Do you attract the bewildered, the eccentric, the psychotic, the mentally ill and the socially challenged? Well, if you don't, open a production company, install one-way glass and then just sit and wait. Of course, you will get some exceptionally level-headed, talented and hard-working people, but something about our industry also attracts those who would function better in a 24-hour guarded and monitored facility.
Let me give you some examples... (oh, and names have been changed so that these people don't come and kill me once they have been either rehabilitated, paroled or released into supervised care).
First there was...
First there was Kerishnie. She happened in the early days when some of the admin stuff was still typed up on a typewriter, albeit an electric one!
Well, the "2" on the typewriter fell off, but this did not deter our intrepid Kerishnie. Lists of outstanding amounts from creditors were typed up sans the "2" and Kerishnie did not see the need to either write the "2" in by hand or draw this problem to the attention of the bookkeeper, or anyone for that matter.
Several heart attacks, a stroke and some incontinence pads later, we discovered that we were not actually going broke. Kerishnie was unrepentant and simply went to the CCMA and claimed that I had forced her to risk her life on the top rung of a rickety ladder and wash the upstairs windows! (I kid you not!)
Then there was...
Then there was Craig, barely out of his teens, but ready and willing to take on the exciting world of video editing. Except that deadlines seemed to stress him and he found his outlet with a certain activity in the back loo that he said relieved the stress (and he didn't mind telling people about this).
He left the company just before he went blind. We have since bricked up that loo because Isabella refused to go in there and clean it. Hell's teeth, I think the CSI team would have refused to go in there!
Ah yes, then there was dear Christopher... well, actually it was Christoffel, but he seemed to prefer to be thought of as English (I theorise now that he may have been part of some sort of Witless Protection Programme). He arrived just after we unbricked the back loo and cleaned off the mirror with a flamethrower.
Young Christopher had some issues, we would soon discover, and he is the reason why we now have psychometric testing as part of our interview process. I should have twigged that something was amiss when he came to the interview with his arm in a sling and informed me that this was the result of cracking the cheekbone of a family member (I think it might have been his mother) who insulted his wife or something... or was that a Jerry Springer episode I watched last week? Dunno, the two blur into each other for some reason.
‘Delusions of adequacy'
I should also have been a little concerned when he told everyone he was a multimillionaire and didn't actually need the job, but I am used to eccentrics and simply put this down to his ‘delusions of adequacy'.
Anyway, Christopher informed me at the close of the interview, despite standing there hale and hearty, that he was wheelchair-bound. I thought I misheard him because I swear he walked upright - both into and out of my office, but sure enough he arrived for work the next day with the wheelchair in the boot of his car! But get this - he pushed his wheelchair through the parking lot, carried it up the stairs, then ensconced himself in it and wheeled himself through reception - several times I recall... just to make sure everyone saw him.
But that was just the start of it.
Over the next few weeks he arrived in a back brace, a neck brace, another sling, and then... you are not actually going to believe this - an adult diaper! (I hadn't seen one of those since Kerishnie's era!) That didn't seem to attract the kind of attention he'd been hoping for so he left it and its unspeakable contents unflushed in the back loo.
Isabella nearly resigned and the only thing that would keep her at the company was the promise of a box of Chicken Licken, an industrial gas mask and some elbow-length rubber gloves.
We have once again decided to brick up that back loo, as it is obviously some sort of portal to hell or the CCMA or something. I'm not taking any more chances.