Tag Archives: training

Thoughts (1 Day Before London) 

20 Oct

Have got a lot of travel-time alone, to do all my normal freak-out things tomorrow…as Cecil and I are on totally different flights. She’ll be kicking it with family in Boston hours before I reach Reykjavik. She lands at Gatwick, I’m touching down in Heathrow. 
…And where, in “normal-world” anxiety terms, that’s just fun adventure…for people like me,  the fact I’m getting on a damn plane to Iceland, and have 55 minutes to get through customs and to my London flight… should be seriously freaking me the fuck out right now. 

…I dunno why,  but for the moment at least, I’m totally fine with it. 

…Where last night was my third consecutive one of shit sleep, it isn’t due to crippling fear or pacing. My nights have been 300% consumed in mapping, ticket-buying, and investingating all the stuff we could do (if we want to), will do (cuz we need to), and might do, despite all odds. 

…Between London, Brighton, Warrington, and Stratford (so far on our lists), that is a pretty consuming occupation. So much so,  that my brain doesn’t have time to flip out and require multiple distractions and interfacing from TVs, computers, bright lights, and other people…which is it’s usual demand. 

I prefer this way. 

…In the best of circumstances, it never has time to blip over to the shitty stage. This would be my brain Mecca of Zen….whilst mid world-altering happenings I cannot control,  take place all around me, and I partake, blissfully, and completely okay with it. 

And it might just happen. 

…How I know is, today when the Whs guy was all, “So. Vacation,  huh? Where yuh goin’? Hawaii? ”

…I said, “Nope. London. ”

…And he’s all, “Holy shit! ”

…And for the first time all week, I started to tear up. Not cuz of a 2 a.m. anxiety attack, period emo anger, or night-sweating hypochondriac freak-outs. 

…It was cuz:

Holy shit. 

I am going to fucking London. 


To take theatre classes. 

The number one thing I’ve wanted to do. 

My entire life. 

My top plan. 

For me. 

…I’ve got a lot of people to thank for helping me get here, and a hell of a lot of cheerleaders backing me. 

…But I’m one of those people too. And even with the sometimes cripplingness that is me… 

I. mutherfucking. made it. 

(You’d choke up too) 



Freaking Out

26 Sep

..But in a good way. 

Today, I received m’student pkt, and picked through my first class syllabus in 18 years. 

…As an International Student and Guest Artist at The Actors Centre in London, (Omg. Seriously, this shit just got real), I’ve 43 hours of five workshops with award winning directors, actors, and writers from the BBC, RSC, National, Globe, LAMDA, London Film School, (and a whole hell of a lot more), picked out, for our two-week stay…which I’ve decided to call my, “If Its Pissing Rain Every Second We Are Here There’s Still Plenty Of Shit To Do” list. This center is a fucking phenomenal resource with a 72 page course option list, just within our three month attendance period…and those I’ve chosen to focus on, primarily work on character development and playwriting. 

…Am particularly freaking out over the Glen Walford workshop, “Confidence Tricks,” as not only will that class be aired, but this woman’s sick International resumè is secretly topped for me by being the person who commissioned and directed “Shirley Valentine,” (my “Educating Rita”sister show) and being a frequent collaborator with Willy Russell

The schedule I’ve chosen would have me in London proper for both weeks, so traveling to see buds in Warrington and Scotland would mean a secondary cut to a “VIP Must List.” Which is damn hard to weed down from the opportunities just laying here in front of me. But four days’ intensive work with Walford and Jason Riddington are my essential “gotta hit thats, ” on top of (hopefully) making some new acting buds abroad, and bringing home about 47 new dialects to play with on stage sometime. 

…It’s surreal, and kinda freaky, but completely what I’m supposed to be doing and I’m just about to trust that enough not to have an anxiety attack when I think that in 25 days, we’ll be in London… eating crumpets and ramen nearly exclusively, so we can throw all the money we haven’t got at theatre! 

…And with that much appreciated student discount card in our pockets, yo! 

Let’s do this thing. 


Gnome-Idiot, Takes The Lead

8 Oct


Now that Boss has been relegated to a mere “Feature Guest” role in the blogosphere (soon to be killed off, General Hospital style)…a new idiot has taken his place at the office, in pursuing the “ridiculous” and “mind-blowingly” stupid things for which he has become so beloved, by the yous.

…Not “beloved” in a “Happy Christmas morning” kind of way.  More like “that stupid thing you did while drunk that one time, which turned into your best party story.” 

Entertainment.  That’s what we’re talking about.  And there is a new kid in the “stupid” game.

…We will continue to call her the Gnome-Idiot. Because of both her pint-size and sheer innocent stupidity. 

After two weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that she REALLY can’t help it.  It is not due to bad choices.  Watching her for sixteen days…128 hours…I have used all of the (frankly considerable) study time, wisely.  Mostly because I simply can not believe that a human being can make it to age 24 and be as seriously backwards and innocent in not only human interaction and communication (but, especially in THIS day and age) all tech and computer forms imaginable.

