clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How ‘The Office’ helped fulfill a dream

New, comments

I’m back.

Let’s go back five years. At the time, I was working as a technical writer for a company that specialized in pre-employment background screenings, a field I actively hated. Just give it time, I would think. It’ll get better as you learn more about it, I would try to convince myself.

It didn’t work.

Right around that time, “The Office” was added to Netflix. Jen and I would watch a few episodes every night before she nodded off, leaving me to my thoughts -- a truly terrifying spot to be on a nightly basis.

Was this it? Was I going to have to spend the rest of my life at a job I couldn’t stand for the paycheck?

I then started paying more attention to the show. There was a lesson to be learned. All those characters, as funny as they might be, were deeply depressing. This scene pretty well sums up my time as a tech writer:

Everyone from Jim, to Pam, to Stanley and throughout that office settled for the check. It was devastating to realize that $40k per year was enough to convince me to settle into the rest of my life.

So I spoke to Jen (my superhero of a wife) and told her that I was slowly dying in my cubicle. We even had a couple stints in the hospital with chest pains to prove it. We both decided it was time for a change.

So I began looking at jobs in sportswriting. Unfortunately, you can’t pay the bills with the exposure you’re promised when you’re trying to break into this industry. I can remember the first paycheck I got from my first platform. $23.

Times got better with the next one, though. $37!

We clawed, scraped and fought month by month hoping that the next opportunity would be the life-changer. It didn’t come in the first year. Or the second. Or third. I have no idea what I did to deserve Jen, but she stuck around and kept believing me when I said I was this freakin’ close.

But still, as frustrating as those times were, it still beat the slow decay I felt at the job I shall not name. There was something romantic about struggling along with everyone else in this industry to simply get a foot in the door, a semi-decent regular check.

A year or so went by. Hardly any progress was made. A couple gigs here and there, sure, but nothing stuck.

Then I met Drew Garrison in Las Vegas. He was interested in my show, a podcast that happened accidentally when I hit record on a conversation with a few like-minded guys who wanted to talk without having to @ each other on Twitter with only 30 characters or so to spare. One of those guys was Harrison Faigen — pretty easily one of the best people ever to wander into my life.

We’ve pushed each other ever since. Our goal has always been the same: “We’re going to make it and we’re going to make it together,” we would say. If one was having doubts, the other would be right there to pick him up. Miles separated the ups and the downs felt like Mike Tyson bodyshots.

But we kept going. The light at the end of the tunnel was too bright to give up at any of those points, dark as they might’ve seemed.

Fast-forward a few years, a variety of titles for the podcast, some time away from Silver Screen & Roll for both Harrison and me, and here we are. We’ve made it. And we’re here together.

Harrison, being the superstar he is, helms the site. I’m here to help as best I can. The show is back on the platform. I’ll be writing my few posts per day. And every so often, I’ll hop on Twitter to see what innocent trouble I can stir up.

I’ve missed the site, the readers and commenters and the community of writers greatly this past season. I’m thrilled to be back, fulfilling a dream half a decade in the making. Much like the Lakers, Silver Screen is on the precipice of an incredibly exciting new era.

Only thing left to be said: Now this is going to be fun.

OH WAIT NO.