It was 6pm when my work cell phone rang. As I'm at work by 5:30am every day, I try to finish up work by 3 or 4pm every day. A 6pm call is never good news...
"Hello, this is Beth"
"Hi there," (a very young, intern-like voice) "this is Amber, [name removed]'s assistant. I was just going over the details for tomorrow with [name removed]. It's at 7am?"
"That's 7am, Eastern time?"
"Yep, 7am Eastern time. I think I covered this in the logistics sheet I emailed to you a few weeks go, yes?"
"Do you realize that 7am Eastern is 4am on the West Coast?"
"Um, actually yes. Yes, I do know that." (and I'm thinking by the rather shocked tone in your voice that you did not realize this...until just a few minutes ago. I'm also thinking that you're right on the edge of a panic attack right now.)
"That's really early."
"Well, yes, yes it is. And that's why I sent the email 3 weeks ago to confirm that you were OK with the time. It didn't seem to be a problem then. Is it a problem now?"
"Well, um. It's just really early. I thought it was at 7am pacific time."
"Let me pull up the email that I sent. Yep, March 25th, I sent you the logistics and it says 7am eastern time. Is that going to be a problem?"
"Um. No. Well, okay. If it's a problem I'll call you back."
Now, I feel sorry for assistants, I really do. Especially those who are assistants for assistants for celebrities. I have worked with enough publicists, assistants, assistant assistants and celebrities to know what types of people you risk working for when you take on a job like that. Undoubtedly poor Amber was tasked with the menial job of typing up the final version of [name removed]'s schedule for the next day when she realized that it said...7am Eastern.
Now, I don't feel too badly for you when it's your own fault for not reading, but I do give you a speck of respect for realizing that there actually is a time difference between the East and West Coasts. And for what it's worth, I'm really sorry... that's a harsh lesson I'm sure you're learning the hard way on the other end of my silent phone. This will be a bad day for you, and you'll probably have a drink or three on Friday because of it. I honestly hope you don't get fired for spotting what no one else on your staff seemed to recognize three weeks ago.
Now it's 7:15pm...an hour after I received the call. I haven't heard anything at all from any assistants. But I'm assuming that in California, someone is getting yelled at, if not by [name removed], then by [name removed]'s higher-level assistant who had to break the news.
In any case, see you at 7am Eastern... (4am Pacific...)