Thursday, August 11, 2011

My (Two) Days As An MTV Toadie

Firstly, a disclaimer: I actually was working as a production assistant for a television production company that was making a show for MTV. I was not employed by Viacom in any capacity and, though most of the other people there will, I don't think I'm getting an IMDB credit out of this. (But if I find someone screwed up and included my name, it wouldn't necessarily not be the best day ever. Just saying.)

So Day 1, Hour 1:
  • Fill out paperwork (time card, mileage form for driving)
  • To Do List
    • Drop off laundry for some guy
    • Drive to New Jersey to pick up a package
    • Exchange two boxes at Michaels Art Supply for ones that hold just two cupcakes
    • Find very specific Dr. Scholl's inserts
Wait, what was that?

"Dr. Scholl's?"

No, no. Before that.

Oh, right. "Drive to New Jersey." Yeah, that happened. It was pretty sweet, actually, except for the hour of stop-and-go on the BQE in the middle of the day. Other than that I got to travel, belt out rockin' music on the way, call some friends, play Words With Friends in traffic jams (don't do that, kids) and–oh yeah–my destination? Asbury Park. Not just seaside, not just the eponymous "Jersey Shore."Asbury. Park.

"Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J."

Home of The Boss! Bruce and the recently late but always great Clarence Clemons! The Asbury Park sound! It's up there with all the best parks! Menlo! Central! The Place! Dorney and Wild Water Kingdom (if I choose to believe how great their New Jersey radio spots profess they are).

Of course, when I arrived after 3 hours we very quickly determined that the package I was sent for had been marked "RETURN TO SENDER" and no one bothered to call about this before sending me down. I was so upset by this I didn't even stop at Roy Rogers on the way back for food.…I was practically weened on Roy Rogers. No one has their pickles. No one. You can try Canes brand for flavor, but no one makes the flat-cut pickle chips just the same. I plan on one day discovering the supplier to the New Jersey Turnpike's last-stand of RR restaurants and buy a barrel. Then, like Bradley Cooper in the tail-end of Limitless, [SPOILER] I will try to reverse engineer my childhood.

If you think I'm joking, consider that I used to get as many pickles as parentally allowed into their little cups at the salad station, squeeze every last ounce of juice from them as I ate, and after my meal take shots off the warmed-over, vinegar brine swill left in the cups. And I fucking liked it.

After that, things were pretty boring, actually. While stuck in traffic on the way back, most of the other things I needed to pick up were either bought or made superfluous by others, and having learned my lesson in Jersey, I called about a dozen pharmacies to track down the right insole material. Once I got those I picked up the laundry I'd dropped off earlier and everybody was real cool about everything.

I slipped call sheets under doors before cleaning up and going home. Nothing too terrible, really. Had a minor incident slipping the list of rooms to get call sheets under a door instead of the call sheet itself, but the front desk fixed that with a spare key. (Honestly, it seems like you can get a spare key at any hotel if you say you're with a large party occupying that and other rooms. I might worry about this.)

Day 2:
  • Mail out two boxes at the post office. (I think one was just some guy's Underarmor that didn't fit.)
  • Return a dart board at Walmart.
  • Food shopping
  • Go pick up a camera at a sporting goods shop.
First part: no city on the return address, so the mail lady yelled at me. Then bitched because I didn't know what I was mailing out. Fuck you, it's returns to Underarmor and Amazon. I'm not mailing C4 or anything they couldn't have shipped in the first place. And don't give me snark about saying "Priority Mail" when I'm using Priority Mail boxes. I'm just being thorough. Geeze, if the girl ahead of me hadn't been a completely adorable hardcore chick with the most gorgeous sleeve tattoos I've ever seen on a person (and if there hadn't been central air), I'd swear this was a blown trip.

Second part: Kid wouldn't give me a receipt for the return, but I got half the groceries so call it a draw.

Third: stopped at a Stop & Shop, got everything else we needed except some obscure variant iced tea. Not a huge loss.

That last thing…

Yeah, torrential downpour, heavy traffic, guy didn't include the receipt, but saw fit to call ahead to let the boss' boss know about it, so had to drive back later, after stopping at a Dick's Sporting Goods nearby for jumbo golf umbrellas. Course, this time I took the back roads and had a lovely drive both ways. I found a bunch of cheap gas stations, couple Thai places, even a Hooters and an IHOP!

Exchanged another PA's receipt for an itemized version, got my own and I was back to base and let off early after some quick cleaning. Frankly, I thought it'd be far more abusive. Granted, first half of Day 1 wasn't too hot, but then they called me in the second day as I was on my way home and stopping for White Castle. Which they ended up paying for!

Comped meals, travel, Bruce Springsteen? Guy could get used to this!

But I had to get home to interview down at Barnes & Noble.

What the fuck am I doing?

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