Summer has officially arrived Los Angeles – early last week the temperatures were in the 70’s, later in the week they were in the 90’s, and over the weekend they broke the triple digit barrier – although today it’s cooled off to a relatively brisk 90.
One of the advantages of living in a place that used to pass for a desert is that it cools off at night- the knowledge that once the sun goes down the temperature is going to be in the high 60’s or low 70’s it’s much easier to cope with 100 degrees during the day.
This past weekend, however, nature played a cruel joke on Los Angeles and it didn’t cool off at night so much as become marginally less hot and miserable, but still too hot to sleep.
If I wanted to toss and turn in my sweat-soaked bed at night, struggling to breathe and wondering how to sleep in a bathtub full of cold water without drowning, I’d go to Florida. Or NYC, but at least I could manage to sleep on the fire escape there.
Although I’m not near the beach, which is the preferred place to be when the weather gets this hot, at least I’m not in the San Fernando Valley, which is 10 degrees (or more) hotter. During the summer, I dread going into the Valley even though I sometimes have to do so.
Since I’m currently on a short enforced vacation due to bursitis in my left shoulder (what I really need to do is take a few weeks off, but right now I can’t do that because there’s not enough money in my account to survive another strike so I’m only taking a couple of days of turbo-rest and I can actually let the thing heal when SAG walk out and I’m unemployed for an entire month. Or four), I decided to take the time to drive up into the valley to go to Contract Services for the I-9 debacle.
Contract Services are the people who keep track of who in the union is in good standing, up to date on safety training and able to work, and a few years ago someone there had a really good idea.
For those of you not in the USA, when you work here you have to fill out a form called the I-9, which is a proof of citizenship/work eligibility. The information required to prove work eligibility is just about all someone else needs to apply for credit in your name, buy a bunch of expensive shit and then not make any of the payments and leaving you to sort it out, which can take years and years and turn just about every hair you have grey.
So, Contract Services decided that we’d all go there once every three years and fill out the I-9 info at the office and they’d keep it on file and not show anyone and the production companies could just give them the list of names and they’d tell them if we were cool or not, and then we wouldn’t have to fill it out the form for each job and subject ourselves to potential hair-greying problems. Saving a couple of trees by reducing the amount of paper required would also have been a good thing.
Except that none of the production companies will accept the Contract Services on-file I-9, so we still have to fill one out each time we start a new show, plus since Contract Services simply will not admit that this program, while a good idea, just. isn’t. working. we still have to go up into the inferno that is Encino once every three years and fill out that stupid fucking redundant form that no one ever accepts. My complaints about this have so far fallen on deaf ears.
Perhaps I should complain louder. Or write someone a very angry letter which would probably be put in the same file as the I-9 and used against me at a later date.
I’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn and not going to the gym because of my shoulder, so I’m starting to bounce off the walls. I’m not working tomorrow, either, but that will be the last day I can afford to be off work so that shoulder better hurry up and get better.
Just for a giggle (and because I’ve been home and able to partially catch up on my internets), Laurie at Crazy Aunt Purl has some hilarious pictures of what San Fernando Valley heat will do to a pillar candle:
I won’t be able to completely catch up on my internets, though – the way I hold my arms when I type hurts that damn high-maintenance shoulder after a while.