She has a High School Diploma, and got into College, without ever once using any form of Office Suite software, having to alphabetize, talk to adult human beings (or in complete sentences), nor realize the common sense kind of things that keep you out of being that 1% that every accident of all time happens to, because there is no warning label yet to TELL you NOT to stick a butter knife in a toaster, blow dry your hair in the shower, or cross a highway, on foot, and without looking both ways.

…Honestly.  After the first week, I seriously doubted the validity of her stupidity.  So I started sorta, allowing it to be put to the test.  Here and there.  Now and again.  And without fail, she upheld her end, each and every time.

I mean, this girl is seriously.  Seriously. SERIOUSLY, legitimately deficient in just plain common sense. Not even a little bit.

…This girl is the kind of idiot that you have to teach how to pour coffee grounds into a filter.  Not “make coffee.” Just “pour in the grounds.”

…This girl is the kind of idiot, who continually forgets how to put a call on hold.  Or take it off.  She’s the kind of idiot that has screwed up one of the five separate file systems, at least once per day, since she has walked in the door.  The kind of idiot who, no matter how much you train her, has YET to answer a single phone call, without passing them back to someone else for help…who forgets our phone number printed ON A SHEET IN FRONT OF HER, which I placed there, for that purpose, two weeks ago. She asks things like, “How do you heat this water for tea?” and “What do I do after scanning these?” When there is a post-it note on the stack of paper telling her point-by-point directions on what exactly to do.

…In fact…there have been A LOT of post-it notes.  Three cubes worth so far.  Everything in her inbox has to be labeled with step-by-step instructions, AND still are brought forward for interpretation when she finally gets to them.  Common communication between us has included conversations like:

G-I: “So, when I’m done faxing these sheets, I do what with them?”

Me: “File them. Like it says.”

G-I: “Okay. Well cuz, um…I just wanted to make sure cuz, um…well…I just did this yesterday.”

Me: “With other papers. Yes.”

G-I: “Cuz like…I mean…it just seems like I do this a whole lot.”

Me: “Right. Because it’s your job.  It’s what we do here.  A lot of faxing. A lot of filing.”


Me: “Okay.  So, you’ve filed these batches incorrectly again.”

G-I: “What do you mean?”

Me: “Remember?  THIS stack is for ‘archives,’ and THIS stack is for ‘pending.’ ”

G-I: “It just gets really confusing…”

Me: “It’s okay.  You just have to look at the dates, remember?  You know because THIS stack has dates that are passed, they are for archiving. And THIS stack with dates that haven’t happened yet, are ‘pending.’  Also: the bins are labeled.  See?”

G-I: “Ohhhhhh.  Wow.  I’m really glad you explained that.”

Me: “We had this same conversation yesterday.”

G-I: “Right but, I mean…there are really a lot of stacks of paper around here.”


Me: “…So then, I need you to just label these hang files with these titles please.  On tabs.”

G-I: “Riiiiiight.”

Me: “Is there…what’s wrong.”

G-I: “Yeah.  By hand or…?”

Me: “No, the computer deal didn’t work out so well the last time.  Just by hand.”

G-I: “…And these marks?”

Me: “What marks?”

G-I: “These thingies.  You want these thingies on the tabs too?”

Me: “The quote marks?”

G-I: “Yeah.”

Me: “No.  No…you don’t need to put the quote marks in.  That’s just what I want you to call them.  Remember? You got a little confused the last time I just wrote titles down.”

G-I: “Riiiight….”

…This is REAL-talk, people.  Actual conversations.  With an idiot.  And she’s not joking. She’s not pulling a leg.  She’s actually, ACTUALLY just an innocent, actually, actually asking these questions.  For real.

It’s real.


I’ve tested the waters, and NO ONE is that good of an actor.  She’s the GENUINE article. Either that, or she is in Witness Protection from the Mob, and her LIFE is at stake, here.  Those are the ONLY two options.

…So, as I wait until the 15th, (the date when we are told Boss is to be canned and I can go and find a legitimate QUALIFIED office assistant), I bite my lip repeatedly, and attempt to keep from obliterating her to tears.  Because every time we need to have these little conversations, it’s like I shot her dog or something.  She is so very eager to make good.  But so very incapable of achieving it. 

…Which puts us at a dead lock for another week.

Dear lord.  How will I even make it?

…If I have to hear one more sentence like, “Um…yeah, I think black is the darkest color we offer…”…I think I’m gonna explode.

…Yet every day, she seems to top the last, somehow.

It’s like: she’s a fucking magical Leprechaun of fairy-dom.

Totally unbelievable…despite all our wildest imaginings: yet, there she sits.


When It’s That Full

3 Oct


I’ve been in Bally-K for the entire week, (Whenever not pinned inside the office.)

Tonight, I watched exactly how far I did the LAST (and first) time I watched this show.  Until the end of season 3.  Where I shouted obscenities at the TV a lot, in between mopping up my face.

…I never have watched the rest of the seasons.  And I fully intend not to.  On principle.

Anyone who kills off my favorite, deserves to go unwatched.

