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Here I sit, sniffling and coughing, fighting off a cold I acquired while doing something cool. For the past 10 days I've put on my 'television production' hat and worked on a high school sporting tournament; but it's hard to really classify things as "television" any more -- this was a streaming event, so essentially dozens of channels, the overlapping rounds each broadcast separately and simultaneously, and all we had to do was keep it all on the air.

The label of Production Assistant, maybe I've said it before, pretty much means "do whatever would take the Skilled Technicians away from their work", so mostly it means getting coffee and food, standing someplace for some reason, and otherwise just being a go'fer.

For streaming video, I was in my natural element -- setting up networks and software and knowing what the different cables look like and what they do and knowing where to plug them in. There were the natural lulls where things were happening and nothing needed to be done, so I did get to sit in blissful relaxation for a little while, but otherwise there was work to be done. Fixing people clicking on the wrong thing. A network adapter suddenly goes bad. An extension cord needs to be guarded because people keep unplugging it.

Overall, I was really at the top of my game and got lots of compliments on my PA work; and while being a PA is usually an entry-level job and there's not a lot of skills needed to do a good job, I do try to make sure that I'm a valuable part of the team, and just that little effort goes a long way towards things going smoothly.

That is, until the last day: like someone at the bring of bowling a 300 game but hitting the gutter on the last throw, on the afternoon of the last day of the tournament I made a mistake. One with the real possibility of being fired over, and most of my effort went into not catastrophizing into a panic attack. I admitted my mistake, I took responsibility, I didn't try to make excuses, and I did get an angry lecture about being careful from my boss. In the end it became the past and the rest of the job went smoothly, although this company has the producers write up 'staff review' reports where my failing will be part of my permanent record if I work with them again (which I hope I can work with them again, it was a fun project).

But, the event was 10 days, with one day off in the middle, and every day was from about 10 - 12 hours long. It was tiring, and I ate like crap, but D noted a personality shift in me: I seem much more expressively happy when I'm working on these projects. She was even relatively shocked when I asked her for help. The crew were going out for drinks on the night before the day off, and I asked D if she could drop me off and pick me up so I could drink without driving, and not only did I have a good time, it did feel like old times.

On reflection, I wonder if what D is seeing is a bit of 'old me', from long before we ever met, back in my theater days. I mean, I don't 100% want to be my old self, because he was kind of dumb and a jerk, but maybe the Derek that has learned a bit more about life, put back in that world of working backstage, I'm probably being a bit more Me than I've been in a while.

Oh, the sniffling and coughing? Well, I spent the last week around thousands of gross high school kids, somebody must have coughed on me. I was tested for a variety of diseases, and the diagnosis is 'the common cold'. I hope it goes away soon, I'm tired of it.

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