This morning, I received an e-mail asking me if I wanted to appear in a corporate video. Normally my response to this sort of question is “no thanks,” but this morning it was “hell no, not even if you paid me…wait, are you paying me?”
They weren’t paying me, but no one else in my group would volunteer, either. This is a far cry from my previous group, where you’d think I worked with a department full of Real World hopefuls back in 1999. People clamored to be in corporate videos. They loved getting their photos up on the company Web site. They even fought over whose voice got to be on our outgoing message. I wasn’t interested because:
1. I decided a long time ago that I wanted to be the cool kid who scowls in the back of the class, and
2. I have socialist tendencies and occasionally hate myself for working for a corporation. I don’t need to be the face/voice of one, too.
But like I said, no one in my group would volunteer. My regular boss was out today, and her boss (who is also my boss, but like once removed) is Canadian and so nice about everything, so when she looked disappointed that no one would volunteer, of course I had to say “Fine, Suzanne. FINE.” It took me awhile to realize that I hadn’t showered or worn especially flattering clothing that day. I mean, that’s pretty typical of most of my workdays, but damn. Damn damn damn.
When I got down to the lobby, two other people were being filmed. Thank god I’m doing this by myself, I thought. If I had to put two signs together, look at the other person, and smile like they’re Jack Tripper and I’m Janet Wood, I might have to spend the rest of the day in the bathroom. Then I thought, shit, that girl over there is really thin and her hair looks clean.
The…director, I guess…dismissed those people and called me over to this enormous frosted glass map on the wall. He told me where to stand and handed me a sign that said “IT CANADA.”
“How’s that for ya?” he asked.
“Well,” I said, choosing my words carefully because I am a professional, “I’m not in IT and I’m not Canadian, but the Sharpie fumes coming off of this sign are pretty strong, so I think I’m good.”
“Great,” he said. “Now let’s get a shot from below.”
EVERY TIME this happens. Someone who is either shorter than me or who flunked community college Photography 101 always takes a picture of me from below. You know what that means on me? On anyone besides willowy anorexics with freakishly narrow heads? It means that my head looks like a fatty lump on top of my neck, which isn’t really visible between my formidable chin and yoke-bearing shoulders. It means I look enormous. I would expect a camera crew to know better, or at least be more sensitive. I felt kind of like the guy on the far left:
When I returned to my desk, Fiala sent me an IM.
Fiala: Did you pose in your car for the photo shoot?
Me: The video is airing at the senior leadership conference in China.
Me posing with my car would tell the whole world what a superpower this country ISN’T.
Fiala: Thanks for representing all that is America.
And, um, if you didn’t know a lot about my car already, the backstory is that it’s the worst, oldest, most damaged car in the lot. Also there’s a lot of trash in the backseat, one piece of which happens to be an empty Busch 12-pack. This amuses Brennan greatly. I’m sure he knows it was Graham’s beer, but just like Graham, he denies this fact and instead prefers to think of me as a barfighting hoosier with dirt beer tastes. Which makes a lot of sense if you’ve seen the Lumina, but still.
Fiala: I think we should start a brewery called The Emasculated Brewing Company.
Brennan: Like defeated beer?
Fiala: Like it’s just me, sitting here and putting on Chapstick.
Brennan: Why are you guys brewing beer out of the trunks of a Jetta and a Corolla?
Me: Yeah, why don’t you use that Lumina in the background? It looks pretty badass.
Brennan: The Loomie?
Me: It looks like it could be in The Road Warrior.
Brennan: I don’t know if you know this, but it runs on the souls of the dead.
Fiala: It’s all for you, Damien! It’s all for you!