August 20, 2010

Casual Friday the 13th

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

I've briefly mentioned before that people in this office don't care how they look, myself included. Because of the outreach aspect of my job, I do sometimes have to care how I look, namely when I am out in the field recruiting for our program.

I've also cared yesterday and today, because it's Orientation. I'm showered, I'm wearing my makeup and clothes I did not pull off the floor of my bedroom this morning, as well as somewhat uncomfortable shoes with pointy toes. I may or may not be wearing a blazer. Officemate stepped it up somewhat, but she is of the "eff you if you don't like the way I'm dressed; I'm good at my job" disposition, so she's not as fancy-professional as she could be.

My boss tries to look nice, but for various reasons, always looks disheveled. Hair a mess, makeup apparently applied by a fourteen-year-old in the dark, shoes that in no way go with what she's wearing. It's par for the course. I know I've mentioned the red sweatshirt with the saxophone player she wore at my interview before, and while today's outfit is better than that, I don't think it necessarily conveys the level of put-together professionalism someone in her position should display.

Despite this, she really cares about how other things look. She has more than once lectured me about my appearance; and I really had to choke back laughter during that talk, because despite my lack of effort in that area, I can't explain how much bigger fish she has to fry in our department, and like I said, I think I do know how and when to step it up.

Today, she's upset because there aren't tablecloths to put on the tables before we put boxes of pizza and cans of soda on top of them. Never mind that our whole damn department seems to be imploding and I've come the closest I've ever come to saying "I quit" and walking out the door in the middle of the day, no, it's the lack of tablecloths that's the problem.

But I am not writing to complain about my boss. Oh no, I am writing to congratulate my colleague, who said to me after hearing the tablecloth lecture (why the admissions coordinator is responsible for procuring of tablecloths is beyond me), "for someone who doesn't brush her hair, she sure cares a lot about aesthetics."

If same sex marriage were legal in this state (booooooooooooooooooooooo, jerks), I would have proposed right then and there.

August 17, 2010

Bad Ride

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...
Forgive me, dear friends, for my absence (is something I've been saying here a lot lately).  Here's the thing:

When I was 19, my parents were getting divorced and I was living abroad in a country where I was legally allowed to drink.   This did not go well for anyone, certainly not me.  For Thanksgiving that year, my abroad group gathered, I contributed peanut butter and banana sandwiches to the potluck, and then drank my weight in wine and Desperados (for those not classy enough to have experienced Desperados personally, they are beer with tequila in them and also what someone told me, "all the bums who live in the metro station drink").  After that I tried to make out with a boy in my group who most certainly did not like making out with girls, not even at parties, got lost, and the whole event climaxed with me getting punched in the face by a taxi driver.  Seriously- Black eye punched in the face.  I made it home, and all ended well enough.  But the thing about that story is that I've been waiting for coming up on 10 years for it to join the ranks of other goofy stories of drunken debauchery, and it's never quite made the transition.  It was just too upsetting at the time to make the leap to silly anecdote.  And that pretty much sums up what's been going on at my office this last week.  Like, if that cab driver applied for my immediate boss' position, with the odds stacked that he would once again punch me in the face, I would welcome the change.  I hold out hope that soon enough I can resume tossing off the yuck of this office, but until then I'm asking for any leads on where I can get a Desperado and a good ice pack stateside.

Super Tuesday

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

Everyone is really bugging the shit out of me today. I know that's got to be a shock. I've been here an hour and I already think I'm either going to go home or on a murderous rampage by lunch, and this point, I can't decide which is preferable. Here's who I'm hating today:

Annoying workstudy: bitch is always singing and humming to herself. Even when I put on music. She also stands uncomfortably close to me when she's asking a question and does that nervous laugh thing after everything she says. Good workstudy hates her too. It's awesome.
Incoming students: One of them sent me an email with the phrase "please advise." I cannot explain how much I hate this phrase. I'm always tempted to advise them to eff themselves, but instead I directed this gentleman to an email Officemate sent last weekend containing the exact information he swears is not available anywhere. I have special prejudice against "please advise" because my supervisor at my internship used it all the time, essentially as code for "what the hell is this?" My friend B says it's code for "here, you deal with this shit." Either way, it's silly office-jargon and I do not care for it. I told my Dean that I hate that phrase a lot and he sent me an email with the subject heading "Advise This." He is the best.

Boss: Is at a Dr.'s appointment but keeps calling me to ask me to tell the cleaning crew who's here to do stuff; even though she was here this morning and was supposed to give them assignments. She keeps mentioning she got here at 7:30am today like she deserves some kind of prize. I'm tempted to remind her that I was here all summer and haven't taken like 30 hours of sick leave in the past two weeks, but I don't think that will benefit me in any real way.

On the plus side, I'm wearing new shoes! They're super cute. I keep looking down at them, the one bright spot in this day so far. Until lunchtime, that is.

