annoyingly possessive girlfriend to keep it entertaining.
5. Write up purchase orders
I write purchase orders for incoming invoices, make sure they get signed by both buyer and vendor, make two copies, and file and drop with our business managers for payment.
6. Distribute mail, messenger packages, and answer phones.
You can figure that out.
7. Waste time on blog (thanks, Rick).

More will come up as I go but that's what I know is on the plate today, and now you know what I do.

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