…Unless you are Joss Whedon.

…In which case, I just cuss some more, pour out another drink, and suffer through it.

…But not in this case. 

In this case I’m angrier than as I was the first time.  Possibly because so much in life can be shitty, and people that waste the parts that aren’t, piss me off.  Especially when they are me.  But even more so, when they are my favorite characters in some sort of ongoing drama.  I get invested.  Perhaps overly.  But it’s only cuz their lives seem to have so many better options than mine. In that they have “different” options than mine, and I find that whenever people are especially frustrated or depressed, “that other thing, over there” always looks better than whatever the hell is cooking on the stove, “over here.”

…Maybe it’s human nature.

I dunno.

…What I do know, is that in three seasons of laughter, tears, and shenanigans, no one has had to deal with anything as remotely useless as Boss, or as totally incompetent as the New Minion, at the office. This ALONE makes Bally-K a special little haloed oasis.

By 9 am today, I really was done with the little gnome-idiot, masquerading as a human, sitting in the front office. 

…This is AFTER a week and a half of training, which has gone nowhere, as the 24 year-old college drop-out has still managed to refuse learning the correct form of filing, typing up a letter, has never set eyes on Outlook, can’t use a calendar, has worse phone skills than a grade-schooler, and has to actually be told…every single time…to answer the phone when it rings.

I am stuck with this human potato with hair, until the 15th.  At which time we are told, Corporate is returning with “the guy who fires Management” and is stripping Boss of title, car keys, and all power.  (Not that we will believe it till we see it, but this is the rumor mill.)

…THEN (and only then) will I be able to go out into the workforce and shop for an actually qualified human to do these things…as he will no longer be around to take the lead in doing so himself.  Which is how we got Minion one (who couldn’t pass a drug test) as well as Minion two (who makes Jessica Simpson look like a Harvard Grad, with a major in Philosophy.)

…And in case you don’t believe me, ask Ma about it some time. 

…She’s spent a lovely six hours with the gnome-idiot, donating her time, trying to teach her how to file, write an email, and label a cabinet for the past two days.  So that I could actually get some work done.  This woman has trained even Executives who wear suits and attend Happy Hours for a living, on how to “not get sued,” by letting sexual harassment faux pas, vomit out of their mouths towards their Secretaries.  If she can do that, she can do ANYTHING. And even she turned to me today and said, “I don’t like giving up on people, but…you just can’t teach common sense.  You either have it, or you don’t.”

I told her that I knew that. Now. 

…The thought had occurred to me, about fifty times, since gnome-idiot first started working here.  Last Monday.

…It has re-occurred several gillion times in between those ones, when trying to teach her to answer a phone, or fax a sheet of paper, or scan something to a thumb drive.

…She almost blew up the shredder today, for instance.  Presumably by “shredding,” but God only knows. 

…I didn’t let her on the phones the entire first week, because her vocabulary (which you cannot season, counter, or correct) includes “um” with every third word…which makes her sound like one of those unfortunately dim-witted Valley girls from the ’90’s.  Even coaching has gotten us only as far as this stellar sample from today:

“Hello, this is [gnome-idiot]…um…I’m calling…um…to see…which color of…um…shingle you wanted.  You put ‘black’…but, um…so…do you want it or not?”

This is for real, people.

This morning alone she attempted to archive-file job invoices that haven’t even been built yet, lost three employee files, screwed up the final contract sign-off sheets, fucked up the confidential archives, updated the wrong version of the voicemail log so I was repeat calling the same people I did yesterday, forgot how to put a person on hold, forgot how to use the function-find feature on an Excel sheet report that is nine pages long, so took ten minutes to look up one customer who was (come to find out) on hold the entire time, and almost set the shredder on fire (we think by shredding staples still in the documents)…and all before 9:30 am.

…At which point, I walked into WHS Pimp’s office, shut the door, and wrote ” Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” on a piece of paper.

…He responded in kind, when Boss decided to show up for the first time in God knows how long, to sit in The Pimp’s office and bother him for an hour.

…At which point I got a “bing” incoming email from him that read, “Oh holy fuck. We are surrounded by dumbasses.  What do we do?”

…At which point I suggested making a break to my office, locking all the doors, and leaving them to die of natural causes alone, on their solitary other sides. 

…Prob’ly of asphyxiation, cuz no one would be there to tell them to breathe.

…Or (in the gnome-idiot’s case) HOW to.

You know, this “natural selection” thing isn’t as bad as I used to think. For the good of the planet, maybe some species are not SUPPOSED to have the ability of “common sense.”  Like turkeys who drown when it rains. Bad politicians.  Or stupidly proportioned Dinosaurs.

…But maybe those of us who have some (common sense, I mean) should…you know…do our damndest to make sure they never reach a seat of power to BEGIN with.  And if they DO (by some fucked up scheme, historical bumble, or bad voter turn-out)…maybe it’s our human responsibility to unseat them as soon as humanly possible.  By almost any means imaginable. 

…For the “greater good.”

Because, if for nothing else, things like “this week” have taught us that.

The end.


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