5 Things I’ll Never Again Be Comfortable Doing at Work

5 Things I'll Never Again Be Comfortable Doing at Work
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Things at work have certainly changed in the past year.  All the adjustments we’ve had to make since last March seemed temporary at first, but we’re still adapting to a new reality.  When the pandemic eventually ends, we can get back to ‘normal,’ but what will that look like at work?

I almost feel nostalgic about working on set before COVID-19.  Even the most difficult days were so much simpler.  We sure did take a lot of things for granted.

Unless you work from home, your workplace has undoubtedly changed too, no matter the industry in which you work.

Here are five things that I’ll never again be comfortable doing at work, on or off set:

  1. Eating a buffet meal.

Buffet breakfasts and lunches are a big part of working on a film crew.  If you’ve worked for any length of time on a film set, you’ve eaten more than your share of buffet meals.  I know I have.  Buffet style meals are gone for now and maybe forever.  Even if they return, I’ll never feel the same about them.

Going through the buffet line and dining at communal tables with fellow cast and crew was often the best part of my day.  Sadly, I now bid adieu to the buffet.  May it rest in peace.

  1. Riding in a crowded van going to set.

Crowded vans going to location were never a fun part of the workday, but they were a necessary part of it.  There seems to be a lot more driving to locations in personal cars these days, and that’s fine by me.

My apologies to any Teamsters who miss driving the packed vans, but there are still plenty of other vehicles to drive.   In fact, there may be even more vans needing drivers, due to social distancing requirements.

  1. Checking in extras in a crowded background holding area.

If you’ve ever worked as an assistant director or a background player, you may have experienced what it’s like to be in a crowded holding area with dozens, or even hundreds, of other people.  It’s not fun in the best of times.  Now I doubt anyone can even imagine it happening at all.

I’ve seen articles that claim that extras are just about obsolete now, as crowd scenes can be computer- generated.  I’m not sure how many shows will have big extra calls in the future, but I’m taking a pass.  You’ve seen one packed background holding area, you’ve seen them all.

  1. Handling piles of paperwork.

When I think back to all the paperwork I’ve handled as a trainee and then an a.d., it’s mind-boggling.  I’ve probably passed out a few forests worth of paper on set.  Now, no one wants to touch the stuff, and who can blame them?

In the current digital era, everything is emailed and that’s a positive step in the right direction.  It’s greener and my arms don’t ache from carrying around that enormous paper pile.  You’re probably just as informed viewing your call sheet on your phone rather than on a piece of paper, anyway.  And we all have less contact with germs on set.

  1. Posing for a cast and crew photo with everyone crammed together.

We don’t do these for commercials, but I have a stack of them from working on films and TV shows.  You may have a few, too.  When I look at them now, I cringe.

Trying to fit fifty-plus people into one photo isn’t easy.  Everyone ends up as barely more than a speck in the photo after posing crammed together for several minutes.  I always hate how I look in those photos, too.

Now cast and crew should just take their own headshots and all the photos can be assembled like a big Zoom screen.  That way, we’d still have the memories of the show, we’d all look better, and it would be safer.

So those are the things I won’t be doing again at work.  My career on set is on the martini shot now, anyway.  What about you?  How has your work life changed and what have you stopped doing?








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