Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Industry vs. Not

Before a few months ago, the only "real" jobs I ever had (i.e., not summer jobs or short-term temp jobs) were in the entertainment industry. Now I'm out of there. I'm here. And usually I don't miss the old stuff, since the hours are so much better here and I get more vacation and holidays and there's a lot less screaming.

But there is stuff I miss, apart from just the intriguing possibility of randomly running into a washed-up actor trying to pitch a new reality show about people eating pineapples whole. The thing I was thinking about yesterday, as I was leaving, is that almost every aspect of a job in entertainment operates on two levels. There's one level where what you're doing is incredibly important, crucial to the survival of mankind, potentially fatal if swallowed (contact a physician or induce vomiting), etc. There's that level. But then there's another level where it's all sort of a joke. Because unless you're WAY the hell up the food chain, everything you're doing is in service of someone else's creative ideas -- and, let's be honest, those ideas generally suck. Hell, even if they're good, they tend to seem kind of silly when you look at them against whatever bit of minuatie you're working on that relates to them.

On the other hand, in the environment I'm in now, the hyperbolic "NOW, GODDAMNIT!" approach to every single task is pretty foreign. It just doesn't really exist here. A lot of times there isn't even a deadline. You hear things like, "We should probably get this done relatively soon" and "I guess by Friday, if you're not too busy." Things are taken seriously -- not overly so, just about the right amount. But there's no flipside. There's nothing you work intensely on for hours and then giggle about afterwards. You don't get to say to yourself, "Some dude came up with an idea for a talking bear, and somehow that requires me to run an Excel sheet and sixty copies of these graphs." There's still some amount of servicing silly ideas, but they're not laugh-out-loud silly; more like, "well, that's probably more bureaucracy than necessary"-type silly. Also, you can forget about liberally dropping f-bombs in the workplace. And you can really forget about dropping them in front of your boss.

Anyway, that's enough philosophizing for a blog. I mean, fuck... I wrote, like paragraphs and shit.

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