Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Illegitimi non carborundum

Last night was frustrating – we can’t just loosely drape the lights over the hedges – they have to be passerby and gardener (oops, I meant “landscape technician”) proof and they’ll have to stay put for weeks – some of our shoddier work has already been knocked down and we’re going to have to do them over, which is sending our boss into panic mode as he’s afraid we’re not going to be done on time.

We have to wind the lights around any sturdy twigs we find in the foliage (since we’re only hanging the lights on the side facing the offices – no one cares about holiday lights in the parking lots), and some of the shrubbery is more difficult to wrap than others. Last night’s hedges had plenty of sturdy twigs, but my partner and I were both having problems getting the strands to stay where we put them (damn slippery leaves), so it took us our entire shift to finish about 60 feet of hedge.

At the beginning of the job, our boss warned us that some of the office workers might be belligerent when they saw us working on holiday lights so early, but everyone’s been pretty nice so far.

Last night, we were working right in between the studio president’s one miiilllllion dollar (C’mon, say it like Dr. Evil – you know you want to) office and the VIP parking lot. The execs had to walk by us as they were leaving for the day, and most of them passed by without even acknowledging our presence (we are, after all, just the help). The folks who did make comments were pleasant and surprised at how much work the lights were.

Then again, we were listening to Sinatra on the little portable CD player, and it’s hard to be a jerk when Frank’s belting out Witchcraft.

All was well until about 10 pm when a lady walked by us and snarled “Can’t you people at least wait until after Halloween?”

As I was opening my mouth to politely explain, she shook her head, muttered “Unbelievable!” and stomped off.

Lucky for me years of working on sets have rendered me utterly incapable of caring about someone’s attitude problems when they’re related to something that’s beyond my control.

As she stomped towards her BMW, still muttering to herself, I cheerily called after her “Think of it as a reminder to start shopping soon!”

She didn’t turn around.

I bet our boss gets a memo about the gardeners (oops, I meant “landscape technicians”) talking back to the important people.

Oh, and Happy Halloween. With my current hours, I won’t have to worry about getting ambushed like I did last year .

Filed under: Work

October 2006
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"If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." -Anne Lamott

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