Personal Assistant

I am currently looking for a personal assistant. I am open to two different types of people:

  • Someone just to do household work but no office tasks, either M-F, weekends, or both. On M-F, I would need you to start at 8 a.m., on weekends at 9 a.m.
  • Someone who can do both household and office tasks, either M-F, weekends, or both. On M-F, I would need you to start at 8 a.m., on weekends at 9 a.m. For office tasks, I need someone who is exceptionally good at computers, very logical and intelligent.

Please read the entire page carefully. If you are interested, please answer the questions listed at the bottom and send them to me at You would not believe the number of people in the past that applied who would write back saying they were interested but they had not read the entire page. Please be certain to include your full name, telephone numbers, when you are available, several photos, and a copy of your resume (if you have one). Again, please read this page carefully. Thanks!

About Me

Professionally I am founder and CEO of a company that publishes legal Web sites ( Our focus is on legal information sites, where we make referrals of clients to attorneys in exchange for a referral fee. To date, we have launched approximately 50 Web sites, both legal and non-legal. For about 3.5 years, this has primarily been a software development project involving seven different information systems, although in the meantime we have landed some good cases. I am planning on officially launching this company within the next 45 days.

I also run a “high end??? social group in Boston. I have more than 6000 people on my invitation list. I give large cocktail parties for about 500 people at Back Bay hotels, medium sized cocktail parties at Bar 10, Great Bay, Davio’s, 33 restaurant and the Hotel Intercontinental, and smaller parties at the Four Seasons Hotel and Davio’s. I also send out invitations for high end charity events such as the Boston Public Library galas and the Winter Ball. Some of the people reading this page may want to be invited to the parties. If so, please sign up on our Web site.

I am also active as an essayist, writing essays on politics, economics, political economics, law, computers, business, knowledge management, time management, and dating and romance. If you want to know more about me, see my biography.

Housekeeping Responsibilities

  • Arriving at 8 a.m. every work day, assuming you are working M-F
  • Making breakfast
  • Washing dishes, cleaning up the kitchen
  • Making the bed
  • Washing clothes
  • Cleaning the apartment
  • Food shopping
  • Running errands

In addition, at a minimum there would be a few office tasks to do:

  • Making telephone calls
  • Sending emails on my behalf

Housekeeping Requirements

For someone who is primarily performing housekeeping duties:

  • Excellent English language skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • High level of personal responsibility — You show up on time, you return telephone calls and e-mails quickly, you are not a flake, you are not a space cadet
  • You must have a cell phone.
  • You should live close to Back Bay. (That’s where I live.) I have learned that if someone does not live nearby, inevitably they are not able to show up at 8 a.m.
  • Willingness to commit to this position for at least six months
  • Nonsmoker.


These are the requirements if you are doing both household and office tasks:

  • Excellent English language skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • High level of personal responsibility — You show up on time, you return telephone calls and e-mails quickly, you are not a flake, you are not a space cadet
  • You must have a cell phone.
  • You should live reasonably close to Back Bay.
  • Ideally you should have some experience with the Windows operating system. I have no particular interest in training a Mac user in how to use a PC.
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Willingness to commit to this position for at least one year
  • Nonsmoker.

Personal Computers

For office tasks, you will be using a Windows personal computer that I have.

Cell Phone

You must have a cell phone and you need to answer your phone. I am not looking for someone who is difficult to reach. I am looking for someone with low cost of interaction.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate would be a college or graduate student who lives near Back Bay and will be in Boston for at least a year. A musician, writer, artist or similar type who wants steady income would also be a good fit.

Work Hours

In either case, I am looking for someone who can start at 8 a.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. on weekends. For the housekeeping portion, a significant part of the job is helping me get started in the morning — making breakfast, basic cleanup, getting organized for the day. To the extent you do not arrive at 8 a.m., that just sets me back and I am less productive, and if you cause me to be less productive, why am I hiring you?

Those starting times are totally inflexible, it is essential that you be able to arrive no later than 8 am on weekends, or 9 am on weekends. I have had good people in the past that always arrived late and I had to let them go.

