I just spent two days working for a focus group. I wasn’t in the focus group, I worked for the research company that was putting on the focus group. Sounds vanilla enough right? That’s what I thought, but I should’ve figured that with my karma, there had to be some form of subversion involved. While I had no official job description, my title could’ve been described as Elevator Operator/Courtesan. Big slash eh?
So I get to the location—an absurdly posh hotel in none other than my nemesis, Beverly Hills. I categorize Beverly Hills with Costco and the beer shits. I want no part of them. Everything about BH bugs the hell outta me. To me, Beverly Hills is a gilded cunt.
Anybitchslap, so I rolled up to this ridiculous hotel and 10 valets jumped to my car. They wanted to get my dirty Prius removed from the view of the Bentleys and Rolls Royces. I walked into the lobby, with three doormen opening each and every door for me (yeah, it was like that—a place that my kind doesn’t frequent).
Flash forward to me getting the lowdown from my point person in a suite of the hotel. And by lowdown I mean a few muffled whispers and a key to the elevator. I quickly garnered that I was involved in some top-secret shit. I was to wait in the lobby and every 1.5 hours I was to escort a doctor up to the suite. I had to make the doctors feel comfortable—give them anything they wanted…boy, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that in my job description.
So here’s the thing: there was one suite in which a doctor would be escorted to (by yours truly, Elevator Operator/Courtesan). In that suite was a large monitor, a camera that recorded everything, and my point person. Once I shut the door, what occurred in the suite is anyone’s guess. Running from that suite to a suite down the hall were several wires. In the suite down the hall sat 10 “clients.” These clients had something to do with pharmaceutical companies, but I have no idea what. The clients would sit in the suite and watch whatever was going on in the other suite. Two way mirror kind of shit, without the mirror.
Okay, so that’s all fine enough. I didn’t really care to know the details. Pharmaceutical companies are Satan’s chodes so I was quite content not knowing what was going on in there. Cuz if I knew I might’ve had to grapple with my conscious and consider turning down a short gig that would pay my rent this month. Hey, sometimes Mama just gotta pay the bills.
The secrecy of the situation didn’t bother me so much, but the clients’ absolute bitchwitchness did.
Just to give you an idea: upon my entering the clients’ suite to see if they needed anything (I thought that was pretty above and beyond for my typical job integrity) the main client, we’ll just call her Asshog, looks at me, then answers her phone and proceeded to have this convo:
“Oh this girl will be right down to get you. Her name’s Buffy. And that’s her real name, can you even believe that?!” Followed by mocking laughter. As she’s looking at me.
Now, I’ve gotten a LOT of shit about my name over the course of my life. I’m used to it. I can immediately judge someone’s character and sense of humor when we meet. If they say any sort of stupid name joke, we will not be friends. Not because I’m offended, but because it’s just dumb. But this, THIS was above and beyond. I felt as though I was in 5th grade and I was getting rocks thrown at me after school.
Asshog somehow fit in other jabbing bites to me sporadically throughout my two days there, but it was the last time I asked to see if she needed anything. From that point on I spent my time in the lobby making sure the doctors were adequately cared for. One time this even required me sitting with one doctor for over an hour sipping lattes and making small talk about his divorce. Small talk isn’t my forte. Nor is waiting around in a lobby.
Lobbies are funny places. You’re not supposed to stay in a lobby. You’re supposed to wait in them for a short period and then you’re supposed to move on. They’re temporary holding cells. It’s quite disconcerting to stay in a lobby, as I became aware.
When I wasn’t entertaining a doctor with my oral bouquets (read: verbal diarrhea) I was sitting in the lobby, just waiting. For hours and hours. And hours. Waiting. I’m not good at waiting. I put the mofo in impatient. For the first 5 hours of this job my brain threw temper tantrums that escalated into full-blown fits. If I have your cell phone number, I apologize, I probably text stalked you. Anything to distract myself from being in the discomfort of waiting.
And then it donned on me: this job was yet another of life’s little pranks. I was in hell because I wasn’t able to “do” anything. I couldn’t be productive. I just had to wait. I’m sure some of you must think this sounds like the best job ever. And really, it might’ve been. But if you’re a neurotic, compulsive, list-maker, do-er like me, then you might see through this window that was my hell—being forced to do nothing and wait.
Once I saw the irony I felt much better about the situation. My brain calmed down and I even laughed out loud. Life was forcing me to sloooow down and chill out. Once I realized that, it was like I was laughing with the Universe at me, instead of just the Universe laughing at me. It doesn’t feel good to be on the outside of a joke.
For the rest of my time in that pretentious lobby, I sat there and relaxed. Whenever I got antsy, I dug in. I peeled the skin off my discomfort and saw the flesh of a woman tired of waiting for her dreams to come true. Tired of sitting around and waiting for everything to happen in her life. Once I saw that flesh, that truth, the waiting became less painful. The waiting became almost enjoyable. The waiting started to feel like arriving.