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8:43 am - Thurs 12/04/03
Killing Them With Kindness

Killing Them With Kindness

Tues 12/2/03 (9:52 a.m.)

I guess it's true--A watched pager never pages; I was hoping I'd get paged about Velveeta yesterday, but I never did.

Now that doesn't mean it still couldn't happenat the initial audition, the shoot date was listed as "Thursday 12/4 and/or Friday 12/5", so I could get called today (For a fitting tomorrow, rehearsal Thursday, and a shoot on Friday)but I'm guessing this is gonna be another "one that got away".


But far as I know, there are still a number of other possibilities "outstanding"I felt good about the Disney audition I had last week, I just had the "Fit TV" callback yesterday morning, and there may be a few other things I could still get called onso it would be premature to assume the fun is all done.

I was thinking about something yesterday, regarding the acting stuff, that suggests a positive heartbeat underneath all the chronic frustration and fear; When I have a rush of auditions and callbacks like I did last month, I fully expect something to come of them (And in the case of last month, they didI booked the Incubus video).

The idea that, given sufficient opportunity, success is inevitable, is probably what separates the ones who make it out here from the ones who don't.

And while I don't know exactly how or when it'll happen, I do know I'm going to have some major success out here.

It's inevitable.


Sunday was Pat's last day at the bookstore.

I'm sorry to see him go--Personally, he was the first real friend I've made out here, and in terms of work, his anal-retentive, "neat freak" tendencies will be sorely missed (Since I will almost certainly be required to pick up some of the resulting slack). But I'm trying to be a big boy about it; I've said to myself more than once that I have to be prepared for people to move in and out of my life more quickly here than when I was in Lansing (Pat was at the bookstore for a year).

We're going to have breakfast tomorrow, before he takes off for New York, at some place he likes on Wilshire and Crescent Heights.

(2:05 p.m.)

Well, this has been a nice day at home for Jim; I chatted with Jane this morning, and just now finished chatting with Lauren.

I've been feeling pretty lonely lately. Not crushed by it or anything, but just aware of a hunger--for someone to be around, for someone to talk to, for someone to do something with, etc.


Well, it's starting to look like the fun is all done, in terms of the recent spate of auditions; I had the "Fit TV" callback on Monday, which went okay--not great--but no other calls have come from JS since (What I was half-expecting, since it's happened before, is that I'd get paged Monday and have my heart skip a beat--thinking I booked Velveeta--only to have it be just another audition. But I didn't even get that).

(Just looked through my "pocket journal" and saw that I could still get a callback for Sprint--Callbacks are Monday, with the shoot being sometime between the 10th and the 12th--but I think they would have called by now if they were interested. But anyway...)

Naturally, I'm disappointed about not making the big score this time out. But I've now booked three gigs since June, so it doesn't make sense to get down-in-the-mouth and pessimistic; I have to hold onto the fact that I have been cast--I know it can happen because it has happened--and now it's just a question of time before I grab the brass ring, and get cast in something with the big money and visibility I'm looking for.


Did the breakfast thing with Pat yesterday...

I got to the restaurant (Caffe Latte) about ten minutes before Pat, and was startled to see they'd gotten a "C" on their most recent Health Department inspection (California restaurants are required by law to display results of their latest inspection). I was very surprised--It made me nervous about eating there, and Pat's a hell of a lot more fastidious than I am--but it turned out Pat hadn't actually eaten there in awhile, and was just as surprised as I was about the low rating.

(But we decided to take a walk on the wild side and eat there anyway, both having french toast; it's been 24 hours now and I seem to be fine, so it looks like I've cheated death once more.)

We ate and chatted for a little more than an hour, which was nice.

At one point, we talked about giving; Pat has talked before about how starting to think in terms of giving while at the bookstore helped him maintain a better mood in the last months he was there.

We talked about not having much in terms of money, but being able to at least give people our attention, our friendliness, and so forth. Not just at the bookstore, but in our daily lives. And how that's probably a better, happier way to live than just walking around wondering what everybody's going to do for you all the time.

