Home Again, Home Again (Totem Pole)

I was near collapse when I got home, standing at the front step, seeing my sister’s tiny cat rise up to greet me through the window. A long two weeks, straight working, traveling, lifting, writing, tracking, being a diplomat or a mule. It was good work, despite the bumps. It was man’s work in a woman’s realm. I talked to my father about the shoot, since he is second in command of the company that hired me (for the record, he had no hand in my employment, he does not hire field crews or tells his production manager who to hire). Afterwards, I sat with my mother as she rested as we talked. We talked about the shoot and the office politics that plagued it its first week. I went on about how it would be good despite the manipulations of the director/producer, who is not loved by the production company, but who was the brain behind the show and a great interviewer of these deeply scarred people.

My mother took me to task over not taking sides, that, in the end, I was just a private in the army and my producer just a captain, the production manager higher in rank than both of us. I was a slightly offended that despite the good work we did, even with the problems, my mother was scolding, in her deadpan way, my bias of our product. She later articulated that it is probably a great show, but the process of creating it was way off base from the channels originally set up. I did not argue. I didn’t have the strength nor the mind to take sides, which would of just proved her point.

You bond with a crew. I worked 16 straight days with these people and we worked well. You develop comradeship and you go out to eat and drink and relax together. It is not difficult to have bias, most of all when you’re the bottom of the totem pole like I was. You have pride in your product and the sweat and negative energy and the rough moments you had to go through to get it shot well, audio recorded cleanly and subjects to show. So when told I had to be neutral because, as the bottom of the food chain, I was still representative of the office, connected to the office, in charge of the paperwork and informing my boss, the production manager, of the goings on. That isn’t hard when everyone is on the same page, creative and management, but when they are at odds, politicking and subverting one another, it puts in more stress than my job requires. When prides collide and egos burst, it is the man with the set celluar, the petty cash and the production binder that ends up squeezed between the highs and lows of entertainment.

Even today, a day I want to rest, I work, I deal with things from that job and from the transcription job, which has also fallen to the dregs of ego and malice. I did a script job the best I could in the small amount of time (8 hours) given with the criminally sloppy transcript (half what was written was wrong) and had to do it by 6am, starting at 11pm, for a one hour show. According to my transcription boss, the production company blacklisted her for it. Of course, that is not the whole story, but with everything else on a day of rest, it did not create guilt for the poor woman’s woes. It created anger and resolve, as I wrote of in my last post. Politics or whatever, I did not want another bullshit reason for being in the aura of bad energy. I called her, we talked and then I informed my father, her mentor, of what was up. Best I could do for a co-worker and distantly considered friend.

It is the point where my care cup, usually full to overflow, is empty, drunk clean and put on the bar, the tab paid and the patron out the door, that cup never to be filled in that venue again. I am a man of intelligence and will and ambition. I am a man working to break out from years of self-exile from my balls and my brain and my self-interest. Why the fuck should I be the poor bear face, half buried in the grass of some coastal tribal village, washed away when the tide comes in? Why should I be under the vassalage of red tape and lunatics, sweet personalities and manipulators? I care not, anymore. I have lost that empathy, willingly, because in the end, it only serves those who I consider inferior and withour honor.

I felt today I was trying to get back in to any industry that doesn’t fit me. That I should just of joined the Canadian military when I got back. Made it easy on myself. But that would of solved nothing. Kicking up the mud, falling into shit only to get back up, more determined, is exactly what I need, what any man needs, in his life to prove to himself, and only himself, that he is a man, a good one, and one that should not be trifled with unless said agitator enjoys being buried under his own ill will.

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2 responses to “Home Again, Home Again (Totem Pole)

  1. and a big welcome back to this style of words that drew me to you in the first place so many years ago. I felt a fire in your eyes. I hope, for you, that it stays.

  2. Pingback: Linkage is Good for You: Week of February 19, 2012

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