Anyone who knows me via Facebook or, well, just knows me, will probably not be even a little bit surprised to hear that the semi-frantic hunt is on for a new job. It’s been made official to those of us who pushed the buttons that run the ads (and make the money) at the Fort Smith teevee station have been given a firm drop-dead date after which our services will no longer be needed. That date is Friday, October 7th. It’s not that the automated systems are taking our jobs – far from it: they require so much babysitting that keeping things on track is almost a low-level programming language of its own (and I giggle madly to myself when I think of what kind of reactions they’ll get when interviewing our replacements, who will be in a position to either demand pay worthy of someone with that kind of skill set, or tell the management to take a flying leap). Rather, like the NBC station before them, our station is uprooting itself from Fort Smith and heading to northwest Arkansas, a.k.a. “where we think the ad money is just because the last decade or so saw a huge influx of out-of-towners moving into the area because they’re employees of vendors servicing Wal-Mart, who insists that vendors have at least a vice-president-level representative and full stuff in Bentonville, even though that market it already showing more than ample signs of a housing bubble that’s about to burst and take a lot of people’s entire livelihoods with it, but hey, never mind that, because that’s where we think the money is!“. Much like Wal-Mart itself, the station wants employees to live up there instead of commuting, and they’re not going to throw even so much as a single dime at you to assist in that.
See the above note about taking a flying leap. It still applies. When the bubble bursts on the property developers who have overdone it in the northwest corner of the state, and then ripples down into everyone else’s income – sort of like a miniature version of what’s going on nationwide – they’ll figure it out. But of course, by then, they’ll be stuck there, paying a much higher rent than they’d ever paid in Fort Smith (where, by the way, news continues to happen whether they choose to cover it or not).
Come to think of it, when the NBC affiliate pulled out of Fort Smith, they at least admitted what they were doing and took their lumps for it and recovered. The station I’ve been working for is in denial, at least in public: they’re acting like leaving Fort Smith with something that barely qualifies as a skeleton crew won’t diminsh their coverage of the eight-county Fort Smith side of the market. At all.
Anyway, I’ve been giving a lot of thought about what I’d like to do with what’s left of my life, whether it’s 5 years, 15 years, or 50 years. Smart money is probably somewhere in between the last two, but hey, I’m not the guy to ask about that.
Chances are, these won’t be things I actually get to do, but man, they’d be neat.
Media services for an unspecified outfit that’s all about sending stuff into space. I once put in an application and a demo reel – I’m gonna say this was in the late ’90s – for a media services job at NASA Select TV. This sounded like a sweet gig: doing animation in support of current missions and press conferences, assembling presentation pieces, editing news packages… basically, all stuff I’ve done, only with this job I could’ve been doing it with a direct connection to something I care about a great deal. Still, I wonder where I would be right now if I had, in fact, gotten this job: i.e. would I still have it, as much as NASA has downsized post-shuttle? That being said, there are other entities that probably have need of such a person, like SpaceX (which has operations in California and Texas) and the Kansas Cosmosphere. I watch places like this specifically for job openings similar to this.
Visiting volcanoes. I’m not a graduate student in geology or volcanology, so this will probably never happen, but I’d give my eyeteeth (if I still had my originals, that is) to tag along even as support crew on an expedition to a volcano. I have no idea what I’d do to help, other than lug stuff around like a Sherpa, but it’d be a dream job if I could get a look at Mt. Erebus at Antarctica, or White Island in New Zealand, or Kasatochi Island or the Okmok Caldera in Alaska, with my own eyes. Not saying I need to be in the middle of an eruption, mind you. Nobody really needs to be in the middle of an eruption. I’ve been fascinated by volcanoes my entire life and it’d be kinda nifty to see one up-close that’s had some recent activity. I’d love to stand on an island that wasn’t there a few hundred or thousand years ago. If you’re listening, USGS, I’ll lug your bags to an unfriendly remote site in Alaska or Hawaii just to take a look. Seriously.
At right: Matt says “You know, I can already tell that Earl’s not on the board somehow.”
Assistant Script Editor, Doctor Who. This is an actual current job posting at the BBC:
The focus of this role is to provide research support to the script team, to ensure script and serial continuity as well as providing general support on DOCTOR WHO. The Assistant Script Editor reports to the Script Executive , Executive Producers and Series Producer in the first instance, and provides editorial and research support to the team.
With a demonstrable passion for drama and practical experience of television production, to succeed at this role you will possess:
A good knowledge of DOCTOR WHO
Experience dealing with drama script writers.
Experience of script reading and writing script reports with an ability to demonstrate sound editorial judgement and sensitivity, both verbally and on paper.
Experience of establishing and maintaining office and administration systems. The ability to communicate information effectively to a wide range of production and non-production personnel, internal and external to the BBC.
Guh… drool… what? What? WHAT?!?
Problem: you already have to be working for the BBC to apply. Damn it!
Oh well. Volcanoes and rocket launches will just have to do.
We’ll see where I land.
T minus 1 day.