14 April 2010

Whoever said that there is no such thing as a stupid question never worked in media production.

It was 6pm when my work cell phone rang. As I'm at work by 5:30am every day, I try to finish up work by 3 or 4pm every day. A 6pm call is never good news...

"Hello, this is Beth"

"Hi there," (a very young, intern-like voice) "this is Amber, [name removed]'s assistant. I was just going over the details for tomorrow with [name removed]. It's at 7am?"

"Yep, 7am."

"That's 7am, Eastern time?"

"Yep, 7am Eastern time. I think I covered this in the logistics sheet I emailed to you a few weeks go, yes?"

"Do you realize that 7am Eastern is 4am on the West Coast?"

"Um, actually yes. Yes, I do know that." (and I'm thinking by the rather shocked tone in your voice that you did not realize this...until just a few minutes ago. I'm also thinking that you're right on the edge of a panic attack right now.)

"That's really early."

"Well, yes, yes it is. And that's why I sent the email 3 weeks ago to confirm that you were OK with the time. It didn't seem to be a problem then. Is it a problem now?"

"Well, um. It's just really early. I thought it was at 7am pacific time."

"Let me pull up the email that I sent. Yep, March 25th, I sent you the logistics and it says 7am eastern time. Is that going to be a problem?"

"Um. No. Well, okay. If it's a problem I'll call you back."

Now, I feel sorry for assistants, I really do. Especially those who are assistants for assistants for celebrities. I have worked with enough publicists, assistants, assistant assistants and celebrities to know what types of people you risk working for when you take on a job like that. Undoubtedly poor Amber was tasked with the menial job of typing up the final version of [name removed]'s schedule for the next day when she realized that it said...7am Eastern.

Now, I don't feel too badly for you when it's your own fault for not reading, but I do give you a speck of respect for realizing that there actually is a time difference between the East and West Coasts. And for what it's worth, I'm really sorry... that's a harsh lesson I'm sure you're learning the hard way on the other end of my silent phone. This will be a bad day for you, and you'll probably have a drink or three on Friday because of it. I honestly hope you don't get fired for spotting what no one else on your staff seemed to recognize three weeks ago.

Now it's 7:15pm...an hour after I received the call. I haven't heard anything at all from any assistants. But I'm assuming that in California, someone is getting yelled at, if not by [name removed], then by [name removed]'s higher-level assistant who had to break the news.

In any case, see you at 7am Eastern... (4am Pacific...)


eonyc said...

Hahahah! Did you know...??? Trust me, Amber, few people are as aware of that time difference as Beth! And, now, well, Amber!

Beth said...

i'm going to start booking all-European continent guests. not only do they have awesome accents, but the time difference means it's noon where they are! guests are less cranky at noon than 4am...