August 12, 2010

Tyra Mail

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

I'm working from home today and it's awesome for the following reasons:

1. I am not work
2. I am still in my pajamas
3. I've been listening to Ambrosia's Biggest Part of Me on repeat for like 20 minutes, something discouraged in my office. (I really like it when he says "Make a wish, baby...")
4. America's Next Top Model reruns are on Bravo

I don't think K and I have ever appropriately documented our love of Top Model on this blog, but god do we love it. This is the cycle where they go to Brazil, with that girl Allison who has big ole eyes and loves bloody noses.

What? You don't know what I'm talking about? You don't like that show; it's fixed and looks stupid and Tyra annoys you? Go to hell. It's incredible. Back before I moved up to this undisclosed Bay Area location, K and I and two other folk would get together to watch ANTM on a weekly, drink wine and analyze the show and its contestants. It was the closest thing to a religion we had.

So excuse me, everyone, I have to go pray.

August 11, 2010

Upright Position

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

I've constructed an inflatable slide from my second story window and filled the office mini-fridge with beer.  Get me a PA system, friends; I want to do this thing.

If yesterday was the day that Jenny the HPOA took over the internet with her dramatic "I quit," and today is the day we learned she faked it, then let us raise our glasses even higher, our voices even louder to Steven Slater whose F you was as real as it gets.  To you, sir.  You are a vision, and an inspiration, and if you need to know where to get Munchies Mix now, you let me know. 

August 10, 2010

Hero Squad

From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

I don't have much to say at the moment; everything is kind of regular around here. There's work to do, work I don't hate, and while apparently our graduate students are incapable of reading an email entitled "Registration Instructions" and call me to ask for information that is clearly and readily available in said email, their banality has yet to make for an interesting story, except for the one student who called me to verify information that he already knew. When I told him that yes, his understanding of our course registration process was indeed accurate, he replied "See, I don't really need your help at all; you're just a crutch." Waste my time and demean me? Kudos to you sir.

Anyway, things are kind of humming along here in a normal way, with no pranks or exciting events---wait!! My boss is throwing a "watch slides from my long vacation" party this week. She sent out an email inviting everyone in the office to attend and closed it out with the phrase "please feel free to wear safari attire." Oh I will feel free. I will feel so free. Generally this office is so discouraging about my beloved pith helmet and khaki separates, but this Thursday, I can live my Jumanji dreams with her blessing! So magnanimous.

Okay what was I talking about? Oh yeah, this. This girl is my new hero. (And really is a pretty serious HPOA in my opinion, even with the glasses.)

August 9, 2010

Apples to Mondays

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

This is a picture of one of the tables in the courtyard outside my building.  For whatever reason, in response to some rotten Granny Smith or Fuji or Gala, a person- presumably a professional person of some description- decided to permanently carve "F*ck Apples" into a table using an instrument of some kind, their force of will to share this message, and probably their other hand to cover up what they were doing.  Amazing.  And in the spirit of totally juvenile dislike, I say the same thing to Monday today...except I don't carve it in a table.  I do, however, use my force of will to figure out a way of sharing it that isn't just saying, "F*ck Mondays," and I do use my body to cover my computer as I type so that no one I work with realizes that not only am I not doing my job, but more than that I'm complaining about it while not performing it.  I may have better luck just carving tables.

August 5, 2010

Don't Stab Me Bro

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

Today, for a brief and glorious moment, my office mates and I left the building to go across the street.  One of my office mates, M, had a friend who was shooting an episode of NCIS-CSI-L+O: LA (none of us really knew or asked) and he told M that M should come to set and get some of the catered lunch.  Because on set catered food is usually real tasty, M told our other office mate B that he should come, and because I don't like anything good or free and delicious to happen without me, I invited myself along, too.  I pretended to give them an out if they wanted to go alone, but I think that as I put my lunch of leftovers back in the fridge it was clear that I was getting me some set food.

So we headed across the street, stealthily avoiding a (noble but annoying) Greenpeace volunteer on the way, and were trying to figure out where exactly M's friend was in the throng of extras and crew people and general outdoor shoot chaos.  As we stood scanning the crowd, a super grungy, brown-toothed homeless man came running at us.  He was wearing a filthy trench coat and a beanie in pretty hot L.A. summer weather, and he was shaking a giant cup at us yelling for a quarter.  I felt terrified.  I was sure that I was about to get all kinds of cut up right there on Wilshire Blvd., and that when I finally got out of the hospital and managed enough strength to return to work my immediate boss would say something like, "You know, you guys never checked in with me before you went across the street to get stabbed or whatever it was you were doing."

But the homeless guy ran right past me and grabbed M.  Not that either of the men that I was with attempted to shield me with their body or throw a block of any  kind when it looked as though the crazy might have been coming right towards me in my pastel cardigan.  (They have, accordingly, been added to the growing list of people who would be of no use to me in a bar fight.)  Anyway, the insane homeless man was holding and shaking M.  Oh.  Right.  Because he was M's friend, and he was just playing a homeless guy for money.  On TV.  He introduced himself all around, and I had met him before, but forgave him for forgetting because I was feeling generous of spirit after that whole threat of imminent shanking passed.  Then he ran back to where he was taping because I guess that some people get a job and then commit to doing it/well even, and we all decided to go back to our office.  Not sated, but also not stabbed.  A fair draw.

