Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Work Family

I have never worked in a "normal" office, that mythical place where some people seem to go at 9:00 in the morning, emerging like clockwork at 6:00, leaving their work at their desks as they happily traverse, still in daylight, to their homes.

I've had rather tantalizing tastes of that world. Generally, when I first start working on a new movie, there is a brief period of time when I work eight hours a day. I come in, I go to lunch, I go home. I am able to make lunch plans, I am able to go to happy hour, I can promise to be at dinners and actually be there.

It's a blissful time, made all the better by the knowledge that it never lasts. I think on this project, I had a grace period of two, maybe three weeks. That's pretty short, as these things go, and I didn't take full advantage of that time because I was new to Albuquerque and just trying to get my bearings.

Now that I have my bearings (I'm finally getting the hang of this ridiculous quadrant system- every street ends with "NW" or "SE" or whatever, which initially was annoying and redundant, in my opinion), work has picked up quite a bit.

Working a lot always results in at least one thing happening: truly getting to know co-workers. Working on a film with someone is like going through an alien invasion with them. You end up either loving them, hating them, or not remembering them. I'm always sad when I don't remember someone (someone sent me an e-mail the other day, and I cannot for the life of me recall what he looks like), and I'm annoyed when I hate someone (because it means that I will automatically veto any future projects if I'm aware that they will be there), but the worst, possibly, might be loving someone. After surviving the alien invasion, leaving that person is like breaking up or divorcing.

Here's where my family currently stands, about a third of the way through this particular alien invasion:

Moms (alternate between love and fear):
I have two moms, one a producer (my boss) and one the manager here in Albuquerque. They are both nice, though the LA mom can be really tough and rather frightening. I've worked with her before, though, so it's fine. And Albuquerque mom is very nice, though I don't interact with her very often.

Dad (frustrating):
Our head creative. He can be rather adolescent and has a very inappropriate sense of humor, which is hilarious and annoying in turns. He's good at his job and we get along really well, so I do enjoy working with him. He's more approachable than any other person I've ever worked with in this capacity, though I think most of it is a reflection on me and how I've changed, rather than the personalities of the people I've worked with.

We (the production staff) do call them "Mom and Dad," mostly jokingly.

Husbands (simultaneously love and hate, am exasperated and amused):
I have several of them. As someone in production, having a supervisor does not mean that they are my boss, per se, because they don't tell me exactly what to do. Instead, a supervisor is someone I need to support, have answers for, follow up with, and assist. In an alien invasion, he would be the general, I would be the lieutenant. In production, we call each other "work husband" and "work wife."

As I started quite early on this particular movie, I have four husbands. It used to be five, but one of them left me. So rude. The remaining husbands are quite nice.

Older Brother (love):
I've known him for probably around five years. Great guy, though he bottles up his emotions too much. That makes him a bit passive-aggressive, though it's nothing that's out of control. He's funny and a good drinking buddy. I'm the obnoxious younger one, and he allows me to be as crazy as I want to be. A good friend, though it should be obvious that since we've been friends for a while, I'm totally biased towards him.

Aunt Bertha (leaning towards hate, love only outside of work):
The woman that I work with that drives me bonkers. She seems to miss e-mails, chimes into conversations that don't really pertain to her, and generally seems to be having a jolly old time while the rest of us are slaving away. She's really frustrating me lately, I think because she has no 눈치 (noon-chi, which means she doesn't have any awareness of the people around her- oblivious and rather obtuse) and it doesn't bother her at all that others are obviously annoyed and/or put upon. She's proving to me that ignorance is bliss. There's always one in every group.

The Boys (retarded but lovable):
The assorted artists. Goofy, silly, funny, exasperating, facetious, idiotic, the group is, for the most part, a motley crew of ridiculous boys. I imagine that seeing them daily is what it would have been like to grow up with a giant group of little brothers. I do love them, quirks and all.

Cousin Enid (love, with lots of sighing):
Cousin Enid is that one cousin that wants everyone to do things her way- play hopscotch like this, not like that. She's a perfectly lovely person to hang out with, but can get insecure and inscrutable, going into funks that seem unwarranted. As a formerly over-sensitive girl, I can say that I know what that was like. But it doesn't make it easier to deal with.

There are lots of other miscellaneous people, but I'm reserving judgment until I know them better. Our crew is only half of what it will become, so there are many newbies still to come. I hope none of them drive me crazy, as some of the existing folks do.

In the meantime, I'm off to go look at bluescreen plates until my eyes pop.