Where You Live

Ideally you would work a few hours each day, starting at 8 a.m. on weekdays. (If you’re also doing office tasks, you would work more than a few hours a day.) This is why I am looking for someone who lives near Back Bay, so that your commute is short. Being able to arrive at 8 a.m. prompt each day is essential. In the past, I have tried people who live too far from Back Bay and they assure me they can make it to Back Bay every day by 8 a.m., and it simply did not happen. The primary reasons were that they got tired of the commute or traffic or MBTA delays. So I am no longer willing to take this risk any more, since I am not looking to replace someone three months from now. Ideally you will be able to walk to my apartment, but if not, you can reach my apartment via the Green line.


I am also interested in finding someone who can work weekends. They would start around 9 a.m. rather than 8 a.m. If you’re interested in the weekend job, please clearly indicate so in your e-mail. IF you want to work seven days a week, that is fine with me, as long as you can really do this and not burn yourself out.


You can view my Facebook profile at If you are on Facebook, please send me a friend request, which you can do at or by sending a friend request to Reading your Facebook profile give me a better sense of you as a person, rather than your just being a random applicant. If you want to know more about me, the best thing to do is to visit; that will tell you a lot more than my Facebook profile.


As I mentioned above, I run the most successful high end social group in the history of Boston. If you’re interested in attending my parties and you believe you would fit in at high end social events in Back Bay, please apply for membership.

Essays to Read

I am looking for someone highly reliable, with a high level of personal responsibility, someone who is not rude or is a flake. You should read:

If You Are Interested

If you are interested, please send me an e-mail at As file attachments, please send me:

  • Resume
  • Writing sample if you have one (the less academic, the better)
  • Several photos — Face and full body shots.

When you send resumes, writing samples, and photos, please send them as attachments, rather than referring me to a Web link. Links such as Flickr, Facebook, Photo Share, Google Docs, etc. often do not work the way they are supposed to and it is a lot easier for me just to open an attachment.

In your e-mail, please copy and paste the following questions and then answer them. Questions with a * after them are intended for secretarial applicants, but in all cases, please answer them, so I can get a sense of your secretarial skills.

  1. What is your full name?
  2. Please list all of your telephone numbers, which number is best, and the best time to call you.
  3. Desired compensation per hour. Please give me a number.
  4. What are your travel plans?
  5. Part or all of this job involves housekeeping and cleaning. How do you feel about that?
  6. How old are you?
  7. Are you looking to work weekdays? If so, can you work every day, Monday through Friday? Can you be at my Back Bay apartment by 8 a.m. every morning?
  8. Are you looking to work weekends? If so, can you work both Saturday and Sunday? Can you be at my Back Bay apartment by 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday?
  9. Where do you live?
  10. How long is your commute to Back Bay?
  11. How would you get to Back Bay? Walking? MBTA?
  12. How many hours per week can you work?
  13. Which days and times are you not available?
  14. Do you have kids? If so, how many and how old are they? Who takes care of the kids?
  15. What other commitments (work and personal) do you have? What else is going on in your life?
  16. Can you commit to this job for at least six months?
  17. How soon can you start?
  18. Do you have a car? This is not required. If you do, is your car in good condition?
  19. Do you have access to a car?
  20. How good are you at housekeeping?
  21. How good of a cook are you?
  22. Educational background (if this is covered in your resume, just refer me to your resume). If you are a student, in what year are you in college or graduate school? What is your major? What is your GPA?
  23. What were you standardized test scores (verbal, math, anything else). Please include your score and percentage. List SAT scores and any other test you want to tell us about. *
  24. Tell me about your computer skills. How well do you know computers? At what level? Which packages do you use? Which versions? *
  25. How well do you know Microsoft Windows? *
  26. How well do you know Microsoft Word? What is the most advanced thing you have done in Word? How well do you know styles? Bookmarks? Sequences? Cross references using bookmarks and sequences? *
  27. Which version of Microsoft Word are you using?
  28. How well do you know Microsoft Excel? What is the most advanced thing you have done in Excel? *
  29. Which version of Microsoft Excel are you using? *
  30. How well do you know Microsoft Access? What is the most advanced thing you have done in Access? *
  31. Which version of Microsoft Access are you using? *
  32. How much computer programming have you done? *
  33. How well do you know Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications? *
  34. How much computer programming have you done? Which languages? What is the most advanced computer program you have written? *
  35. How much Web design have you done?
  36. How well do you know HTML? CSS? CSS 2.0 (including the box model).
  37. Which Web design software packages have you used? *
  38. How much have you used WordPress? *
  39. Which computer courses have you taken? What were your grades? *
  40. Have you taken any AP tests in computer science, or any other computer tests? How did you do? *
  41. Are you on Facebook? If so, have you sent me a friend request? My Facebook profile is or you can send a friend request to
  42. Are you interested in attending Boston Convivium’s parties? If so, please apply.
  43. Are you a smoker?
  44. Is there anything else about you that I should know?

