Meanwhile, the regular columns on workplace topics roll on like a dehumanising production line…
Being The Sharer Of Bad News: How much should you tell your boss about what’s going on in your life beyond these walls?
Can You Be A Lifetime Learner?: Wherein I shamelessly pillage the things I learnt during my Dip. Ed. and blend them with itinerant dabbling in autodidacticism.
Do We Need Dress Codes?: Gleefully written in nothing more than a pair of pyjama shorts decorated with vintage cheesecake models.
Team-Building: Nonsense Vs Reality: One of my friends, Thorin, works in this space so I asked for his input in order to dilute my natural, Office-inspired scepticism of mandated corporate “fun”.
What Happens When The Honeymoon Ends?: A meditation on the exact moment where a probation period ends and a stable career begins (or you’re summarily dismissed and replaced with another, cheaper probation candidate).
Something In The Way: “Why did you resign?” “My boss wouldn’t let me do my job.” Apparently the most common interchange in the world of work…except for maybe, “Can I have a raise?” “We don’t have the budget for that.”
Politics At Work: A Bad Idea Or A Terrible One?: The most egregious case of me writing a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do piece since 1999′s “Bingo Halls: A Den Of Iniquity” exposé.
Here’s a two-and-a-bit-minute video I wrote (and appeared in, in lieu of proper actors) for the ABC’s Fresh Blood competition late last year. We had no real expectation of winning any funding coin, but it served as a spur to get something done on a deadline.
After realising that the majority of my recent writing output was not going to be appropriate when applying for serious jobs working for serious managers in serious environments, I decided to get some non-jokey, non-NSFW columns under my belt. Here are the first two instalments of my work about work for Working Life.
When Should You Work For Free?: As timely a topic as ever, especially if you’re a freelance writer. Most established creatives have a one-word answer to this question, but I’m being paid by the day, so…
Beating The Post-Redundancy Blues: It’s something I wrote about at length in the immediate aftermath of my departure from People mag, but this is a more nuanced and serious look at the mental fallout that can accompany loss of job. Especially if your friends, support networks and identity largely derive from work.
Upcoming topics are “How Much Personal Information To Share At Work” and “Studying While Working Full-Time”, so keep an eye out for them in the not-too-distant future, ie. next week.
Way back in the dark depths of 2006, when I was a fresh-faced fella with a dream in his heart and a burgeoning media career, I got the chance to write for The Chaser’s War On Everything. I submitted a lot of stunt ideas and scripts from my kitchen table, but only one made it to air. (To be fair, a lot of them were impractical.)
I would feel a lot better about claiming credit for “JB Hi-Fi Name & Shame” if I had actually had to do the hard part – the stunt itself – but since they gave me a Contributing Writer credit, I’ll swallow my humility and take it.
This wasn’t my only contribution to The Chaser’s televisual oeuvre – you can also see me manning phones in the background of 2004′s The Chaser Decides! OK fine, it isn’t really that exciting.
It would be nice if we both pretended I didn’t just spend ages screencapping this from my DVD copy.
[Title shamelessly lifted from Ernest Cline's excellent novel]
Here’s a partial list of things I wrote for ABC2′s Good Game. They’re all for the “Backwards Compatible” segment, which takes a look back across the history of a given topic in videogames. On each page is a link to the video of the segment, so you can see how the final product looked. Exciting!
Heroines: The first thing I did for Good Game, written in my bedroom on a laptop with many tabs opened to many different pages. When I saw the finished product on television, I nodded coolly at the screen, satisfied with their interpretation. And didn’t remotely squeal like a schoolgirl.
Boss Battles: This one came from me being in the actual office, once again playing the cool guy who high-fives everyone as he goes past and not gurgling with quiet happiness about being paid to write about videogames for actual television. A fun fact about this one was that I spent ages playing Mortal Kombat with an eye to capturing footage of me beating Shang Tsung. After innumerable deaths at the hands of Goro…I rewrote the script to reflect his badassery, which made it a lot better!
The Most Tasty Games: There’s an anecdote from the set of the Ocean’s 11 remake – Rusty eats in every scene because Brad Pitt was starving at the time he and director Steven Soderbergh were trying to come up with a visual hook for his character. Similarly, this subject matter sprouted from an ill-advised decision to skip breakfast that day.
As you can see, there is nothing I like better than telling people what to do, especially when I have no actual wisdom to pass on.
How To Write A Sitcom Pilot: What better way to make use of the lessons learned in Tim Ferguson’s excellent comedy writing course? Other than actually writing a sitcom pilot, of course.
How To Talk About Asylum Seekers: The references are a bit dated now, but still a good reason to make use of a Split Enz album cover.
How To Host A Dinner Party (illustrated by Anton Emdin): If you find some of the jokes crude, consider the target audience. If you find some of them hilarious, consider yourself the target audience.
How To Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed Like A Real Man: The other option is to do what I did – ignore them for years, act like a giant baby when you have to go to the dentist, then throw a massive pity party for yourself in the aftermath.
How To Survive A Work Party (illustrated by Anton Emdin): A vital guide for anyone with an interest in flouting as many company policies as possible in the space of one evening.
How To Be Redundant: Finally, something I actually have experience with!