Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Another Day at the Office
I just fully realized the genius of the TV show The Office. Why? Because I now work in an office environment. In a staunch, cubicle infested, working class, boring as fuck, paper pushing office. Sure, there is some knowledge needed to do this work well and it can be very complicated, but once you get it down you just go through the motions. Day after day, week after week, and for some - year after year. That would be the equivalent of giving up on life for me. I have worked in many office situations and usually here in Hollywood there are artists and young people to hang with and have interesting discussions. I work in a post production house for films, so all the interesting creative parts of the filmmaking process are over. Its nuts and bolts from here on out.
The Office makes so much more sense to me now because I see that its all about capturing the little uncomfortable moments that happen in a place like this. They happen when people from totally different backgrounds with different ways of seeing the world try to find common ground. Its amazing, the stupid and inappropriate things people say. In the office I work in there are 10 people, if you say anything, everyone can hear you. I am the youngest. I go out at night. Everyone else goes home and watches TV. Not that going out makes me any better than the others, but if you don’t watch crap like Pushing Daisies and Dancing with the Stars - its tough to get in on the workplace conversations.
It is slightly fascinating to see what peoples lives are like outside my little world. The only other person who goes out drinking is the lady next to me. She was a punker in the 70s and brought in her scrapbook with ticket stubs and pictures to show me. She saw Iggy and Bowie A LOT. We confide in each other our hangovers. She is cool. The dude that sits behind her is a high-pitched-voice ex-military guy. Every morning he does "boot camp". At 5:30 am he meets with ex military instructors and does pushups and jumping jacks. He told me a crazy story about his air force training. They locked him and the other soldiers in tiny metal boxes all day long, so tiny they couldn’t stand up and only had a little window to breathe through. Then they pretended the warehouse they were in was on fire. There was fake smoke, fire alarms, etc.. and they left them there. Apparently a lot of the men flipped out and thought it was real. They “failed” the “exercise”. Sounds like what they do to torture prisoners in Iraq. What a life.
Next to him is the guy I have to deal with most. He is loud, crude, condescending, and yet occasionally funny. He claims he used to be a DJ and “spun breaks and jungle.” He eats smelly microwave dinners at his desk every day. It's disgusting. I guess he's inspiring because if I give up DJing and stick with this job I’ll end up like him. In his defense - he did teach me how to properly staple (a 45 degree angle!) and is, like most people, deep down, a nice guy.
There’s a guy that sits in the corner I often see staring at the bosses tits. He told me he used to buy hash by the kilo in Germany, so points for that. He makes lame jokes about Canada. Why do people in this environment do this? It keeps happening. Canada is amazing, these jokesters are morons. One other cool lady sits across the room from me. I think she used to be a hippie because her energy is positive and slightly eccentric. My boss is pretty cool. She never lets us leave early or anything but is generally pretty hands off. She is of some sort or Incan or Mayan decent and is pretty beautiful. There are a couple of other un-noteworthy people around as well. Anyway, that show is amazing; it perfectly captures the sad monotony and current state of awkwardness of this sick little bastion of human culture we call The Office.