From Afar: New work city

Charlie Nadler writes From Afar.

courtesy of Charlie Nadler

Charlie Nadler writes From Afar.

Charlie Nadler grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and graduated from MVRHS with the class of 2002. Until mid-March, he lived in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles where he worked in the film and television industry and performed stand up comedy. He’s just relocated to New York City, where he will continue to muse about his life on and off Martha’s Vineyard in his weekly “From Afar” column.

I live for ideas and jokes and yet they still don’t provide a living. I envy people whose day jobs align with their desired career path while I must clock in in the evening, clock out in the morning, and in between figure out how to pay rent.

Molding ideas into screenplays or stand up bits takes a lot of time, so my objective these days is to add as many ticks as possible to the creative clock. Luckily I’d been told New York is perfect for this strategy. I could ditch the 9 to 7 entertainment gigs I became accustomed to in Los Angeles and embrace bountiful 9 to 5 administrative opportunities. Landing one of these would be simple, quick, nothing to blog home about.

Interview number one was promising on paper. An editorial assistant for a luxury website. I would help post about five star resorts and platinum watches. I’ve watched more than enough rap videos and knew I could totally do that job! Then I learned the pay and immediately bowed out; I couldn’t bring myself to write about luxury lines while living on the poverty line.

Interviews two through one million were a string of Craigslist rope-a-dopes, jobs that apparently didn’t even exist. Recruiters cast these things out like squid and wait for unemployed scup like me to bite. Then they bring me in and promise a lot of other “great” positions while making me complete a stack of redundant paperwork that solicits so much of my personal information that I might as well display my social security number in Times Square.

Eventually I found an awesome sounding position that did in fact exist and had the most innovative job title ever: “Happiness Coordinator”! My resume was met with positivity, cool! But then I was invited to fill out a questionnaire, lame! Finally I got to meet a real live person, alright! But our meeting took place at a Starbucks, cliché!

For some inexplicable reason my interviewer dedicated a healthy chunk of time telling me about other candidates who nailed their interviews. He liked me, though, and told me “as long as I don’t get outdone later today” I should be asked back for the next step of the interview process. This suspense was epic for me. What came next, eight questionnaires? A polygraph test? Whoever gets the best palm reading gets the job?

Turns out it was worse. The next step would be a cocktail party, at their office, WITH ALL OF THE OTHER CANDIDATES PRESENT. The Hunger Games is a movie, people, not an employment strategy. I coordinated an escape from this opportunity and felt very happy about it.

Despite all this, things are looking up and this week should put me back in the black financially. The road’s been longer than I anticipated, but the flat tires are fun to blog home about.