Instead of Take Your Kid to Work Day once a year, it’s now Take Your Kid Begging on the Train with You Day every single day. Tons of our friends have formed these unemployment gangs where they’ve just been hanging out in the park and finding free shit to do all summer long. But guess what? Jobs still exist! And there are some good ones too. They are out there and people work them everyday. We talked to one of these nice job-havers, because we’re tired of feeling jealous of our unemployed buddies who’re just messing around, having a blast all day, and we’re also tired of hearing people with jobs whine about how “stressed” they are all the time.
Vice: Hi Millie, is it true that one can actually maintain a career these days? That's crazy! What exactly do you do?
Millie: My job is programming the movies on Turner Classic Movies. I have to think up themes for every day, like an entire day of movies by a certain director or all movies about elevators or whatever. In addition, I also helped create (and program) "TCM Underground," which is a late night cult movie show we air on Friday nights.
Tell me about a typical workday in the life of you.
In the mornings, I usually answer emails. I'm basically the go-to person in Programming for schedules, nerdy movie info, etc., so people are always asking me for stuff. Then I might have a couple meetings, talk to some cult movie weirdos on the phone, whatever. Usually the afternoon is when I work on the schedule: come up with ideas, movies to play, movies for our VOD, and so on. Then I make sure everything we scheduled isn't a giant thematic disaster and is timed out properly. Some days I'll watch a movie to see how many times someone says "asshole." On occasion I'll get a call from an 85-year-old woman in Canada asking me why her TV doesn't work. A lot of letters from prison run by my desk too. People on lockdown love TCM, apparently.
What do you wear to work? Is it all working-girl power suits?
I should wear more of that kind of thing, actually. Power suits with huge shoulder pads, dark panty hose, and white running shoes every day. When I first started I totally thought I had to be all business looking. I went out and bought a khaki colored sweater set. I thought I had to represent because this was my first “corporate” job. I eventually realized you could pretty much wear whatever you want here. I still like the idea of looking semi dressed-up though, but maybe more like a writer from the 1950s would look or something. A half dressed-up, half slob kind of thing.
What makes your job so special?
From a TV programming standpoint, it's awesome that I work for a channel that doesn't air commercials. It’s like working in college radio or something. You get tons of freedom to put on whatever you want. And I like coming to work and going, "Hey, I want to program movies that all have people riding bicycles built for two in them!" and then being able to do that. Plus, we don't edit the movies we play. That's pretty rare for basic cable. Especially the movies I program for Underground. Russ Meyer movies without the nudity--what’s the point?
You wake up in the morning and your first thought is…
Hmmm…I guess it involves a scheme that will get me out of waking up? And it’s usually very intricate and just sounds like a ginormous lie. “My car won’t start” doesn’t cut it for me.
What do you do on your lunch break?
Sometimes I run errands. I feel like that's what real career ladies do. I went to the mall once during lunch and saw Jane Fonda shopping there and I was like, "OK, Jane Fonda does shit at lunch and so will I." Or sometimes I'll go power lunch with work friends. We’re big fans of expensive sandwiches and we usually just talk about books or gardening instead of our jobs.
What are some of your favorite movies you've featured so far?
We got The World's Greatest Sinner for Underground last year and I was pretty happy about that. I don't think that ever played on television before we aired it. We also played Skidoo about two years back, which isn't on DVD or anything. I'm a big Preminger fan so it was nice to be able to play that one. Also, Sonny Boy, which is freaking ridiculous and features David Carradine in drag. In fact, I can't believe that movie didn't come up much during all the tributes. It's crazy as hell!
Do you have any advice for jobless losers?
God, I dunno! I hate to say it but it's really about who you know these days. I mean, getting a job at Arby's is all about finessing now. Trying to find a job sucks more than ever, let alone a career. I don't know how I got my job. I'm hoping it had to do with being nerdy enough about movies and being a nice person. I did have a lot of restaurant jobs and a lot of roommates in college so, who knows? Maybe I met the right person to hook me up.
If you weren't busy having this awesome career what else would you be doing?
I honestly have no idea. I can't even believe I have a "career" in the first place, let alone something semi-interesting. Even when I was a kid I thought I'd be processing insurance forms in a dentist's office "when I grew up." I never had dreams! Like I said, I worked in restaurants and did crappy data entry stuff up until this. I'm thankful as hell that I get to work with old movies, which is what I love and went to school for. But OK, now that I have proven myself as career oriented…I think if I wasn't doing this I'd be a dancer, a professor, a female baseball player, and a rap producer all at the same time.