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I want a chief of staff.

The more I think about it, the more I think everybody could use one.

A lot of politicians have one, and, from what I can see, they come in handy.

They are much like a best friend, anyway. You know, working behind the scenes, acting as a confidant as you hash out the tough issues and reach the hard decisions. There are times when they have to help mediate disputes. But a chief of staff will do one more thing: take the flak.

Really, wouldn’t it be nice if there were moments when your best friend was your chief of staff? You know, to handle those unpleasant conversations you don’t want to have:

Riinnng …


“Hi, Joyce, this is Jamie. Look, I’ve been talking to my boy Roger about that whole live-together thing and I have to tell you it’s not going to happen. I want you to know, it’s not him; it’s me. He argued like the Dickens for it, but in the end he had to accept my argument that he’s just got too much on his plate right now – what, with him having a job and it being football season, and all the new fall shows being on, and all. Look, I’m not saying it’s not going to even happen, just that it’s not going to happen. I’m sure you understand that. And I want you to know it’s nothing personal. Roger still thinks the relationship is going good; still thinks it’s in a good place. We just don’t think it’s in that place. I want you to know you’re still appreciated around her. Why, just last night the wife was talking about what a good time we had at dinner with you all the other week. Actually, Traci thinks the world of you. She really does. In fact, we’ll have to get together and do that again sometime. Let’s make it soon. Well, I’ve got to run. I hope you have a good day. Really, let’s all get together soon. Oh, and Roger wanted me to remind you don’t forget to pick up a pizza on the way over tonight.”

Riinnng …


“Hi, Roger. It’s done. I think it went well. She didn’t really give me a lot of feedback, but I made sure she understood your position, and that you all won’t be living together. I tried to let her down as easy as possible.”

“Wow, thanks, man. I really appreciate it.”

“No problem. Ok, we’ll go out for beers soon, buddy.”



Hi, Jamie. This is Mary. How are you doing today? Good! Good! Look, I’ve been talking to Traci about the whole want-to-start-a-family thing -- yeeaah…”

Then again, maybe everybody doesn’t need a chief of staff.




Jamie C. Ruff is a former reporter, native of Greensboro, NC, and author of three e-books, the western “Colby Black: from Slave to Cowboy” the contemporary tale of discovery and camaraderie “Reinventing the Uninvented Me,” and the work of historical fiction “The Peculiar Friendship.” All are available for download at



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