You know what I hate? Probably everyone in the service level of the food industry. I know that sounds a bit mean spirited, especially since I'm somewhat friends with a good number of people who have either been in that position or those who have made a career in serving people their food, but bear with me here.
You know how they say you never mess with the people that handle your food? There's a well known fact (and this has been corroborated by the people I mentioned earlier) that if you piss these guys off, you will get, at the very least, some spit in your burger or whatnot. That's the biggest issue I have with those people. As a guy who has worked and learned the intricacies of customer service, it bugs me that these bastards at fast-food joints and restaurants have the sense of entitlement to bully the customer for not reaming them out each and overtime they fuck up. I work hard. I work at least 16 hours a day almost everyday and all I want sometimes is to be able to enjoy nice, properly prepared meal that is served promptly and correctly. If I don't get that simple pleasure, a simple pleasure that I pay for, mind you, I am going to mouth off to the person responsible. Why? Because when I turn in a less than funny script, the director is going to get in my face about it. When I do stand up and I'm not funny, I'm going to get a heckler. If I do an essay markup that's not up to par, I get shit form whoever's doing the particular shit slinging. If I make a movie and it sucks, I get bad reviews. Point is, if I don't do my job properly, I get my ass chewed out. What makes these people exempt? Because they have access to my food? they'll respond to fucking up by accident by fucking up intentionally? What gives them the fucking right?
You don't want customers to get in your face, do your job well. You don't want your mistakes to get rubbed in your face, don't make any. You don't want to be called an idiot, don't be one. It's not the world's fault that you're flipping burgers while your high school buddies are off doing fulfilling things in their lives. Don't take it out on the customer.
Back in Makati.
I started my third and inly full time job. It's a boring online writing thing that gives me something to do every weeknight and something to spend whenever I actually have time to do so. The work is okay, though a bit taxing, and the office is full of, well, normal people. It's not the collection of comedians the TV network gig is, nor the diverse population that is the Think Tank, but I think it's nice. I need a dose of boring. I go in, I do the job, I go home. No drama, no unnecessary bonds made.
What I am amped about is that I'm once again back in Makati. It's been two whole years since I've worked in the city and on my first night back, I felt something that I haven't felt in a long time. I've always been talking about my history in the place, and while it's too much to get into detail, Makati will probably always be my favorite place. Cavite is my home, it's where my roots are planted, but ever since '98, (and in some years before that, some can argue) Makati has played a huge role in my development. Even in my lowest point, (2009), Makati has been good to me.
I don't want to jinx it, but I simply cannot lose in that town. I simply can't. It's there that I'm at my best, it's there that I have a level of clarity that I just can't explain. That place empowers me, and I'm sure it has the same affect to a lot of people.
I'm still working at the Think Tank. Part time. Only on weekends. At least, if they get around to fixing my computer, yeah, I'll be there every weekend.
The Big Storm.
Everyone knows about the constant heavy rains that caused a bunch of floods all over the country, leaving hundreds in danger and facing possible homeless and whatnot. I don't care much about that. In fact, I love it when there's a huge disaster like that and I'm relatively unaffected. I'm not saying that to be a dick, I'm just being honest here. I love rain. I love how such calamities ensure that no one is traveling, making it easier for me to move around. A few years back, I was working in Purgatory when Ondoy hit. I was comfortably living in my Fortress, alone. The only effect such fucked up weather has in the general area I live in is that it makes the temperature all the more cozy. Again, I loved it, and I don't want to be insensitive to the people who were hit pretty bad, but that's how it is. I'm not a guy who cares about these things. I'm not really selfish, but I'm not entirely selfless either.
When last week's storm got worse, I was planning on just chilling in my bed, watching a few movies and eating a bag of chips as the weather slowly swayed me to sleep. But then, I heard about Marvi, one of the Scoobies, and her troubles without he flood. How her family was stuck at home, which was half submerged into the flood thanks to the non-stop rain of the previous night. I heard about how she had to get home, cause she was the home who was bringing food into their house and there was no access to get in. Not even her car could have helped her get into the subdivision.
Again, normally, I wouldn't care about other people's plight. That's just not me. But the Scoobies are not other people, especially not Marvi and her family. Most of anyone else, I would have wished them luck on braving the elements. But these guys, the Scoobies, have been on my side constantly since 2003 and if I am in any position to help any one of them with any thing, I don't hesitate to do so.
