Monday, April 28, 2008

Catching Up - Pt 2 and Other Stuff

So after the ASCAP thing, Wednesday was a quiet day. I can't remember much of what happened... I know I was in a panic about my own presentation for our Big Idea. I had all this information I'd researched, and a pretty good idea about what I wanted to say but had no idea how to start. Way back in the day, I prepared sales presentations for VH-1, and the woman I worked for had the written skills of a 4th or 5th grader, I kid you not. Now that I have an almost 4th-grader of my own, I stand by my accusation. But anyway, I'd gained plenty of sales-presentation-writing experience, so I was familiar with the flow.

Just as an aside, and since I'm on the subject, I hated that bitch I worked for with a fiery passion. Granted, I have a problem with authority, but I've worked for some pretty cool people in my life. Usually, they sort of have an attitude themselves... or they are the type to sort of be Yin to my Yang, and we work great together. I still remember them fondly; Pat Brown, Phil Lee, Andrea Simon. But other people, like this bitch...

She was Polish, but with no accent. Polish was probably her first language, and I never knew (or cared to) if she was born there in Poland, though I would guess so. The first thing that got me going about her was that for this job, she had been transported from LA. VH-1 was fairly new, and MTV Networks was in the process of launching 'HA!' TV, which (when it began to fail early in the game) was bought by somebody (can't remember who though I tend to think HBO) and turned into Comedy Central (which MTV eventually bought back. Go figure). When HA! died, all of us who worked in that division were rolled over to VH-1. In any event... I wanted to like the bitch because she was little and "peppery", but she talked incessantly about "my red BMW" which she had put on a flatbed and shipped up to NY. That rubbed me the wrong way... the fact that she never referred to "my car", but always referred to "my red BMW".

The second thing that pissed me off about her came when she began hiring a nanny. I answered all her phone calls.... and all of a sudden I'd get phone calls from people who spoke NO English whatsoever. Not even Spanish. Polish. Because she needed a Polish Nanny. No other nanny would do. And I guess, as a mom I understand she wanted her kid to speak Polish, but she was unbelievably condescending about the whole thing. And when she couldn't get a Polish Nanny through ads in the paper, she began a succession of phone calls to various au pair agencies, to import a Polish Nanny. The conversations got under my skin. But she got the Polish Nanny.

But thing I hated most about her was that she couldn't write. Or spell. Her grammar was worse than my kid's. And as someone who had already been an assistant for a couple of years, I was used to deciphering bad handwriting, but this was ridiculous. Particularly since she made a shitload of money if she sold stuff. She'd hand me stacks of pages to type up for sales presentations, and even I, in my limited sales experience, even I knew that if I'd typed up word for word what she'd written, she'd never be able to close the deal. Because sometimes some of what she wrote was insulting to her audience. So I started correcting them... at least correcting the spelling. But then after a bit I couldn't stand it any more and started correcting the grammar. I always made sure to hand back what she gave me so she could compare it to what she got back.

But the bitch started complaining that I wasn't fast enough... didn't get enough done in a day. And back then, I wasn't the slacker I was now. I was always at work on time. For one thing, I had moved in with the Traffic Manager (my great love) and he had to be to work early, and I came in with him so I was always early. Now, the Traffic Manager was white... and we worked on the same floor though different departments, and we never hid our relationship or the fact that we lived together, but once we were actually living together we had no need to hang around each other's desks anymore and I think I was pretty efficient in my workday. But I think that as word got out, certain folk had a major problem with the whole thing... she in particular but also her boss who was this big dude from Texas. Complete with Texas twang.

So then I got "spoken to" once or twice by both her and/or her manager. I started logging everything I did, by time period. Obsession comes in handy... and I documented EVERYTHING. And I started making copies not only of what she gave me to type, but the finished product. Then I got a bad review and I was incensed. I went in to TexasTwang, and he confirmed she'd been complaining that I was slow. I said "you want to know why? You want to see what I have to work with? " and I walked back into his office with a stack of stuff. He looked at it all... thoroughly... and his only response was that he would send her to a business writing course. Which she never went to. They vaguely cleaned up my review, but she would still harass the shit out of me until a spot opened up at Nickelodeon, and I moved over. And got along just fine with my new boss thank you very much... except they didn't like him either and eventually they canned him. He was too much of a nice guy.

