public assistance


“Tomorrow, I need for you to look up all the different ways to say, ‘poop’,” my boss said as I put on my jacket to leave for the day.

“Okay, I’ll look it up on Wikipedia,” I said as I walked out the door.

That night I flipped through the channels and ended up watching Ugly Betty on ABC. The exploits of the awkward, out-of-place assistant reminded me of when I began as an assistant.

In my After Effects class in college, the professor announced he received a posting for an internship in Atlanta with a broadcast design company. I’d spent the previous month making phone calls and sending emails without any luck for an interview and while I didn’t want to be a broadcast designer, I decided that at that point, I was up for anything. He asked if anyone wanted a copy of the flyer. I was the only one that raised his hand. I sent off the email and forgot about it.

Then I got a message in my inbox.

I was called into an interview the next week. I gave myself an hour and a half padding just in case I got lost. I did get slightly lost, but it only took thirty minutes. That left an hour, so I decided to drive around to get a feel of the neighborhood. After getting lost for another half an hour in east Atlanta, I decided just to sit in the car outside the building. I probably would have punched anyone if they said “Hot”lanta as my air conditioner was on the fritz (by “fritz”, I mean broken for several years).

I walked through the doors exactly on time.

I met with the company’s business manager. After some surprisingly natural small talk, we discussed the internship. One of the questions she asked me was what my end goal was for my career. I replied I wanted to direct. It never occurred to me that it probably wouldn’t be the best answer while interviewing for a broadcast design internship. She said she would do some asking around town to see if anyone else had anything available and that she would get back to me in a couple of days. I was surprised by this. How many interviewers said that they were going to other companies to see if they had anything for their interviewees? Was this normal? It wasn’t like I’d been on that many interviews; maybe this wasn’t all that out of the ordinary.

A couple days later I was in class when I got a call. I ducked into the hallway. It was a director in Atlanta. He’d spoken with the business manager and wanted to know if I could come in an interview for an internship. He needed someone to start right away. I had a class Summer I term and wouldn’t be able to start when he needed, I apologized and the call was over.

I went to eat at Lai Lai’s on the strip with David and Scott. In-between mouthfuls of sweet and sour chicken I listened as they strongly suggested I call the director back. I could worry about the class later. I ducked out of Lai Lai’s to call the director back. I scheduled an interview for two days later.

I woke up at five in the morning and drove to Atlanta. When I arrived at the tall glass building on Peachtree Street I decided that I really wanted this internship. I was a few minutes early (having learned my lesson and lessened my padding for getting lost) and sat in the lobby. I felt amazingly out of place. The concierge at the desk was wearing nicer clothes than I was. I had on black pants and a tie, but in my five a.m. daze I was unable to find any black socks, so I made due with white ankle socks. I was regretting that decision.

The time came and I used the touch-screen callbox in order to be let in. I went through the interview and was offered the job.

Since then I’ve booked flights, hotels and cars, taken calls from VH1 and MTV, sat in on dozens of conference calls with ad agencies, written, directed, and edited commercials, worked as a PA and script supervisor, been an extra, worked as a broadcast and graphic designer, and of course, gotten coffee.

The end scene showed the result of Betty’s boss’ brother’s sex change operation. I decided to read a book the next week.

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  1. I don’t know why but I got the theme son “Movin on up to the east side” while reading this. Kim

    Posted January 19, 2007 at 12:07 am | Permalink
  2. *song* sorry

    Posted January 19, 2007 at 12:07 am | Permalink
  3. cleverscreenname

    To a de-luxe apartment,
    In the sky-.

    Posted January 19, 2007 at 12:09 am | Permalink
  4. Ashley Aynes

    your job is cooler than mine. i do like it though! We got the package. THANKS!

    Posted January 19, 2007 at 11:35 am | Permalink
  5. Yeah, the only part of that song I know is “movin on up to the east side” “finally got a piece of the pie” yup…

    Posted January 19, 2007 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  6. Just so you know Clintster I’ve started my own blog. Sarah has convinced me. Although my life probably isn’t that exciting I find blogging to a fun way to let people know what’s going on and also keep a daily journal. Check it out—Kim

    Posted January 20, 2007 at 1:13 pm | Permalink