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New York Post – July, 2006

Impatient N.Y.ers pay professionals to stand in line

By Reed Tucker New Yorkers are busy. Busy and impatient. We’re so busy and impatient, that more and more of us simply can’t wait. For anything. Waiting, it turns out, is one more thing you can pay people to do. Enter the for-hire personal assistant, an hourly admin mercenary who’s happy to perform various admin mundane tasks so you don’t have to, including personal shopping, scheduling travel and the all-important trudging-around-carious-snaking-lines-as-your-proxy. “It started as a service for people who didn’t have time to do anything,” says Linda Rothschild,

owner of 16-year-old “lifestyle management” agency Cross It Off Your List. “We’re helping people get through the day.” Rothschild says a trip to the DMV is amount the most popular requests from clients, but she’s also dispatching staff to wait in line for Belle & Sebastian tickets or to Time Warner to return a cable box. What at first sounds decadent all of a sudden start to make sense. Life in New York can sometimes feel like nothing more than a series of lines-short lines that seconds (the bodega), long lines that take days (the DMV), short lines that should take seconds but end up taking days (pretty much any Duane Reade). Most of us would rather catch Naomi Campbell’s cellphone with our face rather than visit the New York’s DMV more than twice in a lifetime, but those who stand in line for a living claim that, with a good book and a cellphone, waiting is actually tolerable. Hey, whatever it takes to get you through the day. Michelle, an actress and part-time Cross It Off Your List waiter (who didn’t want her last name used) insists that it is not so bad. “You meet some of the coolest people by standing next to them for so long,” she says. “I find out their life story, what their ambitions are.” She also occasionally discovers how really, really creepy they can be. Once, while waiting for a client’s prescription at a local drugstore, a strange man asked Michelle to marry him. They’d known each for a total of one hour-which might fly with Britney Spears, but not Michelle. “He was crazy. He should taken some drugs,” she says. Well, you did meet him at the drugstore… If you’d like to make like Sturgis and join the waited upon, break out the checkbook. Having an assistant perform particularly hellacious tasks (like camping for Shakespeare in the Park tickets) could add up quickly. Cross It Off Your List charges $65 an hour for such tasks. Still, not being the person steaming while the grumpy person at the DMV calls “next!” Priceless. Reed.tucker@nypost.com