I've gone back and forth so many times about writing this post because I didn't want to offend anyone. But I can't bottle this up anymore...
If you're using an executive assistant - unless you're famous or incompentent - they're meant to be ENDO-skeletal in their support to you, not EXO-skeletal.
In other words, they're meant to support you behind the scenes... not become your dumping ground for relationships. I can't tell you how many times someone has handed me off to an assistant to schedule an appointment, when all it required was one glance at a Google calendar and a few pecks on the keyboard.
Couple of things going on here:
1. You're communicating: "This conversation just went below me. I'm going to hand you off now." or worse... "I have no idea how to use an online calendar."
2. Is it a status thing? You've made it by hiring a $300 a month assistant? You look like those guys who put spoilers and rims on a Honda Accord.
3. What's with these calendars out there that are swarming with so many crazy appointments that you can't possibly find the clarity in them?
4. If you're handing me off, you're basically saying my time is less valuable than yours. Friends don't hand off friends. So when you do, I know where we stand. As a result, my relationship with you just changed as well. And it ain't good.
5. No one else can convey the sincerity, the history, or the value you bring to a relationship. When you check out, it degrades the relationship.
Virtual assistants are meant to help you look better than you are. Not better than other people. It's meant to be like those "people movers" at the airport, where you appear to be walking faster, but clearly, there's another force at work.
I interact with a lot of busy people in my work for STORY - film directors, notable authors, creative directors, philanthropists, business owners. And sometimes I see an assistant's name in the cc line. But the relationship is never handed off. There's a mutual respect. Or at least I'm made to feel respected. And valued.
Rather than saying, "Let me have Louise schedule something with you?" ... why not blind carbon copy Louise, have her schedule something, and then give you the dates to pass along? Keep Louise in the background.
No one wants to talk to Louise.