In the land before time I was an editorial assistant. The lowest rung on the ladder. My job was to file, answer the phone, write rejection letters and dream of bigger things. I wasn’t the perfect assistant, although I never complained about a coffee run, but I did my job.
Back in the day, an agent said something that has stuck with me some umpteen years later. She told me how she always makes an effort to be kind to assistants and to get to know them. They are the editors she’ll be submitting to in the future. Oh how right she was.
Sometimes, without thinking, we dismiss the person who answers the phone. The gatekeeper to the person we really want to speak to. But those assistants, those people answering the phone and sending you emails and mailing off your contracts, those are the people who might one day be running this business. Most importantly, those people might one day be your agents or your editors.