Friday, January 22, 2010

Aim High

Well now a couple of weeks have gone by at this new job, and I am only now starting to become productive at it. As I figure out things or finally ask the right questions, new information is revealed to me, that, if I had known it from the start, would have gotten me productive much sooner. So the ramp up has had a pretty low slope. Which hasn't kept them from coming at me with impossible due dates for things I could have gotten done already if anyone had bothered to show me how.

So it's kind of a crummy job and the place is pretty seriously screwed up. It's stressful, BUT:

-The days go by very quickly

-I don't really mind it all that much.

Somehow, having this crummy job isn't bothering me like you might think it would. Maybe it's because I know it's temporary. This job has clarified for me that this isn't something that I want to do for the long term. But since it isn't for the long term, I can stand it. And getting paid and being busy right now "in this economy" is something to be grateful for, so I am.

And although this job has more than enough frustrations with it (today I couldn't help myself from asking if there was a Task Code for "Futile Searching") I'm noticing that there is a difference from the way I felt when I was back at GM. That difference is the prevailing sense of despair that I felt for the last few years I was there. Maybe that had something to do with the feeling that I was in it for the long haul, until retirement, and whenever things went bad I knew there was an element of it that would affect me in some way for the rest of my career. It all just built.

But when you're a temp, the possibilities of the whole world are out there ahead, full of potential. I'm not burdened with worries about what's going to happen to the company, or how to get to retirement, competing for promotions, getting enough exposure to management, all of that. I only need to get through each week, and then there's this:

Yeah, I have the best neighbors in the world.

That's a double-barreled frozen Margarita machine, and it knows how to make the aggravations of the week gone by disappear very

And there's another thing that makes a temporary crummy job easier to live with.

It's the hope that there's something better out there for me, and doing something that makes it seem like there's a chance of getting it. Even if it's a very small chance. Some people I know get that from playing the lottery. They can handle anything as long as there's a ticket in their pocket that symbolizes the opportunity to hit it big.

I've never been one for the lottery, since I don't like the odds, but I have something going now that gives me the feeling like I can dream big.

That would be my screenplay.

Back in November I had this idea for a script that I thought was really good. So I went to the library and checked out some books on screenwriting, and started writing it. Then I hit a wall, and stopped writing, and those books sat here on the counter accruing overdue fines.

But, I happened to have mentioned this project on Thanksgiving to my cousin Marisa, who happened to think of me when she was browsing through the schedule of course offerings at the Birmingham community house, and she decided to send a link to a course called "Finish Your First Screenplay in 6 Months." She sent it as kind of a joke, but I kept thinking about it.

The course is once a month on Monday evenings for 6 months, and it is a little pricey for community education, but I just went and signed up.

And now I have a dream. Instead of being a former engineer in a crummy temp job, I can imagine seeing my name flash up on the big screen after "written by:"

I can envision myself holding a check for $150,000 for the rights to produce my story. Heck, if I'm going to dream, let's make that a million!

Hey, there's me, accepting my Oscar for best screenplay, while I smile down at George Clooney sitting in the audience of stars.

I do understand that tens of thousands of screenplays get submitted every year, and something like a couple dozen of them ever get produced. I know. But I've got my big dream now, and I'm really looking forward to going to the first class this coming Monday. It makes me happy. And even for the price, those odds are still better than playing the lottery.


Heather Leigh said...

My dream, now, is to get invited to the red carpet premier!! :) Or maybe your movie needs an adorable child star (or bit part) that Liam could play!! Oh the possibilities!!

kid_curry said...

Learning to do something new is the key to staying young, I believe. Wouldn't it be great if you could stay young, win awards and get rich in the process!?! Remember to write in cameoes for all the GGs. :0)

Rebecca Binno Savage said...

At least you are being realistic about the odds!

Anonymous said...

If the plot hinges on bumpy cake, we have some work to do.
Mary Beth

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. What is the deal with that double-barreled Margarita machine. It couldn't be at work. Is it replacing the doughnut machine at home? Don't let me worry. And take those books back to the library, setting a good example for your boys.
Aunt Chris

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- Murk