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@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
If You See Me Coming At You With A Syringe
It’s that time of my life again, folks. That time of my life where I shift jobs. One shitty job to the next shitty job. All a secondary means to keep going at this until there’s a writing job. Is there a steady writing job? New York, I love you, but I think about leaving you forever. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the color of the water in Hawaii. Like an intense but too brief love affair that shows you something you’ve been told about, I still fantasize about returning to that Earthly paradise… ne’er to return. If you can’t do what you love, then be somewhere you love. Not that I have any answers.
But, of course, when I write a new bit, have a string of great shows, the drug is properly injected and… ahhh, yes… New York and I, well, we were made or each other, weren’t we? The depressive dreamer, in the loneliest city on planet Earth. A silhouette Manhattan skyline stuns me still. Every day, I look at Manhattan from home, across the East River and think, “how cool, how special.” Even if New York is manically energized from crushed dreams, it still sparkles more than any other city in the dark of the night from those keeping theirs alive. Also, from light pollution. Mostly light pollution.
Now, interviewing is a process I absolutely hate. When someone asks me a dumb-ass question like, “do you consider yourself a fast learner?” I’d love to reply with, “no I’m a real slow learner. In fact, I often don’t pick up anything after weeks or months of training.” Though the most honest answer would be, “yes. Yes, I’m a very fast learner but I’m also bored very quickly and will hate this job and I will leave in a year or two, hopefully sooner because I sold a screenplay or something, more likely maybe I’ll have such a mental breakdown that I actually leave and never come back. Who knows. All I know is I won’t like this job but I will probably be good at it.”
The previous day to this interview, I was canceled for a gig, so I booked another at a hostel show. Hostel shows, more than not, are great work out rooms. There’s a never ending supply of rotating audience and they tend to be grateful for a free comedy show, especially when people who run them book good comics. Now, I get to this hostel show gig, already bent that I got booted from another gig and only two patrons showed up. I was carrying around a new router that I just bought because my old one burned out and I needed to get work done and send it out by the morning. I left without going on stage. Fuck this. I have to set up my new router.
On the way home, I got caught in a flash thunder storm and got completely drenched. I stood under a bodega awning, clutching my router, trying to keep the plastic bag sealed so it wouldn’t get wet. When the torrential downpour turned into a mere rainfall, I continued to the subway. Underground, completely soaked, downtown train it to Times Square, where I’ll transfer. When I get to midtown, my boots are squishy with water and my subway line is frozen. It’s so sad yet apropos, poetically melancholy— I start laughing on the subway platform, wet hair stuck to my face. And then paid $25 for a cab ride home to not do comedy. Spend the night night setting up a router and catching up on work.
Tomorrow is a new day. Start again.
The job I was interviewing for the following day was a basic administrative assistant job for a dermatologist office (I’d later find out they do mostly botox). What mostly attracted to this job is it’s in Astoria. I could ride my bike there!
The interview start off is pretty standard. Two ladies doing preliminary interviews before meeting the “doctor.” I try to brag about my skills when I’m thinking, “I’ve spent almost ten years, my entire 20s, a third of my life honing the completely useless skill of joke writing. I could be good at a lot of things but how quickly would I ride my bike into traffic working here?”
Reading a room is not something comedy taught me, but it’s definitely a skill comedy sharpened. I’m doing pretty well. Probably because I don’t give a shit. I should give a shit. I need a fucking job.
They ask me if I wouldn’t mind doing work behind the scenes. Of course, I said, I love learning new tasks and mixing up daily routines (truth). As a joke, I add, “as long as I don’t have to administer a needle! I hate those things!”
The two women glance at each other. You’re right, it is a stupid joke, but that’s not what caused them pause. They said that I would have to prep for procedures occasionally, and sometimes, hold a patient together (their words, they also didn’t specify but I guess they mean “skin”) while there is an injection.
Keep in mind. I have zero medical training. Sure, I’m a hypochondriac nut bag who spends a lot of time on the internet reading about diseases (guys tend to make this hack joke that when they die clear their computer history because of all the porn, mine would just be all the articles I read about infectious disease and mental illness; if I had a porn addiction, I’d probably be healthier). My resume reflects nothing but admin, writing, and accounts receivable/payable experience.
Wait, wait. Here’s where it gets completely classic.
They then offer me $14 an hour.
Um…. isn’t minimum wage $15 an hour? Furthermore, you’re going to hire some jackass (me) off craigslist, pay them under minimum wage and then pull them into the occasional medical procedure? Is this even a legal practice? Is this a bit? Did my comedian friends put you up to this? Where’s the cameras?
Spoiler alert, I did not get this job! Maybe it was because of my hesitation to hold needles when I’m a comedian for Christ’s sake. Honestly, I’m kind of upset I wasn’t offered it because it seems like a place so terrible it would have been inspiration.
Imagine me, not getting paid enough money to eat, normally queasy from the sight of needles, now underfed, holding a person together and passing out mid surgery, as you’re trying to make yourself look younger. Look, I’m not knocking botox, I don’t give a shit. But if you ever go to get botox and you see me holding a needle, get the fuck out of there.