Friday, July 17, 2009

Day in the Life of a Formerly-Employed Studio Assistant

7:23am - Wake up, use the bathroom, check the time on my cell phone. Once I realize that the clock has yet to strike 8am and that I do not have to be at work in an hour-and-a-half, I return to bed.

7:39am - Who am I kidding? It's too damn hot to sleep in my A/C-deprived bedroom, and since I live down the street from an auto body shop, I am prevented from further slumber by the familiar cacophony of a hydraulic drill fastening lugs to a tire (WHIRRR!!WHIRRR!!CLACKCLACKCLACKCLACK!! x 16). I crawl out of bed, and throw on my running shoes. After a quick leg stretch, I jog down the street, around adjacent Stoner Park (it's on Stoner Avenue, people - don't get the wrong idea!), and back. A 15-minute jog is plenty to get my larger-than-average ass winded and sweaty so that I can start another day of job-hunting without hating myself for not exercising with all this time off. Hop in the shower, hop out, dry off, start my day.

8:13am - Check my email - no responses from my resume submissions from previous days. I do, however, receive an email from my girl at the temp agency I signed up with. She wants to know if I am interested in working for an A-List Talent Agent at Big Time Agency. I know exactly which agent she is referring to, as "thick skin" is a must. I gladly thank her for bringing the opportunity to my attention, but I tell her that I've worked with him before when I was in management years ago, and it probably wouldn't be a great fit. Besides, said agent has a history of going through assistants like I went through $8 Heinekens at Coachella last year.

9:00am - After going on the requisite websites like EntertainmentCareers, Jobfox, VarietyCareers, the job website for the studio I was once employed at, and, finally, perusing my trusty UTA joblist, I discover about four positions I am somewhat excited to apply for, and three jobs I might or might not want. I type a meticulous cover letter for each of the first four positions, and resort to a less sophisticated copy-and-pasting technique for the other three. After going through my Sent file for a quick review, I realize I forgot to attach my resume to one of the meticulous cover letters...D'OH!!! No use in resending cover letter with resume attached, as the HR coordinator at that company probably already thinks I'm an unemployable tool.

11:00am - Take a break from sitting at my computer, drive to Starbucks to reinforce my addiction to those damned iced-Doubleshots that I now have all the time in the world but not all the cash in the world to drink. Funny how I used to envy the people who lounge at coffee shops all day with their laptops while I made caffeine runs for execs at the studio. Now I realize that many, if not most of them are unemployed! After I finish my stimulating beverage, I'm all fired up, and proceed to run a couple of errands like dry cleaning, laundry, $75 tank of gas (I drive a Honda, by the way), etc. In Los Angeles, one needs to take advantage of the hours between 10am-2pm to knock out as many errands as possible while traffic is not bumper-to-bumper. If you wait until rush hour, errands can take three times as long.

12:21pm - Open my "Cracking the GMAT" book and convince myself that greener pastures are not far away once I apply myself toward obtaining an MBA. After all, why spend time working crap jobs for shit wages during hard times when you can just go to grad school for 2-3 years and come out $80k in debt from student loans by the time the economy turns around?

1:45pm - Make myself a sandwich and catch the second half of "Jim Rome is Burning" on ESPN, followed by "Around the Horn" at 2pm. During my days of employment, I used to come home on my break and catch maybe 20 minutes of ESPN programming while wolfing down lunch before I had to jet back to work. Now, I just feel dirty knowing I cam watch all of ATR without worrying about getting yelled at by my bosses upon my return to the studio.

2:31pm - As soon as I see Tony Kornheiser's ugly mug on "Pardon the Interruption", I immediately flip off the telly. God, he annoys me. I grab a workout towel, check my email once more for responses to my resume submissions. Nothing to respond to, so I hit the gym. I'm not in love with working out at Bally Fitness (it ain't Sports Club LA!), but it can be quite peaceful before 4pm, when the cardio machines start getting crowded, and people resort to fisticuffs to be first on the elliptical treadmill.

4:03pm - Get back home, check my mailbox, hooray! My unemployment check came! Twice-Grilled Burrito tonight!! Hop in the shower again. Since baseball games typically start at 4pm here on the west coast, at least I now have my last-place fantasy team to keep my mind occupied until my friends start getting home from work. Check email again, check Craigslist jobs for shits-and-giggles. Once in a while, you can find cash-paying one-day gigs that you don't need to report to Employment Development Department. Since I'm not about to go "gay for pay", I see nothing of interest.

5:03pm - Get a call on my cell from Mom. Same conversation as yesterday, and the day before: "Hi Mom...I'm okay...not a whole lot, just got back from the gym, about to send off some more resumes...yeah, some interesting opportunities...yeah, I'm still trying to get back into the studio, but I'm not sure....of COURSE I still have friends there...we'll they're mostly assistants, so it's not like they can hire me!....oh, thanks, but I'm all set for dinner tonight....just El Pollo Loco....I know I ate it yesterday! Hey, I got a call on the other line, can I call you a bit later? Sure, we'll get together later this week...bye, love you too!"

6:12pm - After I deposit my hard-earned unemployment check in the bank, I arrive at my friend's house who has every baseball game televised on satellite (my escape from the doldrums of unemployment), watch my last-place fantasy team sink even further in the standings while we munch on delicious Twice-Grilled Burritos, and I walk his adorable little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel around the park before twilight approaches.

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