Superficial (5) (Fiction)

I hate it when people use this phrase like they know anything about “thinking out of the box”. It’s the same everywhere with job interviewers, accountants, HR personnel, and worse, marketing people. Think out of the box  also means We Don’t Know What We Want So Just Create Something We Can Shoot Down. And how can they use these words when they themselves cannot accept unorthodox methods?  People who follow procedure to the letter and protocol without question, suggesting to think out of the box? That’s insane! It’s like some Segment Producer asking me to illustrate simulation drawings, but they wanted it 3D looking, so I said why not give it to a 3D Artist, and they replied, well, we botched our relationship with our 3D Artist (which means he never got paid right, never got paid on time) so we want to go out of the box with this one and make 2D like you do with crime reports.


I could only surmise what the 3D artist had in mind. I saw what he did to the last segment.

Think out of the box, my butt.

Magazine advertisers often use these same words, but then insists you put all the photos in, even if it will look like some scrapbook any teenager can do. And on a half-page ad. Well, I wanted to do it like this. No, we are paying you to do what we want.

Well, what do you want?

We don’t know yet, So Just Create Something We Can Shoot Down.

Out of the box, my butt.

And here I am thinking this gig could be one big pain in the butt should I decide to accept it. Free food aside, and the fact that I think this woman is really hot, at least to my eyes, I am gritting my teeth for what I dread I was about to hear, if I ask the right question.

And I need to ask the right question.

This is supposed to be a storyboard gig, right?

I need to ask the right question. As Josephine spreads the photos of the products and the statistical studies of height calculations and width to tensile strength and all that . . . .

I asked ” Where’s the script?”.

And, it’s as if someone detonated a sonic charge somewhere.  All sound muted, time slowed down, I could see tiny spit drops flying from her glossy lips, her eyes fixed on mine, and her palms open, and she utters the words . . .

Wait for it . . .

“No script.” Josephine, dismissing my question like it was nonsensical. ” Not yet at least, but here are the materials needed for this scene, the truck to be used and the number of people involved.”

How long is this TVC? How many scenes? How do you want the shots?  How much time do I have to do this? And I have so many questions, because a script could have shut me up and just read the darned thing.

She said “Think out of the box. You’re an artist, right?”

I should slap her right then and there. But mom says never hit a woman. Even if Josephine turned out to be somebody who looks like a female version of me, and that is a horrible vision, still there is no cause to hit a woman.

But, crap, I need this gig to get me through. And this has all the signs of a shitty project. This is like being asked to do layout for a web design with just an idea, no name, no content, just make stuff up as I go along (which I did recently, much to my chagrin, with an inept manager who’s only talent is he can do his own make up and who thinks like We Don’t Know What We Want So Just Create Something We Can Shoot Down.

I can feel that headache coming like a locomotive.

I need to think this over.

With caffeine and nicotine.

“Could we step outside and smoke first? I could use some.”  I stood, so I could think of ways to workaround this predicament.

“Sure.” She said.

I think that locomotive is coming full speed now.

(To be continued)

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