Office PA for a day
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.