I be a good righter.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Okay. So, I'm pissed. I've been gone two months and am out of the loop. I come back for a while and find that things have gone tits up (a wonderful phrase I've learned from over there).

I'm over-exaggerating. A bit. But, I am pissed.

See, I have this friend, let's call him Vic. He's a showrunner on a hit show on one of the major networks. I've been cultivating this relationship for a while. Right before I left for a place I never wanted to go, another friend mentioned that she had interviewed to be his assistant, let's call this friend Angie. Knowing that Vic was looking for an assistant put a huge wrench in the works for me. I struggled with this knowledge. An internal struggle over dinner with Angie. I was still trying to get out of going to Dublin. So, I thought maybe I could apply for the job and not have to go. Then, before I knew it, these words flew out of my mouth:

ME: Angie, do you want me to put in a good word for you?

I was aghast. I couldn't believe I'd said it. But, once the words were said, there was no taking them back. I rationalized that the tickets for Dublin were already bought, we were leaving within days. There was no turning that ship around. Once I got over my initial shock, I realized that it would be a good thing to place a friend in Vic's inner lair. I'm not entirely selfless. But, also, Angie needed the job more than I. She was running out of money, she had more experience, she'd be a perfect fit.

I emailed Vic the following Monday morning. Telling him how awesome Angie was. Next thing I know, Angie's got the job. I know she'd asked another person to put in a good word for her, but my ego needs to believe that it was my email that tipped the scales. She received an offer for the job so soon after I'd sent my email, that it's probably true.

Now, remember that I never really ask friends for favors. I always ask for advice. It's a character flaw. I'm pretty sure that if I ever asked one of my high-falutin friends for help, they'd be happy to assist. But, this was me asking for a favor: Vic, please consider my friend, Angie, for the job. And, she gets it. And, everything's awesome.

Until I come home.

So, jet-lag over, I start calling my friends to let them know I'm in town. I start organizing get-togethers. I decide to call Angie at the office to see how things are going. Only to find out from "Jen" that she no longer works there. I hang up. Befuddled. It's only been two months. How can Angie no longer work there?

I call Angie's cell. No answer. I email Angie. No response. I email Vic. No response. I start asking mutual friends. It's not totally clear whether she quit or got fired. It's some mutual decision (this is all hearsay) that Vic and Angie came to. Apparently, both knowing that Angie was unhappy.

You know what? Being an assistant is a sucky job. It just is. You've got to do a lot of shit for other people. You hear horror stories of assistant's cars being ruined by their boss' messy kids, sick animals, whatever. Assistants who are verbally and/or physically abused by their bosses. That's life for an assistant. When you've been an assistant, you know this going in. Even if you've been on some plum assignments, you know there are these bad ones out there. And, Vic's not abusive. Vic might have asked Angie to do some things outside her comfort zone (I heard some things). None of them seem particularly awful, or anything that she couldn't go talk to Vic about.

But, I don't know Angie's side of the story. So, maybe he did abuse her. I don't know. And, I should know. See, if someone recommended me for a job, I would think my responsibility not only lay with doing a good job for my boss, but there's an added responsibility of doing a good job for the person who put their reputation on the line to recommend me. And, if someone had recommended me, and I quit or got fired, the first person I'd tell would be the person who recommended me.

I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation, like Vic asked Angie to sleep with his dog while he watched, and Angie stood up and was like "I can't take this anymore!" Or, something. It just would be nice to know.

So, for all you people out there now networking your tushies off, please, when you get recommended for a job, know that the person recommending you is doing you a favor. And, that person should be thanked, and kept in the loop should anything happen.