Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Really real reality

ZOMG!!! (or other, ironically chosen interwebs lingo, used in a “gosh darn, I’m so much cleverer than the kids” way)

They’re making a reality show about my old job!

Let me explain.

“Solitary” is a controversial show on Fox Reality that subjects participants to “intense tests and treatments”.

Solitary 2.0 subjects never meet or have interaction with any other human beings.

That’s spot-on – I only ever occasionally spoke with my ‘colleagues’, who were all complete martians anyway and would never classify as ‘humans’ in any proper scientific testing (not even at the Ponds Institute).

They will only know the voice of their omniscient friend Val. Their sarcastic taskmaster and worst nightmare, Val will again taunt the subject by ruling every action in their laboratory pods.

Well, they’ve obviously changed his name, but they’ve got the character of my old boss down perfectly.

The voice of Val controls all elements taking place in their pods including sleep, sound, temperature, and light.

It’s scaring me how accurate this is.

This reflects not just the crushing hours, but also the mind-blowing bureaucracy involved in getting the faulty air-conditioning or flickering lights fixed - three different forms, completed in triplicate, signed by three solicitors and a priest (but all on separate days and in separate cities), and submitted with a bond guaranteeing the cost of the call-out if it turns out the air-conditioning decides to work the day the repairman came.

They’re even stripped of their conventional names, which are replaced with numbers.

Right on the money again, Fox! I can’t tell you my number, but it, and not my name, featured on my work pass, computer log-in, and internal email address and people were routinely referred to by their rank (“I’m not doing this – I’m just a 3” etc).

The initial season of Solitary, which debuted June 5, 2006, received praise from viewers and critics alike, by pushing participants to their mental and physical limits with intense tests and treatments.

This show started about a week after I started my old job! Scary.

“Mental and physical limits” – they must be talking about that day, not long after I started, where I had to (literally) run between 5 different buildings, trying to broker an agreement between parties on the inclusion of a new comma in an 11-page document. Ah, public service - I really contributed to the progress of the nation that day.

So close are the details of the show to my life that I think the Fox lawyers were a bit worried that I’d open a can of opportunistic-lawsuit on their be-hinds. So it looks like they’ve changed a few details here and there, most notably how contestants leave the game.

No one is voted off, “the only way to lose is to quit”.

Of course, for me, quitting was the only way not to lose everything.


shula said...

Are you sure you weren't actually IN the show, and, like, nobody bothered to tell you?

Gertrude said...

Your blog has removed any lingering desire I had to write about my own years of deprivation in the service of public.

The forms, the signs (we had that microwave one, too!), the dead-eyed senior management.

Sterling effort.