That's something I do think about quite a bit--Whether a person's day is made better or worse by interacting with me, even briefly.

As a patron/customer, I think I'm pretty great; I honestly can't recall the last time I caused anyone in the public service sector any grief. Other than the fact I don't typically have a lot of money to spend, I'm the customer you want in your restaurant, store, etc. I'm polite, friendly, and just a pleasure to deal with.

As a retail clerk (Or a "bookseller", which sounds so much nicer to me), I'm still pretty good--I'm friendly to all my coworkers, and in most of my interactions with customers--

But I'm definitely a little more hit-and-miss.

Sometimes it's just a question of being tired or depressed or what-have-you. At those times, I think I just get more cut-and-dried about the service I give; I'll give you whatever help you need, but I'm not going to "sparkle". You'll get helped, but you won't get it with a song in my heart. I'm just "doing my job".

But the real problem comes when I have to deal with people I don't like. People who come in with an attitude, people who are annoyingly helpless or lazy, people who treat you like a non-person.

And the people who, while perhaps not outright thieves, are basically dishonest (The people who do revolving returns, treating the store like a public library. Teachers who use their discounts--which are supposed to be for class books--to buy romance novels and Xmas presents. That sort of thing).

If you come in and treat me like your personal research assistant, if you want to take your bad day out on me, if you continue to chat on your cell phone while I'm trying to help you, and if you feel like you're the sole exception to whatever rule we have in place that you don't like...well, that's when I may not do so well with the "giving".

But that bothers me in a way, because I know getting angry over the "bad people" is a losing proposition--they're never going to go away--and it amounts to saying "I'm only a good person when it's easy to be a good person".

I really cracked on the Monday before Thanksgiving (I haven't mentioned it before now because I'm embarrassed about how it'll make me look).

There's this little Eurotrash piece of garbage that comes in all the time. He radiates a general ickiness, and nobody at the store likes him. And he's one of those people who bought a book five years ago, and has been returning it every since (While we can't prove it, the general assumption is that he's also likely stealing from us, or stealing from other Borders stores, and returning the books to us for credit).

I've made no secret of my distaste for him, alluding to all the returns, all the trips in and out of the store on a single day, "jokingly" directing him to the Barnes and Noble down the street, etc. And he smiles and laughs; it's like we're playing this little game, where I say "I know what you're up to", and he says "Yeah, but you can't do anything about it, so I'm just going to keep coming in anyway".

So he came in Monday, bought something, paid for it with a store credit (I've never seen him pay for anything with cash), then went to the info counter to order a book (That's another thing--He refused a previous special order, which you're not supposed to get to do. So basically, this guy just costs us money every which way you turn).

So we started playing our little cat-and-mouse game, and I don't know what happened exactly, but I just blew up; I actually followed him outside, and said "Why don't you just go someplace else? No one wants you here, you fucking piece of shit!"

For some reason, he took offense.

There was something of a to-do, where he talked to the supervisor, she talked to me (Sympathetically, since she's had a run-in with the guy herself), and I went back out and talked to the guy, apologizing for going off like that.

Needless to say, I realize this was insanity on my part; I could very easily have lost my job, and all because this greasy little fuck returns a lot of books? How crazy would that have been?

But I don't want to get sidetracked here..I came away from that experience with a sense that I really "can't let the bastards get me down". When it comes down to it, there's nothing at the bookstore worth getting an ulcer over.

Which gets me back to the "giving" conversation with Pat.

I think focusing on all the pleasant interactions I have at the store, with both coworkers and customers, working on defusing the customers who come in angry or unhappy or whatever, thinking about my working day as being my opportunity to "give unto others", and detaching as much as possible from guys like "Mr Eurotrash" and his ilk, will make my days more meaningful and enjoyable.

And isn't that what it's all about?

Well, speaking of "giving unto others", I have to go take some headshots to JS.

(I'll probably write more later. I feel kind of "backlogged" in terms of what I have to say.)


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