Thursday, March 29, 2007

Undeserved Reprimand

Hi All,

As some of you may know, I recently began a new job.

For the past two years, I've worked for PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. They are a primarily Japan-focused PR/advertising/marketing firm. I held three positions there: Advertising Assistant, Marketing Coordinator, and Account Executive.

However, three weeks ago, I began working as the Key Office Production Assistant at Grass Skirt Productions -- in other words, I work for LOST.

It's an interesting, high-stress, secretive production. The relationships between the different levels here are very different from the two shows on which I've worked before (North Shore and Extreme Makeover).

Now, part of television is to not step on anyone's toes. If you can manage to not piss anyone off, you've done well. You also have to be thick-skinned, as sometimes the words that come out of peoples' mouths are scathing and it's easy to get hurt. Most of the time, I've let peoples' comments slide off me like water on a duck's back, but that's because the words are rarely meant to be taken personally.

Today, I was reprimanded. The words were hot and directed at me by a producer(who shall remain nameless). My mistake? Not knowing the producer's voice when I answered the main line. Of course, being standard procedure when you redirect a call, I asked who was speaking as I didn't recognize the voice (primarily because I've not heard more than 10 words spoken to me from this person yet). The response, "If you ask me who I am again, I'm going to take this fucking cell phone and throw it through your fucking head." That may not be verbatim, but it's pretty close.

What infuriates me here is that:
1) There shouldn't be an expectation that I know the person's voice if I've barely even spoken to the person. That's unreasonable.


2) Despite my position and his, there should be some sort of mutual respect. You know, I *do* happen to be of the same species as the person, despite their financial situation. Choice of language is big. There is a huge difference between something along the lines of "You dumb fuck" and "You made a mistake." (Those are just examples and were not said to me in this instance.)

I'm sure the producer must think me to be stupid, which I think frustrates me more, since I know that I am not.

Anyway, that's the basic rundown of today's undeserved reprimand.

Ridiculous, really. Grrr.

Have any of you had similar experiences? I'd love to hear them.



Joce said...

When I was in high school I worked at a Summer Pals job (summmer fun). One day I get called into the office and the director tells me that a parent complained that I was reading a book on the playground when the kids were playing. Now it does sound like something I would do but the truth was that it definitely didn't happen. The only times I would read were during my lunch breaks which I went home for. I don't know what problem that parent had with me or it could've possibly been a case of mistaken identity but I was super upset about it and that I got scolded with no proof.

E. Nigma said...

In a high stress position, it wouldn't suprise me that a person would lash out like that. Coupled with a swelled head, they may see themselves as masters of the universe.
By no means am I excusing his behavior. No one should ever treat others in such a manner.
I've had a superior at a job tell me those words "Don't ask me who this is again." Like you, this is when I was first starting out (seems to be a recurring theme). But I called him on it. I asked "Why shouldn't I? I don't know you."
Click. He hung up on me. About 1/2 hour later, I am greeted (and I use this term loosely) by this steaming red faced gentleman.

"Who's the ***** that's been answering the phone?"

Feeling a bit stirred by his demeanor yet standing my own ground, I say "That'd be me."

To follow would be being yelled at and calmly firing back myself (why give in to the heat of the moment and give him the satisfaction). And that's when he pressed his finger into my chess.

By this point, I'm fuming (albeit internally). All the parts of me yelled for attack. Twist and snap his wrist. But I backed off and simply said "I quit."

A few days later, I get a call from my former superior's superior. He goes on to tell me that I had been assaulted at the workplace and that my assaulter was temporarily suspended pending dismissal and invited me to go back to work.

I graciously declined, the place had left a sour taste in my mouth, and I thanked him for the call.

I'm not saying to quit nor am I saying you have to take it. Ultimately, you have to be happy where you are in life. Don't take crap from anyone. And in the end, all the jerks in the world will get their just desserts.

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