This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Office Vs. Hollywood

My brother worked for quite awhile in database management. He had great benefits and paid time off accumulating quicker than he could plan vacations. However, he spent most of his time envisioning his future 401K nest egg, sending me links to cool websites ( and and counting the minutes until he could go home. Needless to say, he was bored. Now, he's searching for something-- a better job, more meaning in life.

"You are soooo lucky!!!, " proclaimed a fellow bridesmaid when I was summoned to the Midwest for a whirlwind wedding a few years ago. "I always wanted to work in entertainment," she continued, "but I live in, you know, Missouri." [Therefore, she's doomed??] I think not.

A high school classmate recently found me on Facebook. I asked her what she was up to. Her answer, "working in government. Being boring."

It's bad enough to declare your job boring yet infinitely more disastrous to declare yourself boring just based on the occupational hazard of your job title.

Working in the film industry, outsiders [even some friends and family] wrongly believe that I lead some glamorous, well-paying, fantasy life. Sure, it's probably more interesting sometimes than your average office job, but as I tell most people, "You'd be surprised at how boring and unappealing my job can really can be."

That's why, I now present today's 10 brainstorms comparing:

The Office Vs. Hollywood

1)~Your commute sucks, but you've done it so many times that your car could drive there on its own. (The Office)

~My commute changes everyday, Angelenos as a group cannot drive worth crap, and my Thomas Guide [ the THICKER than the Bible, L.A. book of streets and maps] is a permanent fixture underneath my front seat. (Hollywood)

2) ~You love FREE food... glazed donuts, cocoa in the office cabinet, instant coffee, leftover Girl Scout cookies that overzealous co-workers bought a month ago, birthday cakes... bean dip...cheese dip...guacamole... Christmas cookies. (The Office)

~I love FREE food (and drinks)... in the form of catered food on-set and craft services [when and if it's good.] FYI:Protein bars, fresh fruit, trail mix, veggies/dip, PB&J, and an espresso bar [good] Stale bagels, unrefrigerated cream cheese after more than 4 hours, donuts after nightfall, crusty cheddar cheese cubes solidified to toothpicks [bad] (Hollywood)

3) ~You minimize windows by clicking the "x" on your personal e-mail, Tetris, iTunes, your Facebook account,, and anything else you aren't supposed to be doing. (The Office)

~We minimize windows by blacking them out with gels so we can completely control the light while we're shooting. But we still play Tetris on our cell phone- as to appear that we're working, when we're really just trying to distract our brains from the Red Bull that just landed at the craft service table.

4)~Your day begins once you park your car in the lot, enter the building, trudge up the stairs, and turn on your computer. (The Office)

~I've spent hours never leaving the parking lot/ parking structure/crew parking... or basecamp [i.e. wherever we've decided to put our trucks and trailers.] (Hollywood)

5) ~You probably actually have an employee break room or an in-house cafe at work.
(The Office)

~ Sure, we get catering--but we could get stuck eating that lunch in any number of places: parking lots, underneath tents in the blazing sun, cemeteries, church basements...the possibilities are endless and couldn't be less ambient. (Hollywood)

6) ~You often wonder how it's possible that your superiors and CEOs earn so much money and yet seem to know so little (The Office)

~I often wonder the same thing about studio and network executives (as well as agents, managers, and seemingly clueless directors.) (Hollywood)

7)~ These days, you dread being laid off, but know it's inevitable no matter how valued you are.
(The Office)

~ I simultaneously look forward to (and dread) being laid off, but know it's inevitable.
P.S. I'm valued? News to me.

8) ~If you're still at work well after 12 hours, you're either raking in the overtime or you're a CPA the week before the tax deadline.

~If I'm still at work well after 12 hours, it's nothing new... they've pretty well got me for as long as they want to do camera set-ups.

9) ~You can strike, but no one will listen--and it probably won't make headlines. You're better off giving 2-week's notice and booking it for Jamaica before that vacation time evaporates.

~When Hollywood unions strike, it makes the National Enquirer and Deadline Hollywood Daily [an L.A. Weekly column] goes into overdrive giving us the play-by-play, whether we like it or not. And if we're below-the-line, we're reading Deadline Hollywood Daily because we are probably unemployed due to some Hollywood union strike. (Hollywood)

10) ~When you leave work, you pull into the driveway, walk into your house, and engage in a casual "hello, how was work?" dialogue with your spouse. Then you spend quality time with your kids while watching the 3-hour finale of "Survivor" and dreading work the next day. (The Office)

~First off, I don't have a driveway--let alone a house. Plus, Hollywood and marriage? Now, there's an oxymoron that many a Hollywooder has tried to defy. And kids? Let's not get too ambitious. But, yes, I've had my days when I dread going to work just as much as you do. But, "I'm living the dream..." I tell myself, as I merge onto another L.A. freeway. (Hollywood)

Copyright © 2008 KLiedle

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