Monday morning dawned bright and sunny and it was already eighty-five degrees in New York City at eight thirty in the morning as Brianna walked through the door of Bon Jovi Management on her first day of work.
Evelyn was already at her desk and smiled upon seeing her. “Ready to join the madness?”
“Looking forward to it!” Brianna grinned.
“Then you’re as crazy as the rest of us and will fit right in. Come on, I’ll show you your office. HR will be by in a few minutes with a bunch of forms for you to sign. Jon’s mail will be brought to you.” She turned into an open doorway. “Oh! It’s already here!”
Brianna stepped into the surprisingly large room, noting the oak desk – with the pile of mail on the blotter – facing the windows on the opposite side of the room. The wall to her right was bare except for one of Tico’s paintings and the door that connected to Jon’s office on the other side.
Evelyn noticed the direction of Brianna’s gaze. “That painting can be removed if you want something else.”
Brianna shook her head. “No. It’s perfect. I love Tico’s work. I have a piece myself.”
That’s a positive sign. Maybe this one will last longer than the last three did. “Okay, good. Umm...what else? Oh, Paul’s in the office today, so he might stop by. Your Blackberry is in the top drawer, Jon’s numbers are already programmed in. Computer passwords are with the phone as is a printout of what’s been confirmed on Jon’s schedule. The blue folder there is the outstanding invitations. I think Natalie, your predecessor, left you a note detailing anything she thought you should be aware of.”
“What happened to her?”
Evelyn debated her response and settled for partial truth. “Personality conflicts.” She didn’t bother to mention that she’d only lasted three months or that the two before her barely made it a year each.
“Ah. I see.” And Brianna had a feeling her immediate thought was probably correct. Working for a strong, perfectionist control freak was never easy. “Will Jon be in today?”
“Not that I’m aware of, but anything’s possible.” Evelyn gave her a speculative look. “Did anyone tell you that he’s not here much and you’ll probably have to go out to the house a lot?”
“No, but I wondered if that might be the case. That’s not a problem. I have a car.” She didn’t use it much – didn’t need to in NYC – but she owned one.
“Good. Well, I’ll let you get settled in. If you have any questions, feel free to call me.” She pointed to one of the buttons on the phone. “This one is me.”
“Thanks Evelyn.” Alone, Brianna sat down behind the desk, took a deep breath, and dug in. She found the password list for the computer and phone, and familiarized herself with both technological aides. Next, she looked over Jon’s schedule, the note from Natalie and the outstanding invitations.
She picked up the letter opener and was reaching for the envelope on the top of the pile of mail when a knock at the door had her glancing up to see Paul Korzilius, the band’s tour manager standing there. “Hi Paul, come on in.”
Paul smiled and approached her desk, only slightly surprised that she knew who he was. Jon had told him she was a fan, but he also realized that if she was even half decent at her job, she would have done some research on the organization. “Hi Brianna. I just wanted to come by and introduce myself and welcome you to the organization.”
Brianna stood and met his outstretched hand with her own in a firm handshake. “Thank you. I’m really happy to be here.”
“We’re starting to get the tour lined up, so as soon as I get some potential dates I’ll let you know.”
“Okay. How is that usually done? Does Jon have to approve everything or do you look after it?”
“Jon and I have discussed starting dates and countries and spacing of shows. I passed that on to AEG who will organize and promote the tour. When they get some preliminary dates, I’ll sit down with Jon and go over them with him.”
“Okay. So if I have a date where Jon needs to be somewhere should I come to you or go to AEG?”
“Come to me and I’ll pass it on.”
“Okay. That makes sense. The fewer people with their fingers in that pie the less chance for screw ups.”
Paul chuckled, very pleased that she understood without having to have it explained to her. “Exactly. If you have any other questions or need anything, give me a call.”
Brianna spent the rest of the morning getting her files and email set up and organized. On her way back from lunch she stopped and picked out some other items she felt she’d need and arranged for their delivery. Evelyn stopped her as she walked through the door.
“Oh, Brianna. Jon called. He would like you to go out to the house on Friday morning.” She smiled reassuringly when she saw Brianna’s eyes widen as she reached for her phone to see if she’d missed his call. “It’s okay. He called to talk to Paul and asked me to pass on the message. Apparently Paul will have some tour info for you to take with you. Plus, no one has programmed your number into his phone yet. You’ll probably have to do that when you’re there as well.”
