Monday, January 15, 2007

When Well Meaning Purple Puffy Pants Attack.

Today’s blog entry will be illustrated by Basil The Diva Dog, as I’m currently housesitting for him and Ginger Puppy. Basil is remarkably mellow today, and was amiable to illustrating the story, as opposed to diving under bushes in the backyard and refusing to come out, so this entry is already one for the record books. Yay!

I went to my monthly prayer entertainment ministry last night, where it’s half group therapy, and half a shitload of praying and hope for the best. I was in a small group of about six people, and we’re supposed to go around the room and talk about what we’re thankful for, and what we need prayer for. Then we all bow our heads and pray as we feel the Spirit leading us to, which is another way of saying whenever there’s an awkward pause.

It’s through this ministry that I’ve determined that I don’t like hearing people pray for me. Makes my skin crawl. It’s irrational, I know. I don’t like hearing people talk about me to my face. I MUCH prefer it behind my back, because then I can always claim to be the misunderstood victim. KIDDING! I’m not saying you can’t pray for me, by all means please do, I need everything I can get. I just don’t wanna hear it in a small group situation.

Behold Basil, the Diva Dog. He looks exhausted, doesn’t he? In our story, Basil is me. I am exhausted, pooped, tired beyond all reasonable comprehension and all I want is a nap. Things have been extraordinarily bad this past week at the temp job at the Unnamed Movie Studio. The Golden Globes are today, and all stress was directly related to the party that the studio is throwing after the ceremony. We’re talking fourteen hour days, we’re talking unbelievable amounts of tension, we’re talking mountains of RSVPS to sift through, pages and pages of emails of managers talking up their no name clients to try and get on the guest list, and obnoxious people puffed up with arrogance. What do you mean I’m not on the list!? I’m the assistant to the executive producer of one of the nominated movies for best foreign picture that your studio didn’t make! I’M IMPORTANT, DAMN YOU! We’re talking I'm lucky if I can gulp a handful of pistachios and a Naked Juice to keep going, since I don’t get time off for lunch. We’re talking my friends calling me at 9pm at night, and all they hear from me is a “Can’t talk now,” and a hang up. it’s been sheer and utter hell the likes of which I’ve never experienced before and hope I never will again.

My job wanted me to work the ceremony today, and I said no thanks. I think I said something like, “No way in hell.” And I can get away with it because I’m a temp, and they can’t do a thing to force me to work it.

But all of which is to say that my last day at this particular job from hell will be this upcoming Friday, as I told them at the beginning of this month. Which is why it was unfortunate that they went behind my back and told my temp agency to extend me for another month, despite the fact I have a clear cut email trail telling them my last day would be this upcoming Friday. It’s something a simple phone call to the agency can take care of, but it will still make me look like the bad guy, that I’m ignoring their pleading and groveling to please please stay through Oscars, things won’t be as stressful once the Oscars are over, we promise, we promise, despite the fact that we said things would be fine once Christmas was over, and we were obviously wrong. But please don’t leave us, even though you have no interest in publicity, and nothing you learn here will help your screenwriting career, because we desperately need you, and you’re supposed to be a servant of GOD.

Now, behold Mr. Purple Puffy Pants. In reality, he’s one of Ginger Puppy’s chew toys that she takes little interest in (and has apparently been to the spa, hence the robe.). But for our story today, he’s one of the members of the small group I was assigned to last night. And as we ran around the circle and talked about what everyone was grateful for (this one’s wife might be pregnant. That one met someone through eHarmony, this other one’s third draft of their script was turned in to Fox and they don’t hate it, that other’s one’s been buried in bread and butter industrial work which has paid their bills) and what they need prayer for (big meeting with a producer coming up, need strength to finish my residency in internal medicine at the hospital, need physical healing for a leg injury, need hope in general) we get to me.

I say my praise is that the Christmas monologue writing is actually a lot of fun, simply because there’s not a lot mentioned in the Bible about the people I’m writing for (Elizabeth and Zechariah, anyone?), so creative license allows me to fill in a bunch o’ blanks. And that I need prayer for a “graceful exit” from this temp job from hell, and that I need strength to not be a wimp and cave in to their whining to stay through the Oscars, as it will be another month of my life sucked away from me, filled with stress doing things I simply don’t want to do and have no interest doing, and there’s no good reason that I SHOULD stay and do them, and I’ve spent too much of my life doing things I didn’t want to do, and didn’t have to do simply to make the people around me happy.

So we bow our heads and start with the praying. And when it comes time for someone, to pray for me, Mr. Purple Puffy Pants jumps in with both feet. And even though we all have our eyes closed, he starts talking as though we’re chatting in the kitchen over milk and cookies. “Amy, I just have to tell you, when you were talking about how much you hated your job, God put it on my heart for me to tell you that I think you need to stay there. That there’s work there that God wants you to do. I know you don’t wanna be there. But I think you really need to pray for God to tell you what He wants you to do there, because I think you’re supposed to stay.”

And I’m thinking Wha-huh? You wanna back outta my grill, Mr. Purple Puffy Pants? He has no idea what it’s been like. He doesn’t know about the fourteen hour days, he doesn’t know how on Friday, stress paralyzed all of my facial muscles to where I couldn’t smile, and everyone kept stopping me in the hall to ask me if I was okay.