Years later, the bitch moved to Turner Networks to sell CNN. I was at another network by then, and I HATED it and knew that it was a nowhere gig. Back then I only cared about money... I had no kids. So I was willing to forgo my intense dislike of her and went to interview with her in her new office. She kept me waiting a little bit, and while I waited, I watched on CNN's monitors the beginning of the great OJ Chase. She called me in to her office, explaining that the reason she kept me waiting was that her au pair had suddenly been paralyzed down her right side and was freaking out, her young son was scared, and her husband was away on a business trip so he couldn't go home. But she couldn't go home you see... not because she was interviewing me, but because her boss was also out of town, and she was left in charge. It was after 5PM... and I remember being secretly appalled. Right then I decided that if she offered me the job I wouldn't take it.

I left her office and went home, where I sat and watched the OJ Chase:

(don't you just love YouTube???)

The Traffic Manager was away on business (later I found out that well, he wasn't really away on 'business' business, but was in fact visiting his future wife) and so I was alone. The next day I got a phone call that friends of a friend of ours--a young married couple--had just lost their son. The day I was interviewing, the day of the OJ Chase, this young couple's son was shaken to death by the nanny. The irony of the whole thing furthered my resolve, and I didn't even bother following up with the interview. She never contacted me either. I sometimes wonder what happened to her and whether she'll go to the Bad Place in the end.

Yeah, I hold a grudge.

well, that turned into something else, now didn't it! But it feels good.

But anyway... what I started out saying was that it's been YEARS since I've done a presentation and was a little freaked. So I harassed the FatLady and showed up at her door with my giant laptop on Wednesday evening so that she could sit beside me and literally feed me the first few lines. She's good at this sort of thing. And I am inordinately grateful. When I was younger and more narcissistic unaware of my Tendencies, it never occurred to me to ask for help. As I've gotten older I have less of a problem, and when I find someone I know can help me, like the FatLady, I put them on notice that they need to be there when I call. And it's just the best when they are... so a public shoutout to my peeps! Cuz I couldn't have done it without her.

I left her house about 9P (Sugar and Spice needed to go to bed--I have to say... they make me like little girls cuz usually little girls perplex me), and took a ridiculously expensive cab home because it meant getting home in a half hour vs two hours via MTA... and I stayed up to write the presentation. I was done at 5am. I had to laugh, cuz Nene called me at about 11P to rag on me about not starting earlier. He knows me, which amuses the hell out of me. But I got it done, slept for two hours, dressed and made it to the meeting on time. All my peeps came so "cleaned up" and the presentation went extraordinarily well. We have some "next steps" to follow and it's going to be a minute... but it's a HotOne so I can't divulge anything yet. But we were all pretty hopeful.

The best part to me was spending a good half the day with Nene. Yeah, that toothache is pounding away. But whatever.

That night, the Sun and I went to see Bowfire. I took him out to dinner first, for sushi. We ate $60 worth of the stuff at Planet Sushi (which included three RIDICULOUSLY priced Ramune sodas that I can buy online for about a third of the price... but I always forget that the restaurant charges so much for them), and then walked over to the theatre. (By the way, speaking of weird Japanese sodas, check out this post--"Top 10 Weird and Bizarre Japanese Soft Drinks." Made me laugh out loud.)

My little man smiled through the whole first half of the show, sitting at the edge of his seat. The second half he was tired and began to droop but he loved the show. And it's a fabulous show. It's a little unnerving for me, because I'm used to going to a concert and having musicians be musicians... but Bowfire is more theatrical and is produced and rehearsed, and so the order of the show and the costumes are exactly like what they are on the DVD. It throws me. But the musicianship is fabulous. They went through the whole show, though, without playing "Kashmir", so when the curtain went down I was joking to the Sun that the whole reason we came was to see Kashmir... and then the curtain went up and they had saved it for the encore. The Sun beamed and came alive.

We walked up Broadway a little--he had to go to the bathroom so we ducked into Starbucks where I got a free coffee, then we took a bus crosstown and then a cab up the east side (cuz it's cheaper). I spent a TON of money... I chuckled to myself how back in the day I could easily drop a hundred bucks or so on myself and not think a thing of it... and now, given the chance it was so much more worth it to drop a hundred bucks (that's going to cost me) on a night out with my Sun.

I came home and crashed--the Sun, who had been sent to the showers--came back to find me sleeping at my desk. He's still teasing me about it.

So there's more to catch up on but I think that's enough for now...

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