How Blogging Saved My Career: 2.39
This the post you've been waiting for. . .
Today was the day. Today was the day when I had more than I could stand. Today, I burned my personal Initech to the ground, I set my SD-6 ablaze.
Today, I left Sloane.
I know that the only joy in your life is me--torturing me.
But now you can sh*t in my hat.
The day started normal enough, I guess. Worked through a hangover-- some various calls, updating records, trying to make stuff happen, emailing/faxing my resume around. The usual. I went out to lunch early (yet another surreptitious interview with a Big agency) and came back not too late, when Maggie says: "Sloane wants to talk to you." Off my look, she adds, "I don't know, something's up, though."
Atlas: "You didn't tell him about the blog, did you?"
Maggie: "God no. But he's being weird." Sloane being 'weird' is never a good sign. So I headed for his office, expecting a first order shout-out-- and not the praising/acknowledging kind.
Sloane told me to take a seat. That's when I knew I was in trouble--the quiet fury in his voice. And then:
Sloane: "I know what you've been doing. It's my fault really, for not figuring it out sooner. Aliotta Fagina. It's just like that c*nt to want a hot little assistant pu$$y like you. You do know that's all she cares about, right? C*ck. She could give a sh*t about your 'career'."
Sloane swivels in his chair, remains calculatedly leaned back. My stomach feels like I'm on a roller coaster just before it plunges down that first big hill.
Sloane: "What I wanna know is what the f*ck do you think you're trying to do, Atlas? Without me, without my validating your work, without my recommendation, you're nothing. Do you hear me Atlas, nothing. I already put in a call to Fake Taryn Manning (Human Resources at XXX). I don't think she'll be calling you back."
Sloane: "You see, Atlas, I've worked in this biz since before you were born, and I can tell you that there are just two kinds of people in it-- the ones who screw and the ones who get screwed. And I don't get screwed, Atlas. And I hate when people try to screw me. So let me tell you what's going to happen. . ."
(My insides feel like they're melting)
Sloane continues: "You're not going to be working for XXX--you're not going to work at any of the big agencies. And I hate to be cliche, but you probably won't ever work in this town again. I'll tell you what you're going to do-- you're going to get a sh*tty job at Starbucks until you give up screenwriting and move the f*ck back to Kansas."
Sloane waits a few moments, trying to figure out if I'm going to cry. I'm sure he wants me to.
Sloane: "So that's it, Atlas, get out. And good luck trying to find another assistant gig."
I clench my jaw. And then, quietly:
Sloane seems to savor this: "What, Atlas, are you going to sit in my office until I decide to give you your job back?"
Atlas(evenly): "I don't want the job back, but. . . that's not the way it's going to happen."
Sloane folds his arms, smiles. Sloane: "And why is that?"
Atlas: "Because I'm Assistant/Atlas."
Sloane: "What the f*ck does that mean?"
Atlas: "It means that for the past four months, I've been writing an anonymous blog based on my experiences here. It has there, for everyone to see, all of your foibles, work-related and otherwise, including the part about how you're sleeping with Bubbles."
Sloane: "Where do you get off--"
Getting on a roll, I cut him off: "And it's popular, too, the blog--Celebrity Justice did a story on me and I did an interview with KROQ. I get thousands of visitors a day, emails from all over the world and all sorts of Hollywood players have seen it. People can't get enough of my dealing with your psychosis. The thing is, right now, you're anonymous. But if you try to kill my career, I will kill yours by telling the world what you've done to me, but, essentially, everything you've done to everyone. And I'll sell the goddammed book and it'll be made into a big, f*cking movie and Chad Michael F*cking Murray will play me and you'll just be a Hollywood joke, a little side note, the evil inspiration for a stunningly good new writer. And trust me when I say there's enough in there to make you more than radioactive."
Sloane: "You actually think that would work?" (Sloane's trying to be threatening, but now he's not talking to me, he's talking to Assistant/Atlas, and I feel like I could eat him for breakfast)
Atlas: "Well, if that doesn't, then telling your wife where I found Bubbles' panties might."
Sloane: "What the fu-?!?"
Atlas: "Or telling Fagtastic Benny about the nickname you gave him. Look, Sloane, it doesn't have to go like this. We can both restrain ourselves and neither of us has to go nuclear. Here's the deal: You give me a decent recommendation--like you should do anyway-- and I won't tell the world all about your. . . foibles. I leave, you get a new assistant, and we're both happy."
Sloane: "On this site you have, Assistant Whatever, what were you saying about me?"
Atlas: "The truth, mostly. I de-contextualized some stuff to make it funnier, but for the past few months, I've pretty much been writing about all the f*cked-up sh*t that happens around here."
Sloane: "And people think it's funny?"
Atlas: "Actually, your pseudonym is Sloane, like from Alias, and people can't get enough of you. Somebody wrote me that you were the coolest villain since the real Sloane. They all wanted me to keep working here so they could get more Sloane stories."
Sloane: "I'm the villain?"
Atlas: "What, you thought you'd be the hero? You once told me that you would rape Gail Berman with a broomstick if you could get away with it. Look, I'll write it down if you want. But, please, let's just make a deal. I won't tell anyone, you won't tell anyone, I say it was an amicable parting and you don't badmouth me to the rest of the Big Six--and we both survive this with our careers intact."
Sloane looks me up and down-- seeing me in perhaps a new light.
Sloane: "Fine. You've got a deal. Now get the f*ck out."
As I turn and walk out of the office, I'm smiling.
My personal SD-6 burns to the ground with that clown still in there.