The Brains Behind the Glamour: How Personal Assistants (PAs) … Steal the Show in ‘Sex and the City’

Sex and the City or Sex in the City?

What if I told you that Snow White’s Wicked stepmother never uttered, ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall’, Darth Vader didn’t say, ‘Luke, I am your father’, or that the Monopoly Man never wore a monocle? 

In the sea of pop culture, exists moments of collective misremembering that challenge our shared reality. These instances are known as the Mandela Effect, referring to a psychological phenomenon where a large group of people recall an event or image differently from historical records. It was named after the false, shared memory that Nelson Mandela died in prison in the 1980s. 

For years, fans and sceptics alike debated the title of the iconic franchise ‘Sex and the City’, following four best friends as they navigate the concrete jungle of New York City. Whilst most people do remember the name to be ‘Sex and the City’, many insist that the title was in fact ‘Sex in the City’. Much merchandise points to the former, yet multiple archive articles protest the latter and we are none the wiser as to which is genuinely correct. 

The debate has evolved into a full-blown internet conspiracy, with numerous YouTube videos and online threads discussing the validity of this shared memory. Whether you proudly declare yourself a ‘Sex and the City’ advocate, or firmly stand by ‘Sex in the City’, the dispute might seem frivolous. But nonetheless, allow me to throw a new contender in the mix: Introducing ‘Secs in the City’!

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Secs in the City: The Unsung Hero of Carrie Bradshaw’s World

In the fashionable universe of Sex and the City where cosmopolitans flow freely and love is a never-ending quest, one character remains firmly behind-the scenes. Louise from St. Louis, played by Jennifer Hudson, is the trusty Personal Assistant aka PA or Private PA to iconic Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) in the first film of the franchise. Louise’s role is crucial to the smooth-running of Bradshaw’s chaotic and glamorous life, yet so quietly impactful that it almost goes unnoticed!

Whilst we might feel worlds away from Carrie Bradshaw with her glitzy Upper East Side apartment and endless collection of designer pieces, Louise’s character highlights that even the most  successful, sophisticated and independent of people might need a helping hand.

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Carrie Bradshaw’s Search for the PA-rfect Assistant:

Louise is hired after Bradshaw’s tragic jilting at the altar, to re-organise her life and oversee her transition back to being single. Bradshaw interviews various people in a Starbucks, where it becomes clear that they all exhibit a stronger interest in emulating her career than helping with its organisation.  One girl, wearing bold, large-framed glasses on her head even says, ‘No. I do not lift boxes. Definitely no. I would love a career in fashion’. 

Bradshaw’s immediate eyeroll, following this remark, spotlights how the personal assistant role is not merely an easy steppingstone to a different career choice. To be a PA is a career path in itself, one that offers a clear trajectory for personal growth and the opportunity to take on more responsibilities as you advance. 

As for Louise, her lack of personal assistant experience was made up for by her ‘can do’ attitude, where she was tasked with managing Bradshaw’s schedule, unpacking her apartment, arranging her vast shoe collection, and providing emotional support, taking each responsibility in her stride. And the result? To put it in Carrie Bradshaw’s words, ‘after three days, I began to think of her as Saint Louise from St. Louis!’   Knightsbridge Recruitment’s mission is for all employers to view their PAs as saints. As the unsung heroes waving their magic wands and sprinkling an enchanting dust of efficiency over their boss’s lives. 

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PA Power: The Real-Life Heroes Behind the Carrie Bradshaws of the Business World

As we bid farewell to the whirlwind of Carrie Bradshaw’s life, we are reminded of the real-world value of personal assistants. These unsung heroes are the guardians of our time, the keepers of our sanity, and much like Louise was for Carrie, they can be our greatest asset in the journey of work and life. Typical duties that PAs can assist with include: 
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Communication

A Personal Assistant is an ambassador.  As primary point of contact for their principal, they screen and manage emails, handle phone calls and maintain effective communication with internal and external parties. They are responsible for maintaining a database of contacts, managing social interactions, and building a rapport with their principal’s essential connections.

