Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things


“The Job A Million Girls Would Kill For” Includes Far Too Much Television

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Editor’s Note: This is the first of what should become a series of pieces that reveal an inside look at what it’s like to hold a mundane job at a hypothetically glamorous organization (you know, the job that “a million girls would kill for”, ala The Devil Wears Prada). Miss Moneypenny is a receptionist at a talent agency in California. Here are her thoughts and insights…and this week it’s (as it usually is around here) all about television.

This has been a week of ups and downs. Well really, every week is. I have come to terms with the fact that I work as a semi-purposeless peon in a company whose purpose is to get as much money as humanly possible for people in the film industry (I’m sure that there are other purposes of a talent agency, but that’s what it feels like to me). I also have come to terms with the fact that I will be answering phones, and nothing else, until I have been here for at least a year. It has been five months. I also know that the entire point of this job is to sit here doing really nothing important for a year and then be promoted to an assistant, where my life will be about making someone else’s life easier. This world and this industry is about working your way up from the bottom. Everyone does it, and that makes it a little easier to bear.

On the bad days, I feel my hypothetical brain tumor growing in my head from doing nothing but stare at a computer screen for 8 hours while doing nothing useful. For example, last week I watched the entirety of the series The League. Great show. Enjoyed every second of watching it. At the end of the week, however, I realized that I had done literally nothing but watch this show, check Facebook every 20 minutes, and search for every conceivable site that promised pictures of cute puppies on the internet. It was depressing. I was almost in tears by the time I got to my car. Then I remembered that I should probably go work out because a) I don’t want to get horrifically obese and b) exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy (and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands…they just don’t). And perhaps working out would make me feel better (it did, a little).

I do watch a lot of TV at this job. A lot of TV. There is nothing worse than certain days when nothing was on television the night before, or it was a bunch of reruns. Those are painful days, because it means that I don’t have two hours taken up by living vicariously through characters on a variety of programs, including, but not limited to: Family Guy, Modern Family, Mad Men, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (side note: CSI Miami absolutely sucks), Cougar Town, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, the aforementioned The League, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, True Blood, and Dexter.

Like I said, a lot of TV. But, I have 8 hours a day (at least) during which all I have to do is answer the phones. My multitasking skills have gone through the roof. I can (simultaneously) watch TV on my computer, answer the phone, chat with people at work on our intra-office IM system, chat with people on gchat, check Facebook, and play solitaire on my phone. This amazes my boyfriend, who is an assistant at a production company and therefore does something resembling real work.

And there are great parts to this job, which I remember on my good days. I get to see cool celebrities whom I genuinely admire for their talent walk around. I also get to occasionally talk to these people on the phone. I also have a year to sit around and be relaxed, with no real pressure. I have time to learn about my company and this industry in full, by reading every screenplay I can get my hands on (one of my New Year’s Resolutions that I haven’t really been as good about as I should) and watching films that our clients have been involved with. I can also learn about the history of Hollywood and watch classic films that I spent most of high school refusing to watch at my Dad’s request as my only real form of teenage rebellion.

So today I have watched last night’s CSI and Big Bang Theory. I have caught up on Deadline Hollywood, which posts all of the happenings of the industry. I have checked Facebook and gmail probably 10 times already. And this is allll before lunch. I have also talked on the phone to a certain “Pirate of the Caribbean”, who has a great voice and always makes me very happy when he calls. And I have leftover pad thai for lunch. So far, a good day. And for the major hooray, it’s Friday.

Galleria Mall Fire Ravages Local Hot Spot; Destroys My Favorite Store

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CALIFORNIA – Trader Joe’s lines were extensively long this afternoon, the product of, I can only assume, an arson at the Galleria Mall in Roseville which shut down the area’s greatest attraction – a 1.5 million square foot mall that 9 million people visit each year. Alexander Corney Piggee, the prime suspect, walked into a Game Stop shortly after the mall opened on Thursday, claimed to have a gun, muttered incoherently about his sister being abducted by “aliens,” and ordered the employees out. He then set fire to the store. Though Piggee was apprehended shortly after the mall was evacuated, his backpack had gone missing. Because police suspected it may contain an incendiary device, firefighters were not allowed to enter the mall, leaving only the sprinkler system to combat the fire. Instead, they attacked the fire from the roof, spraying down the flames climbing the building, as the damage spread and the roof caved in. By nightfall, the fire had been tamed, but smoke, fire, and uncountable gallons of water had left at least $7 million in damage, not including merchandise.

As the most successful mall outside of San Francisco, the Galleria has always been a hot spot. The day it opened, in 2000, caused unexpectedly high truancy rates throughout local school districts as kids cut school to see the stilt walkers and circus acts, and cram with thousands upon thousands of people to buy, buy, buy. I feel a great sadness for “the regulars,” a group of people I familiarized myself with when I too was a mall employee. “The regulars,” also known as “the die-hards” seem to live in the mall, and may in fact now be homeless. Fortunately, the loyal community has already rallied, with a musician offering to do a benefit concert, and concerned citizens calling to ask how they can help. The City of Roseville, which depends heavily on the mall’s $3 million in tax revenue each year, asks only that people continue to patronize the stores nearby, and turn out to support the stores upon reopen. At the moment, it is hoped the undamaged area of the mall will be open by the locally (and nationally) celebrated holiday, Black Friday, but it seems that my favorite store, American Eagle, was just beneath the scene of the crime. It is unlikely I will be able to “Live in Jeggings” anytime soon.

As a side note, it is rumored Piggee attempted to check himself in to a mental institution several times in recent weeks for depression, only to be denied. That was a mistake. As my sister says, “Local women everywhere will be crying for days at their loss.”

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