Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Hollywood Dictionary -- Volume 1

Friday was Day 2 -- and mercifully the end -- in the Catacombs. It was more of the same. So instead of boring you with the same tedium, I've decided to use today as an educational opportunity instead. Now to some of you this may already be familiar, but many of you are not Hollywood Insiders the way someone TEMP X is (that was a joke. You see, a Temp is hardly an insider...nevermind...)

Hollywood has its own language, its own schedule and its own way of doing things. Of course it's predictable, overly dramatic and needless. Come to think of it, it's a lot like most sequels. But let's begin.

Hollywood Hours
-- The Hollywood work day is 9:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Why does the day start so late? Rumor has it it's left over from the Cocaine-fueled 1970s when studio execs were partying and doing blow all night, green lighting projects like CORVETTE SUMMER and IT'S ALIVE. So it just pushed the entire schedule back. Then it just stuck.

Rolling Calls -- A favorite of Temp X. When first interviewing to become a Temp, he was asked if he knew how to "Roll Calls." "What's that?" Temp X replied. "Well, when the exec wants to make a series of calls in rapid succession, it's 'Rolling Calls.'" "So you mean do I know how to dial the phone?" "Ummmmm....."

Resies (pronounced "rez-ees") -- Short for Meal Reservations. Because those extra two syllables are such a bitch to pronounce. VEY-SHUNS. VEY-SHUNS. Eh, never mind. "Hi. Is this the Farm? I need resies for 2 at 1."

Left Word, Leave Word -- When the person you called isn't there or isn't available to speak, you Leave Word. In the real world we call this Leaving a Message, asking them to call you back, etc. Only in Hollywood would it take two words (Left Word) to leave just one WORD.

-- Most often heard in the sentence, "Whose DESK did/do you work on?" This simply means "Who is your boss?" But as most assistants are tethered to their desk (literally or via Blackberry) and hardly ever leave the office, this is a more apt term. There's a whole caste system with this too. That's for another day when I have nothing to write about. Holy Crap, I'm already two topics behind.

Flying Solo -- When hired to be a Hollywood Executive's assistant, a new employee will incur numerous days of training on proper procedure for pampering...errr...working for their boss. This includes things like: How many water bottles do they want on their desk each morning, which calls they never want to take and knowing to schedule meetings around the executive's weekly massage. Once you've spent a week observing this, the trainer leaves and you are left "Flying Solo." Sadly, your desk never actually flies.

Thick Skin -- Most often seen on a job listing "Must have thick skin." Translation: "Boss may have one or more of the following conditions: anger management issues, Napoleon complex, drives a Japanese car (while all co-workers drive German), acute paranoia, needs another Chai Tea Latte immediately, can't figure out how to make the f***ing email work."

Well, that's it for today. Got a job for Monday and Tuesday lined up. Only 22 hours to figure out what "Office Casual" means.


Anonymous said...

So, why hasn't anyone else posted a
comment? These are FUNNY!!

AND the life of a TEMP is funnier
than that of a housewife.

Midwest Housewife, former professional

Anonymous said...

Wow. Sounds excruciatingly painful. Maybe you should take a job in an Alaskan fishery.

Lexi said...

I heard the working hours were changed because of traffic congestion - back in the 80's or 90's, so as to shift the rush hours and spread out traffic better. Of course, it only backfired (hehe, pun intended).

Betsy said...

this is my fav entry so far.

after coming off some grueling production (PA/Asst) jobs, i've been a hollywood temp for a year now. little did i know i would be swimming in the temp pool THIS LONG...

this blog is near and near to what's left of my underpaid (where are my freakin benefits and vaca/holiday pay) and abused heart. but at least i'm no longer working 12-16/hr days and starting shifts at 4am.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious - and very true. People should pay attention to these terms and know them or be prepared to get "beaten" (translation: beaten).


Anonymous said...

I am new to LA from New York and looking for work as an EA/PA; I have been looked down upon for not knowing the lingo such as rolling calls and who's desk have I worked on. I appreciate the insight and since I'm now getting ready to jump into the Temp World I feel more prepared, sad and already feeling abused. Let the good times begin. Yeah me?? sarcasm... sarcasm...

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