“Oh. Okay.” Brianna started towards her office, then stopped, remembering. “Um....a delivery guy from the office supply store will be coming by with some stuff for me.”
“No problem. I’ll either buzz you or bring them back myself.”
Settling in at her desk again, Brianna picked up the phone and started making the contacts – the initial ones anyway – that she would need to do her job well. First up was the Soul office, specifically Jennifer, Craig Spencer’s assistant. After getting brought up to speed on scouting, recruiting, contract negotiations with various players and coaches and what Jon would be needed for, they promised to keep in touch and hung up.
Before she could make the next call, the men arrived with the office supplies she’d ordered and she moved out of the way so that they could hang the large four month dry erase calendar behind her desk. She would have a blind installed above it so that she could pull it down if she had people in and needed to hide it.
Evelyn watched, her expression revealing her curiosity. “What’s that?”
“It’s a calendar. Sometimes it helps me to see it on a larger scale than the computer when I’m trying to fit items in an already packed schedule.” Brianna explained.
“Well Jon’s would certainly qualify from time to time. Especially with a tour coming up.” She glanced at the markers Brianna was lining up.
Brianna noticed the direction of her gaze and explained. “Black for band, blue for football, red for family, green for charities.”
“Ah...so you can see the whole picture with one look. I get it. Clever.”
“Thanks. He’s got so many irons in the fire, I figured this was going to be the easiest way to keep track of everything.”
When she was alone in the office once more, she picked up the phone again. Next on her list was David’s assistant, Rachel.
“So you’re the next lamb to the slaughter...I mean....”
Brianna laughed. “So he really is as bad as the stories I’ve heard?”
“Well, he’s no Mr. Rogers. He tends to be a little demanding and temperamental.”
“Sounds like every CEO I’ve ever worked for.”
“You’re used to it then. You should be fine. And he’s usually very fair.”
“What’s it like to work for the Joker?”
“Pretty easy most of the time. He’s been tinkering around with this musical, so he’s pretty much been chained to the piano for the last while.”
“Memphis? Or a new one?”
Rachel’s brows rose. “Memphis. You’ve heard of it?”
“I’ve read a couple reviews of the Paulo Alto shows.”
“Ah. Well there’s been some whispers floating around about Broadway, so they’re trying to get it ready if something works out.”
“Well, I hope it does. He deserves it.”
“Yes he does.”
After making tentative plans to have lunch the following week, they hung up and Brianna placed her next call. “Hi Denise, this is Brianna Prentiss, Jon’s new assistant.”
“Ah, the brave woman willing to take on the lion.”
“As long as he only roars and doesn’t claw, we’ll be alright.” Brianna laughed. “He’s not really that bad is he?”
“I’ve seen worse.”
“And what’s your boss like?”
“Richie? He’s a dream to work for. I’ve worked for him for over two years and I think I’ve only heard him raise his voice in anger once. He’s the calming essence of the group. He steps in when Jon’s stress level gets too high.”
“And what are the roles of the others?” Brianna had to ask.
“Tico is the stable voice of reason and David’s comic relief.”
Pretty much like I figured then. “The tour ought to be interesting.”
“Yeah. It’s usually like a roller coaster ride...that you never want to end.”
It turned out that Denise was going on vacation with a stop in New York the following week before flying out, and agreed to join Brianna and Rachel for lunch.
Brianna had started packing up to go home when her phone rang, startling her. A glance at the display told her the boss was calling. She took a deep breath. “Brianna speaking.”
“Yeah Bri, it’s me.....Jon.”
Bri. No one outside of her family called her that. Her ex-husband thought it wasn’t refined enough and insisted everyone call her by her full name. But it felt strangely right....and that made her nervous. “Hi Boss. What can I do for you?”
It wasn’t unusual for his staff members to call him ‘Boss’, but hearing her say it felt wrong somehow....and that made him nervous. “I forgot a blue file folder on my desk. Could you bring it with you on Friday? Oh and call Craig Spencer’s office and find out where we’re at with contract negotiations with that jack linebacker.”
“I talked to Jennifer a little while ago. Looks like he’s ready to sign. We’ll know for sure tomorrow. And she’s going to courier over the scouting reports on the two kickers they’ve been looking at.”
“Is that alright?”
“Yeah. It’s great. Perfect. I’ll see you on Friday. Evelyn can give you directions...if you need them.” Jon hung up and stared at the phone in his hand. First day on the job and she’s already more on top of things than Natalie was after three months! It made him hopeful that this one might work out.