Monday, December 28, 2015

Me: -1 or 2. The Universe: + eleventy-billion? a.k.a. FORE!!!!!!!!

"I'm an excellent driver. My dad lets me drive in the driveway sometimes." Raymond 'Rain Man' Babbitt

I really AM an excellent driver. You can ask anyone who's ever ridden with me in a vehicle I was driving. But lately, something is conspiring against me.

Today is Mommy's birthday. She'd have been 72 years old today, had she not been killed in that car accident in October of 2006. I love my Mommy. She was an excellent driver (she was absolutely, in no way possible, at fault for the car accident that killed her).

We're having a pretty cold winter, for California. Our highs are in the low 60's, which, I know, is not what's considered "cold" by most of the rest of the world. But when you drive a long golf cart full of tourists guests through the Warner Bros. lot, even going no faster than the 8 mph speed limit, it sure feels cold. I wear double layers of long sleeves, plus a jacket, plus a beanie, scarf, and gloves, and I keep Hot Hands (TM) in my pockets, and for the first and last tour of the day, I feel cold.

I think I've mentioned a possible lapse into depression lately. It would appear that all of the above factors are contributing to some shtuff that's going on at work.

One week ago, I had a guest on one of my tours who didn't make it to the restroom in time, and had a medically-diagnosed bowel disruption in the middle of a tour. That was a weird-ass shitstorm, and news travels fast, so my entire day was filled with "shit hitting the fan" types of jokes amongst my co-workers. The rest of the tour, while delayed, was actually a pretty good tour. The other guests on the cart were incredibly gracious, and management allowed us to make up for lost time together, so really, everything worked out. But you do have to report that shit at the end of the day. So -1/+1. that day was a wash.

Yesterday, I was offered a little overtime, if I was willing to stay for a fourth tour. Sure, why not? Most of my tours throughout the day had been good-to-uneventful, and I'm fairly certain that one of my guests offered me a small gratuity at the end of the tour. So that's a +1, right? Maybe. As I was returning the cart to its overnight parking space, I broke off a guard gate arm as it descended into the path of my oncoming cart. No one was hurt or anything, but Broken Guard Gate Arm = -1. So yesterday: +1/-1, another wash.

Today, I was again offered a little overtime with another fourth tour. You all remember that I LOVE giving tours, right? So of course, I said "yeah. Gimme some o' dat!" My second tour ended on foot, essentially, when I walked the group up to the final attraction, having left the cart behind near the soundstage. This is a new thing we've started doing (some of us), when the best soundstage to walk a group through happens to be located very close to that final attraction. So I'd dropped the group off and was bringing my cart back to the attraction so I could pick up whatever random guests needed a lift back to parking, when I snagged a portable staircase attached to the platform on the back of a production trailer, pulling it off the platform. This is incredibly easy to do, if you happen to take too tight of a turn (check) and are not even in the traffic lane (check) and are in a tiny bit of a hurry (check) to get back to where you belong so you can eat free cold pizza that management has brought in to say "Thank You for being such great tour guides!" (gulp). Another +1/-1.

Then I had my last tour of the day, leaving at 4:30. Ten people on the cart, which is not a bad group (+1). Lots of enthusiasm for lots of cool shows. Great (+1). Strap-on wheelchair, which means slight delays in getting on and off the cart (-1), and limited stages to visit (making sure to miss all of the ones with stairs, -1). SUNSET at 5:00, which means any backlot visits have to happen in that first half-hour, simply because they aren't generally lit (-1). Certain attractions closing by 6 p.m., and having to REALLY watch the time in the last half-hour, to make it to the final attraction by 6:30 (-1 or 2). Did as many backlots as we could see and then headed to the Batcave (Picture Car Vault). Planned to go into the Prop House and the nearest soundstage, because they were both wheelchair accessible and close, meaning the next get-back-on-then-get-back-off would be the Archive, and the remaining time would be spent doing whatever. From within the Prop House, I heard the notification that the Archive was closing in ten minutes, and to "call Field" if I hadn't made it there yet. So I inform my people that we've got to move a little quicker, and gather ourselves to get over there, and in the meantime, I call Field to inform them of my situation. We arrive at the Archive at 5:59 and are informed that they're supposed to be closed "right now", so now I have to call a manager to get permission to keep the Archive staff there (-1). Get permission to stay about ten minutes, so I keep an eye on my people, letting them know when we need to wrap it up, and they're all pretty gracious about it (+1). By the time we get back on the cart to get back off the cart, the guests who are helping the wheelchair-bound woman are really hitting their stride in making that a quick transaction (+1). So we head over to the soundstage that is immediately adjacent to the final attraction, and we all go in, Can't seem to get the houselights triggered enough by our movements, so we see a lot of the perimeter of the set (not even remotely interesting to look at, -1). Finally get inside, and the guests have plenty of great questions that I'm able to answer. Make it out the door and across the way to the final attraction only three or fewer minutes "late" (+1). {End result, -1 or 2. Poop.}

End the day following up with the manager who'd followed up with the production guys re: the trailer steps I'd hit. Will probably have a follow-up conversation with the big boss (0). Could easily be the end of my Warner Bros. career (-1). It's been a good run, and I'll certainly miss it. The only "positive" override I can see here is that I'm likely going to immediately recover from Whatever. The. Hell. Is. Conspiring. Against. Me. Lately. Blergh.

I'd really like to spin this with a positive outlook. I'd really like to walk into work tomorrow with the Universe working with me rather than against me. I'd really like to not wallow in a season of Sadiversaries, or let any of this shitstorm throw me up against any fans. I'd love for my allergies to clear up, and the weather to warm up (even a little bit would be fantastic). I'd love for this all to turn out Just. Fine. I'd love to book a bunch more industry work in the coming week, as well as receive my paycheck for that commercial I shot a few weeks ago. I'd love to not put any negative energy into any of this, so that no matter what happens, I can leave each day feeling good about myself and my life. Did typing out all that stuff just shift things in my favor? I really hope so. I do so enjoy feeling good about myself and my life, and living in the NOW, and considering myself (and being considered by others) to be an "excellent driver".


  1. Anxious to hear what resolution occurred.

    1. Hoping to post a year-end wrap-up TONIGHT, which should touch on this briefly. The rest of the week turned into better stuff. :)


I LOVE your feedback; give it to me, Baby. Uh-huh, uh-huh.