Calendar and Schedule Management

PAs efficiently manage their principal’s daily schedule and coordinate appointments whether it’s organising a civilised lunch at Daphne’s, a swanky Sexy Fish dinner, or a stylish event in one of the beautiful private dining rooms that Mayfair has to offer.  Personal assistants will see to the detail, resulting in the seamless coordination of their principal’s business and social lives.

Property Management

Personal Assistants oversee all matters relating to a property portfolio, whether UK or international, taking charge of maintenance, renovations, utilities and liaison with contractors.  PAs sometimes travel ahead of their boss to ensure everything is organised in the property, whether in Gstaad, Portofino, The Hamptons, The Seychelles or Ibiza.
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Travel Arrangements

Personal Assistants arrange complex international and domestic travel itineraries. From a jam-packed business trip in Tokyo, to a romantic anniversary getaway to the Amalfi Coast, or even a relaxing stay at the Six Senses in the Maldives, your personal assistant can organise the flights (including private jets and helicopters), accommodation and transportation.

Domestic Staff

PAs often manage teams of domestic staff, whether in London, the countryside or overseas to ensure the smooth running of the properties. They can coordinate your chauffeur to swiftly scoop you up from the airport and transport you to a delicious gourmet meal, carefully prepared by your chef, to be enjoyed with friends as your nanny plays games with your children.
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Event Coordination

Personal Assistants plan and coordinate family events, special occasions, dinner parties, weekends and holiday invitations. Whether you desire a day out in a private box at Goodwood Festival of Speed with an abundance of champagne, or you’d like to host your own, Hollywood themed birthday party from the comfort of your own home, PAs are able to assist.
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Art Collection

PAs can help with the expansion of an art collection, researching pieces of interest, liaising with galleries and even bidding on their principal’s behalf at auctions in order to secure the Jackson Pollock of their dreams.  Personal Assistants can also catalogue collections, organise insurance and complex international transportation.

Tutoring Support

If you share the widespread parental concerns about your children getting into their dream school (or perhaps … your dream school), personal assistants are often well-educated graduates who can assist with homework and tutoring. 

Finance

Personal Assistants are expected to be totally discreet and are trusted with confidential information, assisting with financial transactions, bank account reconciliations, expenses and even liaison with financial advisers. With the support of a PA, you can confidently navigate your financial complexities in the knowledge that they are being handled with precision and prudence.
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Document Management

PAs are expected to organise and maintain confidential documents, files, and records – whether in physical or digital formats. They can meticulously categorise, store, and retrieve your documents resulting in a seamless workflow, leaving you with more time for important matters and less time searching for lost files.

Purchasing Designer Items

Personal assistants can optimise their principal’s valuable time by coordinating with their personal shopper at Cartier, examining their new collection of jewels, or scooping up the latest Victoria Beckham bag before it flies off the shelf. Whether it’s the purchase of items for personal use, or for gifting friends and family, personal assistants can get to know their boss’ taste, saving them valuable time.

Personal Errands

In your busy schedule, where no two days are the same, it might feel like you are drowning in a sea of responsibilities. However, Personal Assistants can see to ad-hoc errands from picking up your vintage Jean Paul Gaultier dress from the seamstress, altered to fit you like a glove, to taking your adorable labrador for a walk around the Gloucestershire countryside. 
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So, let Louise’s pivotal role in ‘Sex and the City’ be a reminder of the magic that personal assistants can bring, making their boss’ life more organised, efficient, and ultimately more rewarding and glamorous!  
Knightsbridge Recruitment is renowned for our intelligent, very personal and totally discreet approach to recruiting highly skilled and experienced Personal Assistants for our clients.  It is our commitment to finding the right ‘fit’ that ensures your PA becomes an indispensable part of your life.   Please contact us if you are recruiting a Personal Assistant or any level of support staff.
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