Okay. So its my last day in The Office today as I finish my week as a temp and I can safely say the "Office World" is far more cut throat and bitchy than any film set I have ever worked on.
Don't get me wrong, the first few days were great.Whereas my usual day would consist of rolling out of bed in time for Loose Women, this week I have been up at 6.30am, springing into work every day feeling " alive and inspired" , the theme tune to Rocky playing on my ipod, imagining I am a Power Bitch from Wall Street as I flutter my eyelashes at Cute Men in Suits ,on their way to "Very Important Meetings"
But after six days, the novelty has worn off and I'm worn in.
Lets talk about Sally, the bitchy PA to Head Boss . Head Boss is a 67 year old, South African, money making machine who drinks ten coffees a day and mutters to himself alot about calculations and figures. Sally is his Personal Assistant and is like something out of "Mean Girls". She has the smile of an Angel but the eyes of a psycho killer. The first time I met Sally, by the coffee machine, she was moaning to the rest of the girls in the office that they didn't make trousers small enough for "her size" ( oh perlease).
Sally has a penchant for "online shopping" which fits nicely into her day, inbetween touch typing a couple of letters and filing her nails.Sally is a spoilt bitch because Sally never actually likes any of the things she buys so she has to post them all back to the bloody places she got them from and because Sally is SO BUSY doing bugger all, guess who she gets to carry all her boxes of rejected Percale Bathrobes and bamboo fibre lyrcra training outfits back to the Post Office ? Yes , my job description has miraculously changed from Receptionist/Office Assistant to Skivvy. And because I need the money so much I just have to smile sweetly and say "Of Course,Sally".
Well, until today that is.
It seems word has spread around the office of my stage and screen career pre Receptionism, and Head Boss has heard the news. Today, instead of marching past my desk oblivious to my presence except to bark orders at me for another espresso, he stops and wanders over, pushing his hair (or whats left of it) through his hands.
"So you're a film star" he says trying to lean on my desk in a charming manner , and I nearly fall off my swivel chair with shock.
"Well, I did a bit of telly.." I say shyly and giggle. I don't usually find OAPs attractive, but Head Boss is one of those that you could actually fancy despite the Tourettes.But then I am quite desperate at the moment.
"How do you know?" I say, fiddling with my Post Its
" A little birdy told me" he says and winks at me.
I blush and try and reduce the Facebook page on my screen without him noticing
"Anyway, I was intrigued" he says " And so I googled you" He looks directly into my eyes ,
" And.....," he continues as he looks me up and down, "Well, Harriet, I mean, you're a lovely looking girl anyway, in real life, but I found your website and By God you are one attractive lady. You must be beating the men away" he drawls, and I can see by the look in his eye that he has seen the pictures of that shoot I did for FHM in 2003 in nothing but my underwear and actually , thinking about it if he's going to trawl cyberspace for stuff about me, then he's probably also seen the one the Daily Star took of me getting out of a cab, where they had managed to shoot in between my legs,take a close up photo of my gusset ( and this was in the days before Brazilians) and circle it, superimposing a mobile number on top and words which said " text this number if you want to see whats behind the circle".
He leans in and stares at my tits. I feel slightly uncomfortable now.
"You know, Harriet, I was a child actor" he says proudly. "I was in 39 episodes of a South African show, Behind the Bush. Very popular" he adds, and winks at me again.Or maybe its a twitch, I can't tell.
And for the rest of the day , everytime he passes me he bellows "Film Star!", and when I bring his coffee to him he announces to the office, "My god, I have a celebrity serving my coffee". And when Sally asks me to carry yet another box to the Post Office, he butts in.
"No, no no" he says. "We cant have Harriett lifting boxes, she's a Film Star"
And the look on her face says it all as I shrug apologetically and say, "He's seen some stuff about me online"
And she bares her teeth like a dog going in for attack "Yeeeees," she says says with a forced smile, "I've seeeen it too" And then she purses her lips and shakes her head with insincere sympathy and adds "The internet is just not your friend , is it?"
And I smile back sweetly as I think to myself, Well at least I'm on it
And as I return to my desk, box free, I notice cute CEO single boss looking at my bottom just that bit too long,.Oh god, I think, he's probably just seen the screen grab of the topless scene I did for that BBC Drama where I was wearing nothing but a mirkin. And I scuttle past blushing.
Later as I pack up to leave, CEO Boss, who is actually called Brian (Whaaaat!?! Who is called Brian these days?), walks past my desk and stops, turned back and said
"Today's your last day then?"
"Yes" I say
And he nods, and looks like he is deep in thought , then says, "Well, you know my number if you are ever around for a drink." and he walks towards the mens toilets .
Wait til I tell Fellow Actress.
I am on my way home ,when I nip into the Ladies' toilet and hear a retching sound .Someone is blatantly throwing their guts up , so I hover outside doing my lipstick in the mirror until they stop puking and I hear a flush and Sally walks out of the cubicle, somewhat surprised at my presence there.
So thats how she keeps her figure, I think to myself
"Everything OK?" I say as I look at her with fake concern
And she frowns and says "Yes,yes, must have been something I ate"
"Oh dear," I say, "Foood is just not your friend is it?" and I turn and leave.
And as I walk out of the office building and through the throngs of bleached blonde,GHD straightened , stiletto heeled secretaries, looking for their Rich Prince Charmings to whisk them away, and the cockney geezers flashing Rolexes and shouting about deals into their mobile phones, I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to realise that whether you are an actress or a PA the politics never change, and they all began in exactly the same place .The playground.
And then I see him. Commitment Phobe Ex, standing outside the Trocadero, kissing a girl, and I try my best to dive into Starbucks, but its too late, he's seen me too.