Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Robe


Here's the thing. I have these work stories. And I want to tell you these work stories. I have crazy stories from 30 Rock. I have stories from the movies I worked on and the actors there. I have stories about where I'm working right now. But I can't tell them.

Because I don't want to become my own story. The story told repeatedly as a cautionary tale in "Hollywood". The story of the low level employee tweeting or blogging or facebooking the funny anecdote and then it getting back to the producer or showrunner or somebody. And then the firing. And then the shaking of heads from the employees peers who say, "He/She should have known better."

I have to be careful. If you want to hear stories, you'll have to ask me in person. The internet is FOREVER. Theoretically.
So with great vagueness I tell you this story.


THE ROBE
Let's say his name is Doug. When you have fancy people like Doug, you put them in Doug-class hotels. They stay there for the run of filming. Well, one day, the hotel called us up. And told us the robe from the room was missing. And they didn't want to charge us for the robe, or Doug, so could we discretely ask about The Robe.

This put us in an awkward position of course. Because we needed to ask Doug if he had The Robe in his possession. We were filming off site and he wasn't going to be back to that hotel for a few days. So we called.
"Doug. Hey, you know how hotel rooms have monogrammed robes in the rooms? Did you maybe accidentally take yours? Because the hotel is looking for it."

Doug confirmed very neutrally that The Robe was in his possession. It was sent from set in a garbage bag. I was given the task of returning The Robe.
Now, of course, this raises Doug questions. What did Doug need The Robe for? Did it make him feel luxurious? Is he a Robe Person? Is anyone left alive still a Robe Person? Does he shoot porn? Is he just a hotel Robe kleptomaniac?

So I was given the task of returning The Robe. I walked into the fancy Manhattan hotel holding a black garbage bag. I walked up to the concierge.

"Oh, hello. I'm returning one of your robes. Doug accidentally placed this large bulky robe in one of his bags."
"In his luggage. Okay. Let me just check. Oh, wait. Doug hasn't checked out yet. So why did he take the robe?"

"Maybe he was cold. Outside of his room."

So they promised to launder The Robe and return it to his room. It doesn't end there.
The crew gets back to the city. Doug goes back to his fancy room. The next day he pulls aside a PA and asks:

"Hey, what's the deal with my robe?"

So the PA calls the Production Office, where I work, and asks what we did with the robe. We tell her: Given back, hotel cleaning it.

So Doug asks the PA:

"Is my robe going to be there tonight?"

Another PA he spoke to calls back, asking when this happened, could we get Doug a new robe. My boss says:

"I am over The Robe. We are not dealing with The Robe."

Now I have a question. I dropped off the robe five days ago. Did the hotel worry about Doug so much that they no longer trust him with robes? Or is Doug putting together a scam? Did he steal The Robe again and is now creating an alibi wherein he pretends that the Robe was never returned?

We call back. We dropped off The Robe. End of story. He will have to address all future Robe questions to the hotel. The calls stopped. The Robe never turned up again.