August 4, 2010


From an unnamed university in the greater San Francisco Bay Area...

My day began with a 3+ hour training session run by the central admissions office. As longtime readers know, I hate the central admissions office. Graduate admissions is a constant battle between the department and the university proper and the university always seems to win, because they were here before me and they'll be here long after I leave (please please please let that time be soon). Suffice it to say, I was not looking forward to this training.

But lo and behold, it was actually good. Interactive, informative, dare I say: enjoyable. I LEARNED things. Things I didn't know before! I can't tell you how rare that is for training sessions like this. In the ~4 years I've been working in higher education administration, I've attended several institutionalized trainings, which usually go like this.

Pick up your packet.
Grab coffee and muffin.
Spill coffee (okay that might just be me).
Read the things in your packet while you wait for the speaker to begin.
Doze off/space out/doodle while the speaker reiterates everything you just read in the packet.
Q&A, in which people ask extremely specific questions that apply only to their jobs/situations. Speaker answers a minimum of 2 follow-up questions before suggesting that the questioner contact him/her personally.
Sneak out before the thing is over because you can't take another second.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did leave this training early, but mostly because I was anxious about getting things done in the office, and not because I was bored out of my skull. Progress!

Meeting with admissions people from departments all over campus was first depressing, then gratifying. If I was not the youngest person in the room, I was easily the second-youngest, and most of the people were old, short, overweight and poorly dressed. Not kidding. Dudes had long hair, women were wearing tennis shoes and homemade shawls. It was not a pretty sight. Good god, let me get out of here before I become one of them, I said to myself.

But then the commiserating started. As I texted to my friend M, we have many differences, but one key similarity: we all hate the applicants. We complained about dumb applicants, bitchy applicants, applicants who need to have things reconfirmed four or five times. International applicants, non-California residents, reapplicants....we all hate them all. It was life-affirming. So enjoyable was the work-related commiseration, I was almost tempted to tell these people about this blog, but then remembered that for the sake of keeping my job until I finally fulfill my dream of becoming of a trophy wife and living out my days in my Infinity Pool, I need to prevent my place of employment from knowing my true feelings.

The joy of commiseration was so great, I really want to extend to you all (both?). Would you like to anonymously guest-post-bitch about your jobs? It's fun, I swear.

August 3, 2010

Art Imitating Life/Pants

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

 As I've shared before, I not only torture myself at my every day job, but also drive around Hollywood during moments that I can sneak away from my desk and audition for various inane commercials.  Today I tried out for a spot for a communications company where my lines were hilarious guesses at what DSL- which they were cleverly knocking- might actually stand for.  I thought about suggesting what I'd always heard it stood for, but that's less about the internet and more about, say, Angelina Jolie.  Well, I guess there's a reason people look her up on the internet...

Anyway, I had to dress "business casual" for my audition this morning, which meant that I, along with every other girl there who looked creepily like me as we were all auditioning for the same part, wore a bold-colored blouse with buttons and a ruffle of some sort tucked into either slacks or a pencil skirt.  Seriously.  Every girl in that room.

The audition went regular/fine/who can tell?, but the miserable part was going to my real office and actual desk job afterward, because I was embarrassingly overdressed.  Quality of office wear and height of success have an inverse relationship in entertainment, so who wants to suggest that there so unimportant that they've got to dress up in the kind of trousers and high heels I was rocking all day?  No one.  But I bet at my pretend office in the commercial, where everyone dresses up and dresses well, no one would tell me to go to hell or to blow them as my two office mates just did, and who wants to work somewhere where you never get that kind of love?  Again, I'd say, the answer is no one.  Or at least not me.  Or at least not me unless someone offered me any kind of other job doing anything at all anywhere in the world.

August 2, 2010

Time Flies

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

I went away to the East Coast this past weekend, and after I flew overnight on Thursday (sleeping for 2 hours of a 4 hour flight to Chicago, pinching myself into consciousness for a 2 hour layover, and then dozing on a 2 hour flight to Boston) I went to lunch in Providence on Friday and stayed up until 2:30 p.m. and then napped to the Kourtney and Khloe and their ridiculous shenanigans (although I do think that Scott is real-life Patrick Bateman and no one is taking it seriously enough) after which I saw 2 plays and then stayed out late for drinks and then repeated that the next day when I saw 3 plays and had even more drinks and didn't go to bed until 4 in the morning, but didn't get to sleep it off because the day after that I got up early to hang out with a 3-year-old and 1-year-old who are the cutest of buttons, but children nonetheless and then this morning I got up at 3:45 a.m. Providence time- which was 12:45 a.m. L.A. time- and L.A. was where I was headed to go directly to my office which was particularly horrifying because after I'd been up for 2 hours, I saw on Facebook that one of my office mates hadn't even gone to bed for the night and I knew that I was so effed that I couldn't concentrate on work all day and wasn't even sure I could post more than a single sentence on the blog, and for those keeping track: I didn't.