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Office PA for a day

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Jan. 25th, 2006 | 05:03 pm

Want to read about an awkward first (and last) day? Better yet, want to read about it in the oft-ignored second person perspective?

Picture you've just been hired by a company. A woman shows you around, sits you at a desk, and demonstrates how to work the phone. A few other employees are there, at first. Then, one after the other, they leave. An hour after you walked in the door, you're now the only person there.

Oh, and your salary has been described in the hurried phone interview earlier that morning as "likely, dependent on your performance" and "could you come in today, like, right now?"

A few hours go by. Then a few more. It gets dark. You're still the only person there. The only task they've asked you to do, tidy up the office, was done long ago. A distant and muffled rendition of "Happy Birthday" floats up from another office in the building.

You're hungry now. How does lunch work? No one to ask. Step out? And leave an office empty, no way to lock the door?

There's a kitchen, mostly bare. You find a cookie and eat it. The phone rings. Someone you don't know leaves a message for someone you don't know. More time passes. Still hungry.

You open the fridge. Four open jars of peanut butter and a half loaf of stale white bread. You proceed to make the most dubious PBJ sandwich you've ever ate. Did that peanut butter smell rancid? Best not to think about it.

It's after 8 pm now. You think about the things you could be doing right now. You think about your girlfriend at home, 45 miles away.

The girl from the morning comes back. Can you be in tomorrow? The pay is $7.50 an hour.

I thank them for the day, but decline. She shrugs and goes into her office without another word. I show myself out. I doubt they'll remember to pay for my one day of time.

The job was as an office PA on a small, indie movie called My Suicide. During all this waiting, I read a copy of the script. It was frenetic and convoluted -- the first 20 pages took me an hour to read. If there had been anything else to do, I doubt would have read that far.

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Comments {12}

briana aeby

(no subject)

from: brisrealm
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 01:49 am (UTC)
Link

gotta love low budget indie flicks :/

of course, the office p.a.s here are on an hourly too...minimum wage...

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Devon DeLapp

(no subject)

from: ddelapp
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 06:07 am (UTC)
Link

It's not the money -- if I thought the experience could have led somewhere, by contacts or knowledge, I would have stuck around.

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briana aeby

(no subject)

from: brisrealm
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
Link

hmmm. from how you described your day...

you can tell me to piss off, but rather than sitting around waiting for someone to tell you what to do next time, you should take the initiative and ask if something needs to be done, especially since they vacated the office save for you. i woulda called the browning chick or the other chick and said, "so, what should i be doing today?"

roam around and meet whoever may be around, ask them if they are with the show, etc...nobody will care that the office door was left open and the room vacated for a few minutes:)

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briana aeby

(no subject)

from: brisrealm
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
Link

in other words, they have things they think are more important and she must've hired you knowing that you would have no problem handling the sitch, which you didn't have a problem whatsoever, but what she failed to do was actually tell you what she required for the day. in the next sitch, if nobody is around to give you any heads up, definitely get the boss on the phone and ask questions! when you're hungry, call her up and say you're stepping out for a few minutes to grab a bite - next time, OWN the office, devon! i have faith in you! it may not have seemed ideal in the first 12 hours, but you make your opportunities in this biz and sometimes the biggest opportunities come in the smallest packages. don't mistake a person's ineptitude for 3 weeks of your own production experience;)

ok, sorry, like i said, tell me to piss off b/c you know all this. i'm not telling you you did the wrong thing here by leaving the gig, but just next time know that you make your job what you will...there are no stupid questions, only stupid people. i'll stop lecturing now...

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Devon DeLapp

(no subject)

from: ddelapp
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC)
Link

Excellent points. I could have definitely shown more initiative. I was new, and too cautious.

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Devon DeLapp

(no subject)

from: ddelapp
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
Link

Ideally, I would have loved that. I did edit out some details: a few guys did show up, and I had a nice chat with a locations guy -- we traded emails. Beyond that, their "office" was above a day spa, and beside those guys and that girl in the morning, I was literally the only person there all day.

I don't want to make excuses. My reasoning was just my time could be better spent collecting unemployment, looking for a job working for a studio or tv show, and finishing my third spec.

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Away Above the Chimney Tops

(no subject)

from: boobirdsfly
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
Link

God, sounds like L.A to me...
And also sounds like writing meterial !

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Devon DeLapp

(no subject)

from: ddelapp
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 06:08 am (UTC)
Link

bingo!

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Away Above the Chimney Tops

(no subject)

from: boobirdsfly
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 07:10 am (UTC)
Link

Jesus.... Material.

Reply | Parent | Thread

zedsaid

(no subject)

from: zedsaid
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC)
Link

Well, they're not all that bad. Keep your head up.

Reply | Thread

<Title>

from: anonymous
date: Dec. 25th, 2006 06:17 am (UTC)
Link

[url

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<Title>

from: anonymous
date: Dec. 28th, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
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[url

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Journal - Indiana Jones, and the Last Crusade (1989) The Journal of Devon DeLapp - Office PA for a day

You are viewing ddelapp

Office PA for a day

« previous entry | next entry »
Jan. 25th, 2006 | 05:03 pm

Want to read about an awkward first (and last) day? Better yet, want to read about it in the oft-ignored second person perspective?

