Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Do You Have An Idiot Flag? I Do.

And I'm required to carry it with me everywhere I go for the rest of the day.
I can hear many of you saying, "Surely, Nathan, you're being too hard on yourself." "Not so much", I reply.

Last week, I called a college I've filmed at before to arrange to scout it for this movie. As is not uncommon, my contact there has moved on. I asked who would be the appropriate person to speak with and quickly found myself leaving a message on the new guy's voice mail. A short time later, someone else from his office returned the call and we made an appointment for this morning.

The arrangement was that I'd show up at a particular security kiosk and tell them, "I'm here to meet So & So." The guard would call him and he'd come meet me and we'd walk around the campus.

So, promptly at 11:00 a.m., I presented myself at the guard shack. After looking over my I.D. and filling out a visitor's pass, said guard passed me onto the campus. O.K., I'll just call Mr. So & So to let him know I'm here since I don't know where his office is. So I reach his assistant who tells me that he's in a meeting but he should be done in just a few minutes and she tells me where the office is.

I arrive at the office and identify myself and the same assistant says I can have a seat and he should be with me in 5 or 10 minutes. "Hey, that's fine", I think. "Meetings run long sometimes." So I sit there patiently through the first 15-20 minutes. I even see the man I'm presumably supposed to be meeting come out of his office for a minute or so twice, and then go back into his meeting.

As the clock edges past 1/2 hour, I'm starting to get a little miffed. On the one hand, I'm there wanting something from the College, but on the other hand, I'm not exactly a supplicant in this situation. After all, if we end up shooting there, we'll end up paying them somewhere between 7,000 and 14,000 dollars, depending on how long we end up being there. Not bad for a couple of days of involvement with a film crew.

Next, I start thinking, "What if I had another appointment scheduled after this one? By the time I finally get together with this guy and spend 45 minutes to an hour walking around the campus shooting different rooms, I'll be running late for my next appointment." Said following appointment was complete fiction, but what if I did have somewhere to be after the college?

This was starting to tick me off! As the clock moved past 45 minutes, I was seething. Now, granted, I could have sat there till the cows came home because I didn't have another appointment scheduled. But on the other hand, it's not a great idea to go into a meeting with a guy when all you want to do is point out how fucking rude he is to keep you cooling your heels for 45 minutes. Hey! I was here on time!

Finally, deciding that I might say something regrettable at this point, I hand his assistant a note for him and ask her to have him call me and reschedule because I can't wait any longer.

So I leave knowing that I've achieved pretty much nothing today and other than getting on the phone, I don't have anything else on my plate. Yeah, a real productive day.

Twenty minutes later, my phone rings. And guess who's on the other end. Hint: In order to answer this question, you need to go back to a key phrase at the beginning of this little tale. Here, let me help you: someone else from his office returned the call...

Yes, I sat in the office of, and got pissed off at...the wrong guy! And the whole time, the right guy was wondering where the hell I was. We've rescheduled for tomorrow.

I'm an idiot.


Random Michelle K said...

That doesn't sound like anyone was an idiot there. Just sounds like a major case of crossed wires.

Or, as I like to say, "same conversation, two different subjects."

mattw said...

It happens.

Ilya said...

I know I'd feel like an idiot if that happened to me, regardless of who was at fault... Nice flag, though...

Jim Wright said...


Some days are just that way. Nice flag, but I think a pointy hat would have been a better choice.