Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Man Down

The cinema I work at has a projection team consisting of three full-time projectionists and one "Ghost". This doesn't mean that one member of the team is an ectoplasmic entity of some sort that helps us out between chain-rattling and spooky moaning, it's just a needlessly smarmy way of saying "part-timer". He spends most of his shifts as a popcorn jockey downstairs, but makes the trip up to projection when we need him. Ghosts are also sometimes referred to as "Shadows". Both titles which are altogether too cool to give a full idea of the mundanity of the job at hand.

So we're a small group of chaps who usually only see each other for an hour here, a half-hour there during a shift cross-over. This hermetically sealed hermit-lifestyle appeals to some of us - affording us plenty alone time and a safe, mostly soundproof environment in which to climb the walls of our own minds - but not to all of us.

One of us is leaving.

When a member of a three-man projection-team goes AWOL (probably using that term erroneously, there. It's not as if he shot his way out of the building, stole a van and crashed it through a perimeter fence or owt. He just handed his month's notice in.) the remaining two members have a pretty big problem. We can try and get our Ghost bumped up to full time, we can find someone to replace our missing man within the next month, or we are gonna have to start putting in some serious overtime (probably using that term erroneously, n'all, it's not like they actually give us overtime pay or owt). When you're as lazy as I am, the idea of an impending expanded-workload is like the rumble of distant thunder.

But it's not just all about the extra pressure we will have on us in the coming month, the fact of the matter is that I will be saying goodbye to a friend. Someone I have worked with in both an employment and artistic sense. When my friend leaves town, I will have some short films that we made together to remember him by, but the thought that we may never make another is a source of great sorrow to me.

In leaving a dead-end job for a new life and new career, the man is doing what can only be described as the right thing. I suppose you could say I am a little jealous, trapped as I am by the knowledge that my years in projection have only fuelled my anti-social tendencies to the point where I will be pretty much unemployable in any other industry.

I wish him God-Speed (using that term erroneously, because it's not as if I actually believe in God or owt) and leave you with one of the aforementioned short films, a little piece about a particularly unusual friendship.


  1. Ah Mr Mass, my sympathies. Still, there is always t'internet to help you to keep in touch!

    And I wouldn't worry about any anti-social tendencies. I work with hundreds of men, most of which have numerous anti-social tendencies and they keep being paid. They have a collection of revolting habits, some of which they share with us more civilised members of society, and some are even married (and I have no sodding clue how they managed that little miracle). So, even if when tucked away in your little whirring booth you also have a foul selection of habits, you know you have an innate ability to communicate beautifully and that is not something to sniff at.

    Ms So So Jeans

  2. He's alive!! I thought you might have been eaten by a projector (that can happen right?) Sorry about losing your buddy/fellow employee, even if it is to a better job. As for anti-social tendencies, on the bright side, you still have a job with them. I have yet to find a suitable career to match with: "hates all people, works well in utter darkness at 3am"

    Very funny as always!

  3. oh! forgot to say that the video was super cute, if slightly deranged lol

  4. Thankyou both for your kind words. And Sugar, you'd be surprised how many good projectionists are eaten by their own machines.

  5. I'm so antisocial (along with bipolar) that I'm unemployable, on disability. Don't sweat it, dude, your creativity more than makes up for it. If you've found your niche, don't knock it, be who you are. It's less stressful than trying to figure out the various hominids in the world at large. That short film is INCREDIBLE! So much packed into a little over three minutes and...it's art and if that doesn't explain it to people, I can say no more.