Mr. Purple Puffy Pants’ wife, Mrs. Sandy Sassafrass Ass, dives in as well, telling a story about how she had a friend who hated his job too, until someone pointed out for him that instead of getting a better job that didn’t want to make him slit his wrists with an extremely dull butter knife, God’s plan may have been that he was supposed to pray for his co-workers, because no one else would.

You don’t know anything about it, Mrs. Sandy Sassafrass Ass! Mrs. Sandy Sassafrass Ass doesn’t know about how I had to keep running to the bathroom because I was doing those hyperventilating heaving dry sobs where you’re crying but no tears are coming down, and isn’t that good, it would’ve streaked my make-up anyway. Mrs. Sandy Sassafrass Ass doesn’t know that I DO pray for all my co-workers on the drive in to work every day, and my co-workers are remarkably not the problem, the problem is the work itself. Mrs. Sandy Sassafrass Ass doesn’t know that I will KEEP praying for my co-workers to survive the hell that is Awards Season, but silly me, my sanity comes first. How selfish, how bratty, how petulant I am, to want to come home before 9pm so I have enough energy to work on my Christmas monologues, because this stupid publicity job is not my life, WRITING is my life, and anything that takes away from that is keeping me from the work that God has set out from me to do.

I feel like well meaning people like Mr. Purple Pants and Mrs. Sandy Sassafrass Ass are of the mindset that there must be an element of suffering in your life in order to be a good little Christian. If you hate your job, you’re SUPPOSED to be there, to change your surroundings to make it a pleasant workplace for everyone, instead of doing the reasonable thing like finding a new job. I could understand that mindset if I was in a job that was remotely close to writing, but again, this is publicity. And all I’m doing are writing down people’s Plus 1 for the afterparty. This will never help me sell a script. And I can’t imagine God wants me to stick around to find out how it will.

Let’s look at the flipside, shall we? Suppose God didn’t want me to be working this job. How do you think He would try to tell me? Would he send gorgeous butterflies to kiss my nose and deliver a note on a scroll in gossamer writing? Would he send a sunbeam to bathe me in an otherworldly light, while visions of rainbows and talking unicorns filled my head, trumpeting in dulcet tones, Aaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmyyyyyyyyy! God would like you to leave your joooooooooooob nooooooooowwwwwwwwwww!

Or maybe, just maybe, God would allow the misery and pain to come through loud and clear in the hopes that I would examine the evidence and make an educated decision. The only time in my professional career that I have ever been fired is because I was working for a desperately unhappy psychotic woman, and though it was painful to come to work every day and suffer her tantrums because I wasn’t a mindreader of multiple personalities, I thought I was supposed to stay and do my very very best to make her life better so she’d be a happier person. She fired me instead. I don’t think that’s what God had in mind. I think God had wanted me to leave on my own terms, but when I didn’t, He gave me a shove out the door. And it hurt like hell.

I don’t need another shove, Mr. Purple Puffy Pants. You don’t know a thing about it, Mrs. Sandy Sassafrass Ass. Sentences that start with “God put it on my heart to tell you…” are usually a very dumb thing to say. Just ask Rachael. Because you don’t know the whole story. And there usually is a whole story to know. So why don’t you take your well intentions, and, oh, I don’t know, keep them to yourself? Pray silently about it, since I don’t like people praying for me out loud? Don’t presume to know that you know anything? I don’t.

I wished I could’ve said any of this out loud. But isn’t that the irony of situations like these. Mr. Purple Puffy Pants and Mrs. Sandy Sassafrass Ass can make their Assumptive Statements, but I can’t refute them. It isn’t polite. It isn’t Christian. I’ll look like I’m refusing to listen to God’s Truth. Whatever. Sigh.

Isn’t Basil the most patient dog ever? He rocks.


Midlife Virgin said...

I think people who start sentences with "God put it in my heart to tell you..." are people who are nosy and stupid and want to tell you what to do without sounding like they're doing that so they put it on God. I think you need to listen to your heart because that's where God lives. So pray for strength to leave gracefully, pray for your poor co-workers stuck there and then get the HELL out! God will provide you with whatever is supposed to be next, that's His job. So many people do seem to think that miserable=doing God's work. My God doesn't want me miserable and I don't want to know your God if yours does! Look forward to Friday and celebrate when you're done!aby

Yummyteece said...

I think the Great Entity does give us messages loudly and clearly.... say, when we are miserable, the Creator give us the urge to protect and honor ourselves and remove ourselves from an abusive and shitty situation.


Mr. Purple Puffy Pants and Wife may have the best of Christian intent in their words.... but remember, the road to hell is paved with those things.

(and as someone who as worked for production companies during award shows.... i understand the 14+ hour days, the hyperventilating and dry heaves and all such icky stuff. Again I say.... if the Spirit moves you... LEAVE THE JOB!)

Tracy said...

I think you need to quit the temp job from hell and that these photo illustrations with Basil are the cutest ever.

Spunkyselkie said...

The puffy comments are illustrative, to me, of the fact that people also recognize that God can use any situation. It also reveals, again, only my opinion, the Christian silver-lining of the cloud - namely that you are in a bad situation for a PURPOSE -as opposed to being there when you are supposed to be somewhere else.

Someone recently told me that saying of "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan." I agree that often we are too focused on "our wills" and not on God's. But I also know that God honors those who are "good stewards" of their skills, talents, and mental health.

Seek another job, I'd say. In the meantime, while you are there, take the puffypantpeople advice and keep praying for your coworkers.

And pray for puffypantsers, too. :)