Nov 25, 2008

I Wish I Would Have Been Fired

No work recently....I mean the tumbleweeds are blowing down my street. I haven't wished for the phone to ring this badly since 8th grade when I had a crush on Billy Olson. Of course he didn't like me back. Gosh, he was cute...

Where was I?

Anyhoo, with no work comes no witty and insightful commentary on the state of the industry today, so I thought I'd regale you with a story from my past.

I'll pause for those of you who want to slip out to see what Blood, Sweat and Tedium is blogging about today.

Still here? Great!

Many years ago, I applied for and got my first movie job as an office PA/receptionist. On my first day the production coordinator (who I would later learn was the most evil, vile, demon spawn to ooze the earth... but that's another story) haphazardly showed me how to use the phone. I was so nervous, and this new environment seemed like a war zone. But I was determined to hang in there.

At lunch time a call came in, "God, damn it, where the fu** is my God damn car? Get the coordinator on the fu**ing line!!!" (note: he didn't say the asterisks, he was dropping the f-bomb. Just making sure you're following)

I started to tremble. I had never been spoken to in that way my whole life. So, I pressed the transfer button and then Ms. Evil Production Coordinator's line as instructed.

Then another call came in. "Don't fu**ing put me on hold!!! I want to know where my fu**ing car is!!! Get me the coordinator!!! And don't fu**ing put me on hold!!!"

Now, I really was nervous so I carefully hit transfer and her line again.

As expected the phone rang again. "How fu**ing stupid are you? Don't put me the fu** on hold!! I need to talk to the fu**ing coordinator."

So this time I did not press transfer, instead I laid the phone down (I could still hear him screaming obscenities at me) and I ran down the hall to the evil coordinators office. "Um, Ms. Evil Coordinator, I have Mr. Douchebag Producer on the phone and for some reason the transfer button keeps cutting him off." I meekly say. She replies "Just hit transfer and give the call to me"

So, I tell Mr. Effinheimer what I am going to do and that she is waiting on the other line to pick up.

He says, "Well, that fu**ing better work!"

I transferred the call and the phone rang again.

"How the fu** hard is it to fu**ing transfer a fu**ing call!!! I need to find my fu**ing car!! Tell her to fu**ing come down to your fu**ing phone and answer my call. Don't fu**ing put me on hold!!!

Oh, and to add to the stress the other phone lines were ringing off the hook with innocent, non-douchebag callers.

So, I took a chance, and a deep breath and put Mr. Effendouche on hold, ran down to her office and said "Excuse me please, but the transfer is not working, and he really needs to talk to you do you think you could come to my phone and answer it?" She sneered at me (I'm pretty sure flame shot out her nostril's too), and then commanded her assistant to follow me to my phone.

Her assistant picked up the line and the conversation went as follows: " Your car? It's parked on level two just outside the door... yes. You are on level two? Yes, it's there on level two just outside the door ....OK, you found it? ( He had walked right past it several times) What? Sorry about that, it's her first day."

I did not get fired....

Instead I was forced to work for three long tortuous months with this evil coordinator, her side kick, and the vile Mr. Effing Producer. To this day, working on that movie was my worst film experience.

Karma you ask?... Mr. Douchenheimer Producer is doing quite well for himself, working on blockbuster films and Ms. Evil Demon Spawn Coordinator still manifests herself from time to time and seems to make a good living making PAs' lives miserable.

And me? I'm just here waiting for a call from a much nicer coordinator.

...or Billy Olson.


Nathan said...

There's a story I've heard about a big-time famous producer (I don't remember which one, but a BIG one). It seems they were in really early pre-production on a picture, so no Teamsters yet. Producer was arriving on a flight and the office sent Mr. New Green P.A. to pick him up in P.A.'s own car.

P.A. was right on time and since Mr. Producer was easily recognizable, P.A. managed to connect with him easily enough as he came out of the gate area. So far, so good.

They collected Mr. Producer's luggage and made their way to the parking structure. Mr. Producer sees P.A.s beat-up-POS car and starts pitching a fit. He calls the office and starts berating the office folks. Ultimately, he throws his phone at the windshield. (This was the old Motorola Brick phone, so windshield doesn't do well in the exchange.)

Producer then demands the keys, gets in and leaves P.A. standing in the garage.

I don't know if this story is true or not (though I suspect it is), but regardless, I can totally believe it based on some of the Prima Donas I've met.

Nathan said...

Oh, and ::ahem:: (nostril)

(Feel free to delete my nitpicky copyediting after fixing.) :D

(I'm such an ass.)

Michael Taylor said...

Great story, Scripty. Hey, nobody seems to be working these days(except Peg), so we're all mining our own private Idaho past-lives to come up with posts.

Think of it as an early start to your memoirs -- and a very good start indeed.

Excellent post!

jerry w said...

Hey, it's Billy Olson, where the hell have you been hiding all these years?

Just kidding, I thought you knew that Billy was gay.

Still kidding, a little gallows humor to keep me from staring at the phone. Us sound mixers are on hover, doing the piece of crap shows that no one will ever see, much less listen to.

Every day I get an email with new productions, and for the past few weeks every new listing is coded as in development, not one is in pre-production.

Better days are ahead, we just have to out last another about to strike group of cry babies.
Oh well.....

Jerry w.

Scripty said...

Nathan, Love the story, and I believe it to be true! And thanks picking up on the nostril error. (get it nostril picking...ah ha ha, I'm so funny:) NOT

Michael: Mining my own private Idaho...that made me smile!

Billy your gay?!!!!!?!!? crap....

Nice to hear from you Jerry!