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.