In the opening of this The Moth Radio Hour story, A.J. Jacobs says that he did an experiment on Radical Honesty.
“It’s a movement,” he explains, "that says you should never, ever lie. But more than that, whatever’s on your brain should come out of your mouth. No filter.” You can only imagine where this is going to go. They’ve made movies about this haven’t they? Where some unsuspecting man decides he’s going to be “honest” and then he starts saying really stupid things to people, hurting everyone’s feelings around them? I remember multiple movies like this. Anyway, back to A.J. Jacobs. This is The Moth, after all, so maybe his life story will turn out better than those awful movies.
But that’s not what this story is about! A.J. Jacobs is a writer. He’s got three kids. A wife. And he’s stressed out. A.J. explains that he needs some help. He needs an assistant. He needs to — light bulb! — outsource his life. So he gets a “remote executive assistant” named Honey, who even sent him a picture of herself. She is very pretty, so that’s a plus (eye roll.)
A.J. has an assignment to write about Jessica Biel for Esquire, so he asks Honey to research her. Honey gives him information that is off the charts — Excel spreadsheets and ridiculous amounts of information — plus, she’s writing follow-up emails to his editor about work, and she’s telling him how wonderful he is every day. Except that he’s still frazzled by life.
“Why don’t I just outsource my personal life?” he says. So he does. He outsources another person from India her name is Asha and he decides to outsource her to fight with his wife. Except that Asha just makes up with his wife, instead of fighting with her, making his marriage better. He decides to outsource reading bedtime stories to his kids, calling his parents on their anniversary. He even finds someone to do his worrying for him.
There’s a moral element to this story, of course. If so many people are using personal outsourcers, are American assistants losing their jobs?
But then a reader sent A.J. a letter. The man lost his job to outsourcing, but then hired an outsourcer to find him a new job. Not to worry, A.J. says, because the outsourcer found the man a new job within a week.