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Top Ten Ways to Deal With a Diva

Jul 30, 2008
People want to know what's it really like to work for a diva, or anyone who is rich and famous? For the most part, it's actually a lot of fun, and not full of as much drama as people think. It's terrific to have the opportunity to work in a beautiful home or estate; to fly on private jets; attend amazing parties and events; and support a celebrity in doing whatever they do best. It's a privilege to work for people you admire - if you really do admire them, that is.

Many people look at celebrities as having no talent and being overly demanding. True, but this depends on each person. Nowadays the word celebrity is often used to describe a self-centered, publicity hungry non-talent, i.e. Paris Hilton. But celebrities are also comprised of scores of talented people from all walks of life. Celebrities like Bill Gates, Al Gore, Paul McCartney, Princess Diana, or His Holiness the Dalai Lama are famous for what they've contributed to humanity. These celebrities attract people who want to work with them precisely because of what they're famous for.

Talented or not, celebrities still can be arduous on the people around them, especially the person closest to them: the celebrity personal assistant. Over the years I've met and gotten to know a lot of assistants, and heard countless stories about the divas they work for. Divas can be from all walks of life, not just celebritydom. Your mother-in-law, that pesky college professor, the egomaniacal girlfriend, your crazy relatives. The list is endless.

Here's a look at my top ten ways to deal with a diva:

1. Before you begin to interact with the diva in question, thank yourself for making it this far without either poisoning their food or pushing them off a cliff. I commend your level of restraint.

2. Keep your sense of humor. Bursts of laughter for no reason are a great way to relief the tension in the room.

3. Don't take anything personally. Let everything roll off your back. Of course, if you do this instead going into your usual panic mode, this will totally alarm the diva and render them harmless.

4. If you can't take it anymore, speak to the one person who can do something about the situation. Whining to your best friend is a nice start.

5. Take up kick boxing or self defense karate classes. This will prepare you for anything!

6. Learn a foreign language that the diva doesn't understand and conduct all communications with them in that language. Esigente di persona!

7. Show up dressed in identical clothes as the diva. Who's the diva now? Take that!

8. Call up the diva's friends and tell them the diva has invited them to a party. When they all show up at the house dressed to the nines at the non-party with no food or alcohol in sight (heaven forbid!), blame it on the diva's fragile state of mental health. Suggest they all sign a petition to get the diva committed to the closest psycho ward.

9. The best way to deal with a diva is to ignore them.

10. If you've followed all the advice above (and your diva happens to be your boss), I'd suggest you start looking for another job at night and on weekends.
About the Author
Shelley G. Anderson is the personal assistant to self-help author Louise L. Hay, and writes the column Dear Miss Know It All. She is the author of Dealing With Divas: A Survivor's Kit for the Celebrity Personal Assistant (or Anyone with a Pushy Boss). To learn more about her, visit Dealing with Divas.
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