Picture you've just been hired by a company. A woman shows you around, sits you at a desk, and demonstrates how to work the phone. A few other employees are there, at first. Then, one after the other, they leave. An hour after you walked in the door, you're now the only person there.

Oh, and your salary has been described in the hurried phone interview earlier that morning as "likely, dependent on your performance" and "could you come in today, like, right now?"

A few hours go by. Then a few more. It gets dark. You're still the only person there. The only task they've asked you to do, tidy up the office, was done long ago. A distant and muffled rendition of "Happy Birthday" floats up from another office in the building.

You're hungry now. How does lunch work? No one to ask. Step out? And leave an office empty, no way to lock the door?

There's a kitchen, mostly bare. You find a cookie and eat it. The phone rings. Someone you don't know leaves a message for someone you don't know. More time passes. Still hungry.

You open the fridge. Four open jars of peanut butter and a half loaf of stale white bread. You proceed to make the most dubious PBJ sandwich you've ever ate. Did that peanut butter smell rancid? Best not to think about it.

It's after 8 pm now. You think about the things you could be doing right now. You think about your girlfriend at home, 45 miles away.

The girl from the morning comes back. Can you be in tomorrow? The pay is $7.50 an hour.

I thank them for the day, but decline. She shrugs and goes into her office without another word. I show myself out. I doubt they'll remember to pay for my one day of time.

The job was as an office PA on a small, indie movie called My Suicide. During all this waiting, I read a copy of the script. It was frenetic and convoluted -- the first 20 pages took me an hour to read. If there had been anything else to do, I doubt would have read that far.

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {12}

briana aeby

(no subject)

from: brisrealm
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 01:49 am (UTC)
Link

gotta love low budget indie flicks :/

of course, the office p.a.s here are on an hourly too...minimum wage...

Reply | Thread

Devon DeLapp

(no subject)

from: ddelapp
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 06:07 am (UTC)
Link

It's not the money -- if I thought the experience could have led somewhere, by contacts or knowledge, I would have stuck around.

Reply | Parent | Thread

briana aeby

(no subject)

from: brisrealm
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
Link

hmmm. from how you described your day...

you can tell me to piss off, but rather than sitting around waiting for someone to tell you what to do next time, you should take the initiative and ask if something needs to be done, especially since they vacated the office save for you. i woulda called the browning chick or the other chick and said, "so, what should i be doing today?"

roam around and meet whoever may be around, ask them if they are with the show, etc...nobody will care that the office door was left open and the room vacated for a few minutes:)

Reply | Parent | Thread

briana aeby

(no subject)

from: brisrealm
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
Link

in other words, they have things they think are more important and she must've hired you knowing that you would have no problem handling the sitch, which you didn't have a problem whatsoever, but what she failed to do was actually tell you what she required for the day. in the next sitch, if nobody is around to give you any heads up, definitely get the boss on the phone and ask questions! when you're hungry, call her up and say you're stepping out for a few minutes to grab a bite - next time, OWN the office, devon! i have faith in you! it may not have seemed ideal in the first 12 hours, but you make your opportunities in this biz and sometimes the biggest opportunities come in the smallest packages. don't mistake a person's ineptitude for 3 weeks of your own production experience;)

ok, sorry, like i said, tell me to piss off b/c you know all this. i'm not telling you you did the wrong thing here by leaving the gig, but just next time know that you make your job what you will...there are no stupid questions, only stupid people. i'll stop lecturing now...

Reply | Parent | Thread

Devon DeLapp

(no subject)

from: ddelapp
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC)
Link

Excellent points. I could have definitely shown more initiative. I was new, and too cautious.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Devon DeLapp

(no subject)

from: ddelapp
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
Link

Ideally, I would have loved that. I did edit out some details: a few guys did show up, and I had a nice chat with a locations guy -- we traded emails. Beyond that, their "office" was above a day spa, and beside those guys and that girl in the morning, I was literally the only person there all day.

I don't want to make excuses. My reasoning was just my time could be better spent collecting unemployment, looking for a job working for a studio or tv show, and finishing my third spec.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Away Above the Chimney Tops

(no subject)

from: boobirdsfly
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
Link

God, sounds like L.A to me...
And also sounds like writing meterial !

Reply | Thread

Devon DeLapp

(no subject)

from: ddelapp
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 06:08 am (UTC)
Link

bingo!

Reply | Parent | Thread

Away Above the Chimney Tops

(no subject)

from: boobirdsfly
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 07:10 am (UTC)
Link

Jesus.... Material.

Reply | Parent | Thread

zedsaid

(no subject)

from: zedsaid
date: Jan. 26th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC)
Link

Well, they're not all that bad. Keep your head up.

Reply | Thread

<Title>

from: anonymous
date: Dec. 25th, 2006 06:17 am (UTC)
Link

[url

Reply | Thread

<Title>

from: anonymous
date: Dec. 28th, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
Link

[url

Reply | Thread



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