(in rough draft form, memoir #1)
There it was, the classified I had been waiting for. The job didn’t sound mundane. It sounded creative and interesting, and I could have a persona. I liked jobs I could create myself into characters with.
Faces, International. A talent marketing magazine. The entertainment industry.
What more could I ask for?
I wanted the job as a talent consultant, I could see myself in an office molding young and old ingenues. Deciding their fate. Would we, the magazine the industry trusted, be providing them with the best of the best?
I believed the hype. But they relegated me to a receptionist to start, with the promise that when the next consultant position became available, I was at the top of the list.
I hated being a receptionist!
My job was to make appointments for the eager beavers to come in and interview. The phones would ring off the hook whenever one of our commercials was on the radio. It was like an onslaught to my entire being as I tried to keep up and maintain any composure as I stuck little colored pins into a corkboard in the time slots available. Sometimes we would book from over a hundred phone calls in the hour between those recorded promises. I would get more and more frantic and overwhelmed. Go into my out-of-body bubble.
Not everyone on the other end of the line appreciated what I was doing for them. Giving them entry into the world of fantasy and fame. And I wasn’t always nice back. Make them work for it, I thought.
Management didn’t always see this as the correct approach.
But I was being paid half my old job, and I would not take someone’s attitude. I had my own to give.
When we opened the doors to the hopefuls who arrived for their “screen tests” I saw the eagerness in their faces. The questions of would they be good enough, could they get accepted? Behind the scene, they didn’t know that we had our standards. Could they afford it?
I pushed a questionnaire towards them and had them plonk down in the reception area. And then I had them wait.
We needed the suspense. The rise in heartbeat till the moment of reckoning.
Finally, a consultant walked briskly in and called their name, then whisked them back to the offices that displayed the awe-inspiring tools of the trade; video recorder, tv and slide viewer.
I wanted to be that consultant! They promised me it. But I had a big heart and a bigger mouth when I told a good friend about Faces. She was a statuesque, German – with an accent, ex runway model who needed a job. And boy, they couldn’t wait to hire her.
But, wait again, that should be my job.
I wanted to arrive in the reception area in my stiletto heels, playing the part of the expert decision-maker. Placing feet on the yellow brick road.
And they gave it to HER!
I was not magnanimous. I was furious. And hell has no fury like a RIA scorned.
I started slamming the phones, getting huffy with the rest of the staff, and being unpleasant. There was too much going on in my brain. The ringing phones, the insistent callers, the damn pins that kept falling off the board I threw them on as I was in such a hurry to get them booked for an appointment and out of my way.
And I frenzied myself right out of a job and was escorted out the door in disgrace.
That got my attention. And I couldn’t let my parents, who I was still living with, know.
I was to be responsible again. Not get myself fired.
So I did something brave and desperate.
The next morning was an office meeting day. I marched myself in when the doors opened, refused to leave, and pleaded my case. To everyone. Crying hysterically while gulping air between my pleas seemed to help. And the part-owner being up from Los Angeles was a blessing, too.
By the end of the meeting, they took a vote, and I was… PROMOTED! To talent consultant.
They had seen my potential or had figured out I was someone that would put my all into the job. Take a risk, they thought.
I became a happy camper with commissions to make. I was ruthless but kind. Offered honest hope or turned down the unacceptable.
I could make someone’s dreams come true.
I would be a talent consultant extraordinaire.