Thursday, November 8, 2012

worst break up ever: losing my dream job.

my sad packed up office :(
Some of you may already know that I started a staff writing job on the new FOX sitcom, The Goodwin Games last July. Series writing jobs are hard to come by, so I was super excited to get the gig. FOX ordered thirteen episodes of the show, we were set to work until mid-December, and premiere some time in January or February. BUT this industry is highly unpredictable and last Thursday the network decided to cut our order in half to seven episodes...which meant we would close shop immediately. The good news is, FOX plans to air the episodes we did complete, so hopefully you will all get to see what a great show it was.

Anyway. What struck me most about this experience coming to an end was how much it felt like a BREAK UP. It's been awhile since I've been through one, but there are a ton of parallels between losing a job you love and a person you love:

10. Your first love is always the hardest to get over: Full disclosure, I totally cried when we heard the show was ending. This was my first writing job on a show and it was hard not to get attached to all the people involved. Most of the other writers had gone through various incarnations of jobs ending sooner than expected and they were much better at keeping their emotions in check than I was. This one will surely hurt more than the ones to come.

9. Did I jinx it?!: You know when you get so excited about someone that you end up raving to your friends about them, changing your relationship status on Facebook, and putting a framed photo of the two of you right next to your bed-- all before you've actually had the "are we boyfriend and girlfriend talk?" So, then when they dump your ass, you feel a little silly for getting so excited in the first place? Well, I totally did that on this job by decorating my office. Apparently, most people wait until at least season two to pimp out their work spaces. Packing it up was SO sad. I have a feeling at my next job, I will be sitting in a room with four white walls. Who am I kidding, I love color!

8. I knew it was too good to be true!: This is that terrible feeling of dread you get when everything's clicking in a relationship. There's that tiny seed of doubt in the back of your mind, wondering when the other shoe will drop. My job was kind of a love fest from day one. As far as the writer's room went, we got along swimmingly and genuinely liked each other. Sure, there were bumps along the way, but for the most part we all had a habit of periodically knocking on wood. When something great comes to an end, you can't help feeling all "of course" about it.

7. We felt blind-sided: Even when you know a relationship may not last forever, it's still a shock to the system when you get dumped out of nowhere. That's kind of how it felt when we got the news. We were at a table read for our eighth episode-- we got notes from the network on the script-- and then a few hours later, as we were addressing the notes, we got the news that the show was shutting down. This is kind of like when your significant other agrees to meet your parents, then unceremoniously breaks up with you right after dessert (knowing the whole time he was going to end it).

6. It was so abrupt!: Isn't that one of the hardest parts of a break-up? One day you're dating and totally in love and the next day, it's OVER. You're girlfriend and boyfriend and then, you're... not. One day, there was 100+ people hard at work on a show together and the next day, we were all saying good-bye. There was barely any time to process it.

5. But what about all the plans we made?: Mourning all the future plans you and your significant other made-- that trip you were supposed to go on OR that concert you bought tickets for... you find yourself curled up on the couch, watching a Real Housewives marathon, thinking: if we were still together, we'd be in Hawaii right now. I was supposed to be on set as I type this, watching my episode get filmed. But that's not even the worst part, the worst part is, we had so many other great awesome fun ideas for our last six episodes that we never got a chance to execute.

4. I don't want to go back to what life was like before.: You've been dating the great love of your life. The sky is bluer, the grass is greener, life is generally a whole lot better. And then you break-up and you're supposed to go back to the way things were before, BUT you can't, because you've gotten a taste of the good life. Don't get me wrong. I have it pretty great. I work from home. And I've always loved it. But, I was getting used to having co-workers. People to discuss the presidential debates with or the last episode of Homeland. People to ask you how your weekend was. A kitchen pantry stocked with candy. A routine. It's going to be tough to re-adjust.

3. The hope phase: We all know this stage of a break-up. It's that agonizing period of time where you tell yourself things could work out and you could get back together. There's still a chance that our show could air and become a hit and we could be back for another season. But you can only hope for that a little bit, because if it doesn't pan out, then you just have to get upset all over again. Also, there's no guarantee I'd get to go back for the second season, so... if there is one and I'm not hired again, well that's a whole other series of posts all together.

2. Look for the silver linings: I've never really been able to do this with relationships-- the whole, we loved, we lost, we learned, etc. But I actually have been able to focus on the positive with this experience. I really did learn a ton, I met some really cool people, and I was challenged on a daily basis. It was the single best working experience of my life.

1. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID: This is the stage I'm in right now and I forgot how good I am at it post-break ups. After two days of tears, I turned into a productivity maniac. I wish I had taken before and after pictures of my refrigerator. That baby is CLEAN now. I've been exercising even more than I normally do. All I need is a hair cut and a new wardrobe. Most importantly, I'm about to add a big new project on my plate. DRUM ROLL PLEASE:

THE BLOW OFF re-design! Thanks to our friend Sassypants, this site is going to get a whole new awesome look. No more boring blogger set-up. There you go, guys! Another silver lining! More time for BLOW OFF posts!

8 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear this! But I'm still very excited for you. This is the beginning of beautiful things. Now go wash that show right out of your hair.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally felt the same way in 2009 when I was let go of my dream job as a wedding planner at a lovley hotel. I was let go because of the economy and everyone was sad to see me go. I even hugged my GM and HR director afte they let me go. Ha! Totally felt like I was broken up with. I remember thinking, "But I thought this relationship was going well?"

    ReplyDelete
  3. love this post but hate the inspiration! it'll be ok girl, there will be PLENTY more writing gigs for you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I never even liked FOX anyway. There, I said it. You can do SO much better! I'm pretty sure I saw The CW checking you out at the party the other night too. Listen, I tolerated FOX, but only because you were working there. The truth is we all secretly knew you'd eventually move on to bigger and better. I can't wait to meet your next challenge! F U, FOX!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just like a break up, if I may, your friends will be there to remind you how amazing you are and what a douche this one really was. I have a feeling this show will turn into an instant classic. Fox has a recent history of being wrong about things too ;) Love you Sara!

    ReplyDelete
  6. THE BLOW OFF REDESIGN WOOHOOOOOO!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wishing you a few fun nights of too may cocktails, a pint of Strauss's toffee caramel crunch ice cream, friends to make you laugh until you cry, endless amounts of support + hugs, and a brand new amazing writing opportunity to make you forget all about that schmuck, Fox. Cheers to you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you all for your love and support! Can't blame FOX too much since if it wasn't for them picking up the show, I would have never gotten the experience, but it was still a bummer! Trying to stay positive and very excited for the changes coming to the blow off!

    ReplyDelete