The Unbearable Sucktitude of UTA: Episode 1.33
Allow me, dear reader, to recount the comedy of errors that was my phone call to the illustrious United Talent Agency today. Here's the sitch:
We got a hot tip on a certain A-list actor looking for scripts and Sloane thinks our hot new script would be perfect for him. All I had to do was get a hold of this particular agent, whom I'll call Steven Nicks after the person playing on my iPod right this moment. Now, remember, all I have to do is get Steven or his assistant on the phone long enough to get them to agree to look at the script [not a problem since we've got a well-placed recommendation]. So all I really need to do is get one of them on the phone. I call the number Sloane had written down for Steven from our tipster.
FEMALE VOICE: Um, hello?
[brief pause on my part-- this isn't normally the way people answer the phone at work, but okay...]
ATLAS: Hi, this is Atlas, Mr. Sloane's assistant, can I speak with Steven Nicks or his assistant, please?
FEMALE VOICE: Uh, okay, lemme check if he's here.
[Atlas idly browses "Overeducated and Underemployed" while waiting, nothing new, so he browses "Defamer"]
FEMALE VOICE: Uh, hi, are you still there?
ATLAS: Yes, still here.
FEMALE VOICE: Okay, there's no Steven Nicks here. You've got the wrong number.
ATLAS: I did call UTA, right? Is this 555-USUK?
FEMALE VOICE: Yeah, this is UTA, and that's our number. But there's no Steven Nicks here.
ATLAS: Okaaay. Um...well is there any way you could get me his number or transfer me to an operator who could, please?
FEMALE VOICE: I don't know how to do that. It's my first day.
(Atlas senses a lie-- you don't have the business number memorized in the middle of your first day)
ATLAS: Do you happen to know the main number for UTA then, because all I have is this and it's obviously not right.
FEMALE VOICE: Um, okay. . . can you hold?
[On hold, Atlas checks in on Perez Hilton at his new site-- www.perezhilton.com-- discovers he's just as lovely-filthy as ever.]
FEMALE VOICE: Um hello?
ATLAS: Still here.
FEMALE VOICE: I'm sorry, I can't give you that information.
ATLAS: You can't give me the main number of UTA?
FEMALE VOICE: Yes, I'm sorry. Thanks for calling.
ATLAS: Wait, why can't you give me the number?
FEMALE VOICE: Because I can't give out that information at this time. I'm sorry but-- [I cut her off, which is rare for me, but Sloane has been riding my ass like I was one of his high-priced, low-class escorts]
ATLAS: Listen, I'm not a crazy person. I'm an assistant for XYZ Agency and this is actual, serious business for Mr. Nicks. Can you please just give me the main number for UTA? Please?
FEMALE VOICE: I'm not allowed to do that, sir, goodbye.
And then this cuntwhore voice hangs up on me. I decide she might've been bluffing about having the main number and decide to call a friend I know who knows people that work at UTA, since I can't get their number any other way. [Oh, our computers are down, too, by the way, for most of the day, making it doubly hard since I have no access to my exec list. And UTA isn't in the Hollywood Creative Director, of course, nor is Sloane's Rolodex number for them valid]
My friend, whom I'll call Margo, and who is wonderful, gives me the work number of her friend Billy who works at UTA. So I call Billy.
MALE VOICE: Hello, Mr. X's office.
ATLAS: Can I speak to Billy, please?
MALE VOICE: May I ask who's calling?
ATLAS: I'm Atlas, his friend Margo asked me to call him.
MALE VOICE: Okay, well he's out for the day, would you like to leave a message?
ATLAS: Okay, actually, to be honest with you I'm just trying to get a hold of Steven Nicks, who works there, but I've got the wrong number for him. Is there any way you can get it for me, please?
MALE VOICE: Uhhh...who is this?
ATLAS: This is Atlas, I'm an assistant for Mr. Sloane, or you could just give me the UTA operator or something and I can have them give it to me. Normally we have it, but our computers our down and it's important--
MALE VOICE: We don't have an operator. And I don't know Steven Nicks' number. Sorry, I have to take another call.
ATLAS: Wait- no-- [*click*] Crap.
Sloane checks in on my progress right that moment. I make the mistake of telling him what's wrong, and he goes ballistic and delivers an ultimatum, which he LOVES to do: "Atlas, I need to talk to Steven Nicks today. Get him on the phone-- NOW." I call back the office of the Hot Tipster who gave us the number, but the one they gave us is the only one they have.
But I decide I'm not going down in defeat on this one. Not to these people, oh no. So I tell Sloane I'm going to the bathroom, run outside to suck down a cigarette while listening to some trip-hop on my iPod, then walk purposefully back to my desk, sit down and call back the girl at the first number [she sounded maybe early twenties].
FEMALE VOICE: Hello?
ATLAS: [in my best intimidating-but-fake-nice voice] Hi, this is Assistant Atlas. We spoke earlier. You wouldn't give me the main number for UTA. Who told you not to give me the number?
FEMALE VOICE: Uh--what?
ATLAS: Look, someone obviously told you not to give me the number-- who was it? Or could you put them on the phone, please?
FEMALE VOICE: Sir, I told you--
ATLAS: I know what you told me, but listen to what I'm telling you. I need to talk to Steven Nicks. Right now. It is my job to get him on the phone and if any one of our computers was working right now, I could. But they aren't, and all I have is your number. So all I can do is just keep calling you back until I either convince you or your boss to give me the number. I know you're trying to protect your company from loonies calling and wasting people's time, but this isn't a waste of time, I'm an assistant, the last thing I can afford to do is waste people's time. So please just give me the number. Please.
FEMALE VOICE: One moment please.
[Long hold, so I assume she's just going to keep me on hold until I hang up, a used-by-the-intractable technique that can blow up in your face. I check out Toner Mishap, Overheard in the Office, Life According to Princess Grace, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Totally Unauthorized, Craigslist, Hollywood Assistant, and a season's worth of Three's Company episodes. When Sloane pokes his head out of his behind to check on me, I decide to hang up and call back...]
FEMALE VOICE: Hello?
ATLAS: Hi, this is Assistant Atlas again, and I'm serious when I say I'm going to keep calling you back until you help me because you're the only number I've got right now.
FEMALE VOICE: Please hold.
[I'm on immediate Musak. I consider hanging up again and calling back, but someone picks up. It's a male voice, I'm guessing 30s]
MALE VOICE, 30s: Hello, who is this?
ATLAS: I'm Atlas, I'm Mr. Sloane's assistant.
MALE VOICE, 30s: Why are you harassing my assistant?
[I'll show you harassment, you douche]
ATLAS: It was not my intention to harass your assistant, but I was told to call this number by the people at Hot Tipster's office to reach Steven Nicks, A-List Actor's Rep. And our computers are down, so I can't just look up the number and Hot Tipster's office doesn't have a different number for him.
MALE VOICE: [impressed by rapid name drops] Oh, okay. It's 555-SUCK.
ATLAS: [stunned] Uh, thank you.
MALE VOICE: Thanks for calling UTA.
[Okay, I added this last line, but the rest is nearly word-for-word.]
Thanks for reading, I feel better now that I can publicly shame them. Blogging rocks!
And don't forget to catch me with a digitally-altered Darth-Vader voice on the Kevin & Bean show on KROQ, possibly as early as Monday to discuss my "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star" Contest. It's 6-10am on KROQ, which is 106.7 [FM] for those in the LA area. More details soon...