Friday, March 11, 2011

Nightmare on Memory Lane

Dead End Street
Chaucer wrote in Troilus & Criseyde the very insightful words, "As tyme hem hurt, a tyme doth hem cure."  Or put into modern parlance "Time heals all wounds."  This is especially true of life as a Hollywood assistant where wounds are plentiful and lots of people enjoy inflicting them. 

It's been seven months since I quit my go-nowhere job and returned to Temping.  It hasn't been easy, but I no longer experience the crushing anxiety and needless depression that resulted from working there.  But the history remains, not just in memory, but in the form of IMs.  As I read this moment-by-moment documentation, my chest seizes up, my brain starts spinning and I scramble for a bottle of Xanax.  But then I look at the calendar and immediately feel better.

Here are some of those IMs:

Temp X: can i punch my boss in the head?
Temp X: please
Friend: sure. go ahead.
Friend: why?
Temp X: the thing i've been reminding him to do for three weeks, he just offloaded on to me.
Friend: what do u have to do?
Temp X: set up meetings for [Client Name Redacted] at [Major Trade Show]. which week  But guess what he's doing instead?
Friend: ??
Temp X: mountain climbing. duh.
I've included the timecodes for this next one because they are part of the story.  As you'll note, my IM uses military time.  So these messages start just after 4 p.m. The friend on the other end of this transmission knew of the previous employer's "work ethic."
[16:06] Temp X: guess where my boss just got back from
[16:08] Friend: spa day?
[16:08] Temp X: more or less. she just had a pedi
[16:08] Temp X: she left at noon
[16:08] Temp X: just got back
[16:10] Friend: wow
[16:11] Temp X: that's 24 minutes per toe
While I didn't enjoy much at my previous job outside of the free food and ample supply of alcohol, I did get to have a little fun.  The following exchange documents a moment when I used my bosses as lab rats.  Predictably, they failed.  
Temp X: i'm conducting an experiment
Friend: ??
Temp X: i wanted to see how much time i could get [Boss #1] and [Boss #2] to waste talking about the world cup.  so i walked in their office and said "how about that Ronaldo?"
Friend: and...?
Temp X: currently 18 mins and counting
Friend: impressive
And now I'm reminded why I quit.  That and the $9/hour pay rate.

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