About two years ago, I tried blogging for the first time. I did it on Blogspot, and I’m pretty sure I did two, maybe three entries, before I got bored. There is only one entry I remember, and it is one that stirred up quite a bit of controversy in my life.
I was working as a production assistant on The Ellen DeGeneres Show at the time. I was very, very, very excited to have landed a job there, as working with Ellen had been my dream since I was roughly twelve years old. And so this particular blog was all about loving the idea that I was finally doing this job. Of course, the inner workings of this show were (are?) absurd, and I referenced that in my post. Mostly I talked about loving being there, but I believe part of the post was about a particular decree from the executive in charge of production mandated that no more than two PAs could sit in the PA office at any given time, or one of the many other ridiculous rules. As PAs, our job was to be treated as trained monkeys, and though I’d come to accept that in my various jobs, it had never been as bad as it was at this show. It was actual contempt for human dignity.
Anyway, the point is that I wrote this post and forgot about it. And months later, it became what I consider to be the downfall of my budding career at The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I got called into the office of my quasi-boss, who was, at the time, a very good friend. She told me that there was word on the street that I had been writing about the show on my blog. This was interesting, since no one at the show should have known about this blog, as I didn’t even really tell anyone I knew that I existed. However, I had done the postings while at work, so it wouldn’t have taken much for someone to just look at the browser history on a particular computer. Or, more likely, to stare over my shoulder as I wrote.
This shouldn’t have been such a big deal since, as I mentioned, the blog said nothing objectionable. I printed out the post and gave it to my boss, but she said she trusted me and had no interest reading it. I didn’t violate my confidentiality agreement (though maybe I am now, which would be awesome) and I didn’t say anything negative about Ellen herself (just about a few of her employees). And, again, the overall message of the post was positive, since it was all about me finally living the dream.
That didn’t matter to Ellen’s PA, of course, as he had apparently learned about this site and passed the URL onto Ellen’s security team so they could investigate. My boss told me she knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, and that there was nothing to worry about. She just thought I should know. She didn’t know how Ellen’s PA had found the site, and she also wanted me to know that people were talking. Of course they were. I’m sure the URL for the blog had been passed around the office and everyone had a good laugh at the idea that someone who worked for The Ellen DeGeneres Show might have actually, at one point in her life, been a (gasp!) fan of Ellen. These people were too cool for such a thing, thus laughing at the lowly PA was the proper thing to do.
I don’t know why I’m writing about this now, more than a year after I was fired from the show. But I’ll tell you this. There’s nothing more embarrassing than being fired and then not having an answer every time someone says “Why?” Because I don’t know why I was fired. I know that my first sense that something was up came with this blog thing, but I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong. I know that when we shot the promos in Orange County right before season three, the head writer treated me like shit, for absolutely no reason, and that the next week I got a phone call that I was being let go I know that I have spent the last year+ going over every thing that ever happened at that show, trying my best to be as objective as possible.
And I also know that I’ll probably never understand it. But the thing of it is, I didn’t like most of the people who worked at that show. They were self-absorbed and entirely too proud of themselves for making a daily syndicated television show. And some of them were just mean. I never felt like I belonged there, so in some ways being fired was just inevitable. It was just a big slap in the face, and of course it was particularly devastating since this was my lifelong dream and all.
But what are you gonna do? I can’t make them hire me back. And despite my best efforts, I can’t get anyone to give me a real explanation. Everyone who could tell me the truth was too busy covering his/her own respective ass. And my very good friend and quasi-boss gave me about five minutes of her time to tell me that it was awful, and then proceeded to ignore me completely. I’ve lost a few friends, but that was the quickest it’s ever happened. And I guess that probably sucked most of all.
P.S. I hate that picture of me, but I couldn’t think of anything else to put there.
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