Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You're special but I can't help you

Part of a movie was filmed at my work today. "A very pivotal scene in the movie," the location director told me. This movie has been the bane of our staff's employment for about a week and a half now; I have a newfound loathing for this industry, a loathing I didn't have before. Remember the beginning of The Devil Wears Prada, where Miranda Priestly (the editor in chief of Runway magazine) comes to work earlier than expected, and someone says, "gird your loins!" and everyone is in a ridiculous tizzy making sure everything is perfect for her arrival? That was us this past week and a half. Staying late to scrub baseboards, chairs, windows, mirrors, and chairs; merchandizing the dresses just so; dusting; getting carpets cleaned ... everything so that it would be known that we keep our store clean and in good order. Then, yesterday: D-Day. The crew came to rearrange and make the set for the movie, and chaos just doesn't do justice to the madness that has ensued in our store the past 48 hours. We have had dozens and dozens of people in and our, moving things, building, drilling, yelling ... it's enough to make the Gosselin's house look like an Ashram in India. Bedlam, entropy, pandemonium ... a holy mess!! So, by today around 11am they were ready to start filming. Though our store was closed, it was of the utmost importance that someone be in the back room to answer the phone and explain to the customers that we are in fact closed, and though we are answering the phones, we cannot help you with anything because we have no computer access and we actually aren't allowed to speak, whisper, or even breathe because when they're "ROLLING!" it can be heard. I'm sorry, did the hairspray I used this morning interfere with any signal? Am I allowed to scratch if I have an itch, or will that create a problem for your movie that will probably go straight to DVD and has the most boring title since The Men Who Stare at Goats? If that wasn't bad enough, all the people who worked on the movie had attitudes like the ground they walked on deserved to be kissed. I learned in college that one of the easiest ways to make someone feel unimportant, depressed, lonely, or sad is to not acknowledge them ... where's the cliff, then? I believe I was spoken to twice today, once when someone asked me if we had a steamer and then told us they may ask us to steam dresses for them -- I'm sorry, I actually have to answer the phone, plus, isn't that what they're paying you thousands of dollars for? -- and then when a man told me he assumed this was way different and better than anything I was used to, right? Um, no. Actually, just about anything was better than being in a hot room with no doors or windows, sitting on a plastic chair, staring at a phone and waiting for the green light to blink so I could tell people they are special but I can't help them. Maybe it would have been a little different if Brad Pitt were there, but do people seriously think that just because they can memorize a couple of lines (which they actually couldn't) that they're better than anyone else? Reality check ... in the face, and in the form of my fist.