I received a great comment in my previous post about treating the assistants of the publishing world with respect, and I felt it was worthy of putting the comment front and center. Just like everyone else in the business, I was once an assistant myself and so I speak from experience.
Good assistants are the life force of publishing. They are uniformly underpaid and could easily make twice as much in another industry, but they stick it out because they love books.
They read your queries, partials, and manuscripts. They pass on your phone messages. They file your royalty statement and mail you your check. They remind their boss to call you back. They show up for your readings. They are the unseen wheels turning the machine. And one day, through a combination of hard work, aptitude, and luck, many will become editors, agents, publishers, and publicists and have assistants of their own.
But when you're underpaid and underappreciated, you tend to feel like a martyr. And let me tell you, martyrs have long memories. They remember the smallest slight for months, and certainly will recall the time you yelled at them for the rest of their lives. They bide their time, waiting patiently until they are in a position to serve their revenge, a dish cold but delectable.
I have never yelled at an assistant. I suggest that you don't either.