So, she and I braved the whole thing. We walked through the disgusting water, carrying bags of groceries making sure that they get to her family. It was a long day topped off with drinking, as , Marvi, Kokoy and I cracked open a few beers and surveyed the damage. I felt really good, seeing how the two of them took everything in stride. Impressive and admirable. I also felt good about being able to do something good, despite how little it was, to people who have done so much for me. I'll admit, I'm a bit of a prick to everyone else, but when it comes to my inner circle, I don't think there's nothing that I can't do for them.
I felt so good about hat day, that I even sent a text message to one of my "arch-foes", burying the hatchet. He replied, we did the SMS equivalent of shaking hands, and hopefully, that's one chapter of my life that's over. (I become a good guy approximately three days in a year. Don't get used to it, people.)
Everyone Brings The Funny.
Regardless of the conditions, TV people always feel the need to make sure the show goes on. And it did, so off I went to another creative meeting with the Gang. It was faster than usual meetings, and but there were a couple of noteworthy events. The first event: perhaps the funniest sketch idea of the day came from the director's personal assistant. It blew everyone else's proposals out of the water, including mine. I still snicker every time I think about it. The suggestion was so good, that the director specified two writers in the table to should be making him coffee and let the PA write the sketches. The second event, I wasn't one of those two writers. So, yay for me.
Seriously though, that moment reminded me of one of the many things I like about comedy. Everyone can do it. It's not really about talent, it's about a certain point of view. I left the meeting with a smile.
Regarding the moments I clarity I usually have when I'm in the city, you know, the kind that hit you at 2 or 3 AM, in a dimly lit bar that's getting ready to close down, or as you smoke a cig along an empty backstreet? I had one of those. It made me question the need to do, scratch that, WIN the Hong Kong thing.
Truthfully, I'm not motivated by anything pure and noble. I'm not under the gun like I was last year. I'm not even that crazy about hitting the stage anymore, not like I was before writing for TV. I just got to thinking, here I am, busting my ass, working three jobs and for what? Stripped away from all the mental distractions, (working a lot does that) I couldn't provide a single, sensible thing to justify my decision to join the contest again.
It's true, sensibilities or practicality never comes into play whenever I find something that I really want to do, but that's the thing, I'm not sure I want to do it. A part of me thinks that the only reason I set my sights on that because I always need an end goal. If I don't have one, I don't function. BUt what's the end goal here? The TV writing thing is fulfilling my creative needs. I have a job that pays well. A part time job that's suitable. I already made a movie and there's a second one in development. It's not like there's a lack of avenues for me.
It sucks that I don't have anyone I can air this out to, and I guess that's why these lingering thoughts are coming out in this post. I'm sticking to the plan, but these thoughts can lead to burn out, and well, I've been down that road before.
The thoughts, the anger, the burden of the jobs, despite everything that's positive going on, I'm still a big ball of stress. The weekend came, and I just really needed to blow off some steam. It's a good thing my boys were there. I don't talk abut my shit with these guys, for various reasons: The Big Man and I, we have a dynamic wherein he gets into silly shit, he talks about them to me, at length, I give him my thoughts, and that's it. Sometimes he follows my advice, sometimes he doesn't. The point is, that's how our relationship works. That's our dynamic. There have been moments wherein shit were reversed, but they're rare. The Tapa King, on the other hand, is someone who fancies himself as a wireman, given the hardships he's claimed to have survived. Because of that, he's a little too open when it coms to providing his insight, which, and I don't mean to insult the guy, are not that insightful. Maybe we're just too different, but still. The Critic, Jonic, everyone else, well, my relationship with them is very similar similar to the one I have with the Big Man, but to a lesser degree. They talk, I listen, but only offer my thoughts when asked.
Now, while I'm not entirely comfortable with talking about my issues with them, I could always rely on them when it comes to weekend stress management. And by that I mean, getting downright drunk and silly, bitches. We drank from the BIg Man's place, to this other place, and the new guy, this latest addition to the crew, was his usual drunk self, not making sense and shit, and we even almost left him at the bar. We were hiding each other's footwear. We overdrank, overate, insulted the Tapa King's intelligence a couple of times, it was classic. I can't even remember the last time I laughed that hard and that genuinely. It was nuts, and while it wasn't exactly what I needed, it helped.
As of now, I don't know what I'm going to do yet, but it's good to know that I can still rely on the weekends to help me out.