Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Assistants versus Temps -- Round 1

There's a basic rule in Hollywood: If you're getting paid hourly, the work you're doing is tedious and menial. And if that wasn't bad enough, sometimes it even means that your work has nothing to do with your employer's stated goals, source of revenue or description in the Hollywood Creative Directory. This is actually one area where assistants get it slightly worse than temps.

"Wait?!" you interrupt. "How is that possible? Why would an assistant who gets paid hourly have to do more ridiculous tasks than a temp who gets paid hourly? Doesn't shit flow down hill?"

Well, Hollywood is a little like the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. Sometimes the normal laws of Newtonian physics and the social order are a little...dare I say...Cuckoo. But the answer is simple. Temps can quit a gig today, call their Pimp up, and have a new gig tomorrow. Assistants have to give two-weeks' notice, then find their own Pimp and hope they can get a gig sometime within the next month. But the bigger question is why does anyone put up with this:
"In Hollywood you never know who might be able to help you. So if you're at the market and someone smashes into your cart, steps on your foot and swipes the last piece of tofu from your basket, you smile and say 'I'm sorry, that was my fault' and move on."
Oh, right. That thing again. Well, that was a hell of a preamble to get to today's quiz. Which absurd tasks were given to assistants (friends of Temp X) and which tasks did Temp X get told to do (in some cases resulting in him quitting that gig)? HINT: Temp X will have five answers.
  1. Change my kid's diapers.
  2. Take my distant relative on a sightseeing drive.
  3. Go get my subdivision's plans from the Malibu Department of Planning.
  4. Get my dress from the dry cleaners.
  5. Take my Drivers' Exam (the written portion).
  6. Help my relative move into a retirement home.
  7. Get AMEX to cancel the 4 months of late fees and penalties on my card.
  8. Move my car every 2 hours, 3 times a day so I don't have to pay for parking and I don't get a ticket.

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