When you answer these questions, please include the questions as well as your answers. Otherwise, I am simply guessing as to which question you answered.

Please send your answers to

I look forward to hearing from you!

James Mitchell

  • Christine Lapierre

    You can be hilarious, sarcastic and grammatically challenged. My age disqualifies me from being anything other than your personal assistant and I will be perfect at those tasks except for making your bed. I’m an early bird, love to drive and commuted to my job all my life (I lived in Los Angeles for 14 years and flew international out of JFK).

    I’m the oldest of six so the demands on me for responsibility, dependability, performance and accountability run deep. I was married for 32 years and flew for 39; longevity is one of my strong suits. I’m also bossy. Like you, I can’t stand incompetence at the hands of the totally inept. I know how to do things and do them right. My father’s famous teaching theory is “Do it right the first time.” Shall I go on and on?

    I wrote and self-published a travel book and had a web site to go along with it. I owned a business with my husband that we bought for my step daughter which turned out to be a big mistake but an invaluable learning tool. In spite of tremendous adversity in the past I am never depressed; sometimes blue but never sad. I take no Rx drugs for mood elevation and I’m a bookworm. I am currently reading How God Changes your Brain and The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Taleb. So far this year my favorite book has been The Scent of Desire. I only buy the NYT on Tuesday to read the Science section. When I flew I read it daily.

    One of my favorite ways to get to know a city is to read the local paper’s Letters to the Editor to see what people think and feel passionately about. Letters also indicate level of intelligence and education. I had the most stimulating job in the world. I was in a different European city weekly. Not only was it visually stimulating but simply walking around smelling, listening and tasting another culture is hard to beat.

  • [Name Removed]

    My services are $25 @ hour with a $100 minimum per day. I can do everything you requested. I’m a 44 year old male who lives on the cape. I can commit to 2 years, seven days a week. Must be paid cash, no 1099, no taxes. If interested call me at my personal cell.

    Note from James — After publicly posting that he wanted to paid in cash so he can cheat on his income taxes, this person posted his name and telephone number, both of which I have removed. I wonder if the IRS reads things like this.

  • http://havenotcurrentlymadeoneyet Marsha Cargill

    I have been a personal assistant before in which I helped w/ many different administrative projects. Some of these projects included writting checks for her, coordinating her schedule, formatting her books, finding interesting articles among her topic, and all the day to day things in which she did not have the time to do. I am very reliable, honest, and she also relied on me to be completely honest w/ my schedule while she was on a business trip. I will be sending my resume but I wanted to mention some things about me. I am very good at getting other people organized in which it is very natural for me. I am very punctual and I do live very close as I am a 4 mins. walk to Mass Ave. near Central. Not sure if this is relevant but while in the Navy my “boss” had so much on her plate and that it was up to me keep the day to day things organized. This inclued various types of administrative issues such as reminding her of things that would come up suddenly.

    I’m guessing that some of your social parties are among people that tend to be vain. I’m not saying this in an insulting manner but I do know what that is like when I have worked for my stepmother’s art gallery and she would participate in High Poin (furniture market) in which some of these artists would attend elaborate parties. So a brief description of what I look like because I don’t have that many pictures of me on my computer. I just never get around to taking pictures of me. I’m Korean and some people think I am petite. I guess nowadays a woman can never be thin enough. Only joking.

    I speak English fluently without any Bostonian or other type of accent.

    I will send my resume to the above e-mail address. I do hope to hear from you.

    Marsha Cargill

  • Cielaalva

    What abaout the salary?