Memo to You Crybaby WME Assistants …

William Morris Endeavor, the new powerhouse agency, announced to its New York assistants that their pay will be reduced to between $10 to $14 hours. Being an assistant at an agency is a training program that can best be described as a mix of boot camp, Abu Ghraib and the worst fraternity on campus. For […]

William Morris Endeavor, the new powerhouse agency, announced to its New York assistants that their pay will be reduced to between $10 to $14 hours.

Being an assistant at an agency is a training program that can best be described as a mix of boot camp, Abu Ghraib and the worst fraternity on campus. For these Ivy league overachievers, the immediate goal is usually to get on a "good desk," become a junior agent and then wake up 10 years later as Ari Gold, hopefully without remembering everything you did to get there.

This isn't for wimps or crybabies — yet I imagine that being reduced to NYC dogwalker wages (babysitters get paid more) would unleash (so to speak) a rebellion. Is it possible that the coming weeks will bring guerilla warfare to WME? What if …

From: WME HR
To: All NY Assistants

It's been two hours since I made the announcement regarding the immediate pay cuts. While I understand and even sympathize with the difficult new reality you face, I still expect the highest levels of professionalism. Both our clients and management depend on and demand it.

Therefore, it is inappropriate to answer a call with "wat up?" or to set your office phone ring to what I've been informed is "Paper Planes" by MIA. It is also inappropriate to put a Starbucks cup on your desk with a note requesting spare change. It is impossible for 2/3 of the assistants to have developed fullblown swine flu overnight. I have also checked with the Center for Disease Control and the isolation period is one week, not four as many of you claimed.

Lastly, as a result of yesterday's lunchtime debacle, accounting will be reviewing all expense reports very carefully in the coming weeks. There is no logistical way that ordering 1,500 sandwiches for an office of 150 can be considered "a rounding error."

From: WME HR
To: All NY Assistants

There appears to be some confusion regarding the time sheets now that a 50-hour week is mandatory. The time codes previously used are still necessary and should be utilized. Ad hoc time codes relating to time spent obtaining illegal substances for your boss or clients; or behaving inappropriately in restrooms with other assistants or entertaining clients in ways that violate Section 2 in the employee handbook are not reimbursable expenses.

From: WME HR
To: All NY Assistants

It has now been two weeks since you were informed of the salary cuts and have already received your first paychecks reflecting the change. I accept that there is a lot of remaining hostility among the assistants, but I certainly didn't appreciate the paycheck confetti that carpeted my office. There is no reason to punish the cleaners — and in response to the grafittied query on my wall, yes, the cleaners are union and receive more than the assistants.

From: WME HR
To: All NY Assistants

I had anticipated that, as a month has passed, the resentment and anger felt by the assistants would be replaced with team spirit and an embrace of change. The burning effigies of Patrick, Ari and Dave in our lobby this morning proved that is not the case. The fire department was not amused and issued the firm a significant fine. All efforts will be made to discover the culprits, whose note pinned to the dummy's Tom Ford suits was signed Che (but specified that it referred only to Part I of Soderbergh's epic).

From: WME HR
To: All NY Assistants

I am sending this from the barricaded conference room, where I am reviewing the list of demands slipped under my door, along with a protein bar, during what I can only assume is day 3 of the siege.

The violence erupted early Wednesday when a management meeting was interrupted by masked guerillas, albeit in business appropriate attire. Company executives were tied to their Aerons and pelted by a barrage of Blackberries, iPods and iPhones. Several people required stitches, and a significant number of people lost expensive eyewear. Then they were subjected to viewing “Swimming With Sharks” on a loop for 12 hours.

The list of demands is extensive and some are outside of the decision-making available to NYC leadership. LA is flying in its toughest agents-negotiation team, hoping that this will put an end to the standoff. The chanting of "No justice, no rolled calls" rattles my nerves.

I hear someone sobbing. Oh, it's me.