Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stuff n nonsense

Lots of people have been asking me what exactly I’m doing in the new job. Well – in the absence of either a job description or, thus far, a contract (hmm) – it’s a bit difficult to say. Officially I am running a tv show website – which I am slowly getting to grips with. However in the last 2 weeks, in the name of work, I have also…

- Spent an entire morning in the studio pretending to be Jane Asher (don’t ask)

- Given up my shoes for three hours so that a presenter could look more fancy (does this mean I can claim them back on expenses?)

- Commissioned and produced a film and been asked to help produce a regular slot (I have never worked in tv before. I can’t stress this enough but it is falling on increasingly deaf ears)

- Traded jaffa cakes in exchange for technical wizardry from… well, just about everybody

- Upset traditional viewers with my (intentional) US spelling

- Drank red wine with the most stressed person I have ever worked with… who told me the team didn’t really get on with the previous web person. Aha. This explains a lot.

- Upset said former web person by getting rid of some VERY old links. She thinks they should remain. I think they are so very a) old and b) obscure that they are a waste of cyberspace. So far I have received one single complaint. Out of 1m viewers. Not bad eh?

- Discovered that everything I want/need to do seems to require a new training course. At this rate I will spend most of my time here in the classroom.

- Left work on time every day. Seriously. This is a complete revelation to me. People here work very hard but they do *not* work late. I actually have a life outside of the office (and it’s crucifying my bank account).

So, that’s me. How’s you?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

red tape

So, tomorrow I am going to make my first film. It's for the web and if I have my way it will only be 2 minutes long. I want to film this thing in the same place where we film the tv show - ie in the tv studio. Easy, non?

Non indeed. First, I need a film permit. A film permit to film inside a tv studio. Pardon me, but what else would I possibly want to do in there except film stuff? Isn't that kind of the entire point of a studio in the first place? But fine, I grit my teeth and fill in the form.

Next, the risk assessment. What could possibly go wrong during this 2 minute studio shoot and what am I going to do about it? There's a tick list. Is there a possibility that there will be a lack of oxygen? Venomous bites? Or, perhaps my favourite, bad communication from management? (Par for the course surely). Wtf. I find myself writing something about promising to ensure there aren't any cables lying around and wishing I'd never decided to do the stupid film in the first place.

Then, there's the cameraman. Are his lamps safety tested? I really am losing the will to live. I think I might just write something instead of filming it. At least I wouldn't have to risk assess my biro and notebook... Yet.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

tick tock

It's 6am and I'm annoyingly wide awake. There's a theme emerging here isn't there? I really must learn to wind down.

I'm on a big high though because I've found a fairy godfather at work who has taught me all sorts of new tricks and ways around a system I was beginning to think was unbeatable.I gave him jaffa cakes to say thank you. I learned long ago that biscuits open doors (not literally, cool as that would be). My predecessor, who sent me a note today complaining about a couple of missed fullstops (I shit you not) is going to go *mental* about what I'm going to do next. I can't wait! I make my first film on friday. I am absolutely terrified.

In other news (boys you might not want to read this) I'm in quite a lot of pain. I used a tampon yesterday with a plastic disposable applicator (environmental disaster I know) without noticing that the stupid plastic thing was broken. Ladies, I tell you this as a warning - if you're using those things take a good look at them first. I can hardly sit down at the moment. Ouch :(

Sunday, September 14, 2008

long lazy sunday

I've just come back from the local park fete. It was full of identikit yummy mummies cooing over organic lavender water and the like while their offspring clamoured to have their faces painted. Maybe I'm more of a city chick than I like to believe but these kind of events leave me cold. I don't want to join the residents association. I don't want to sign up to the local church and I really don't want to add my name to a petition for speed cameras every 3 metres along the road. I just want to, well, live here. I realise how mean-spirited that sounds, but I can't help it. I'm just not ready to join the local stitch n bitch club yet.

Anyway now I'm at a loose end and feeling even more petulant. I'm very bad at just chilling out - watching tv or reading a book for an hour. I'm so used to having a million things to do, and I always think I crave time out, but then, when I get it, I just don't know what to do with myself.

Sigh. What do you do to relax?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

my first week in telly land

I don't think I've ever worked so hard in my life. It's like learning to walk all over again - doing something familiar (writing stuff) in a completely unfamiliar way (for the web). I have learned that being around live tv is uber stressful. I have learned that politeness goes out of the window when you've got 2 minutes before you go to air and things aren't working. I've also learned that my predecessor pissed a lot of people off, which is either going to make my job harder (if they expect more of the same) or easier (if I can impress them).

Yesterday I went to a leaving drink and one of the producers told me he thought I was only 25. I nearly kissed him :) another said she is fairly sure that the bosses want me to produce a section of the show. Omg. My comfort zone is a long-haul flight away right now. But I'm thriving on it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Life on Mars

It may as well be. The new job is exciting, stimulating and completely alien to me. Spent a predictable half a day persuading IT to give me access to everything I need to have access to (this battle is ongoing).

First interaction with programme producer: hello. Are you literate?

Z: am I... Literate?

Producer: yes. Literate. Can you spell? Do you know where apostrophes go?

Z: um. Yes.

Producer: well have a look at this then. Have I got it right? It's about to go on air.

I think this is going to be a tough team to crack.

I didn't even have time to speak to my new boss. I have another 24 hours of induction before I am let loose and I'm still terrified. And the emails! I have an email lake. I am swimming in a sea of virtual notes about running orders, interview opportunities, breaking news. Fuck knows what I am supposed to do with them all. With a bit of luck I'll find out shortly.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

birthday girl

MC is preparing birthday breakfast in bed while I'm lying here decoratively blogging in fluffy pajamas (shit, has it got cold in London lately. Cold and wet. Bed is the only place worth being).

We're off to soho this evening for a spot of celebratory caterwauling in Karaoke Box. Seven friends and I will sabbotage various party classics and hope our booth is as soundproofed as promised.I might attempt a spot of live blogging/twittering if I'm not too pissed to remember.

Yesterday was my last day on the paper. Weird. I spent most of it packing and destroying evidence... It's amazing how much you can accumulate in six years. My colleagues gave me a marvellous send off including a spoof front cover with a fabulous charicature of me, in sky high heels, clutching a giant bottle of wine, a blackberry and a photo of MC. They have so got the measure of me...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

one year on

Yesterday was the first anniversary of dad's death. I didn't handle it particularly well. I was an emotional ferrari all day - dry eyes to floods of tears in a couple of seconds.it was like super PMT. Anything set me off - driving over to mum's, a journey I have done so many times I could do it blindfolded (I even know where all the speed cameras are) I suddenly completely forgot which turning I needed to take. So I cried.

MC spent the day with us and even mumbled the Kaddish over dad's grave, bless him. He had to work in the evening and stayed behind for a couple of drinks afterwards. And yes, I lost it again. I felt so hurt that he didn't come straight home and I can't even explain why really. It's something he won't understand, hopefully for a very long time, I guess. I don't fully understand it myself and I've had a year to get used to it.

I guess grief brings out your inner child - fragile, vulnerable and in need of constant support. Unfortunately in the adult world this also amounts to the girlfriend from hell.