By Dalva Carlier
Do we really respect ourselves and one another? Or yet again, what is respect?
How often do I mislead someone into thinking that I am disrespectful? I do have respect, for family, elderly, children, but sometimes I become so frank that it strikes out is mean and too direct. Why? Because I don’t have a lot of barriers, but the fact is that I really don’t do it on purpose. Sometimes I don’t retain the names of people and mistake them, and I then say their “fake name” with such determination that people just go “wtf”? and kind of gaze at the awkward situation while I am smiling really thinking it’s their name, even having to doubt their own credibility.
At the beginning of the term, I felt comfortable enough to start doing small jokes like one very bad one on Jews, and the person in front of me just gazed like “I’m not sure I’ve truly understood you” and it was as funny as uneasy. I also did a stupid one when someone came to pet the puppy and told them that it cost 10 pounds before, and it was so ridiculous that the person was like “What?” almost if I was serious, because, I had such a serious face. I find humor in everything I see, and even in the worst of situations. My MacBook got stolen last week during the night, and after getting mad at first I started making these stupid jokes about imagining how the scene went and the persona’s that could have been the thieves. And there’s always something funny to say about everyone. And that’s my specialty, but it’s always friendly and rarely bitter. In every situation, there’s a joke, and one of the best examples of crude French no filter humor is the sadly famous satirical paper “Charlie Hebdo”. It’s not mean, its offensive yes, but all is a reality, and most of the reality is sadly bitter. But turning everything upside down and having a little second degree is important, as much as never taking things too personally.
I made my way last year as a casting assistant working at Sony Pictures Television Entertainment, for a famous French television show with mostly happy country bumpkins. And I’ve truly seen non-respect.
Like non-respect was working with a misogynist boss with how I finally bounded around a joint after filming week at our television studios. And that evening, my female colleagues working in casting as well; Thirty-something, Stan Smith wearing, fit, and glamorous, Fiat driving, “I don’t hold my tongue” and Snapchat “look at the new interns haha” kind of girls, who at the end of the day told me “Oh you’re lucky they didn’t bring coke that time”.
Astonishing, and then, I don’t know how they keep their show running, because their audience figures at the end of the month are still really good. The kind of boss when I did a mistake in a file ignored me for 3 days and made my throw old files in the garbage. Until I did better and cracked a solution into having more candidate request by simply changing their communication strategy. Them I liked me again and named me “chef of promotion” while the other interns felt I guess a little awkward to the situation. He also then let me put techno in the office, and ask to put it louder just to piss off “redaction department across”.
Once, while shooting in studio set I was an assistant taking care of candidates; (when the production is not laughing at them behind their backs) putting them on set, instructing, putting up microphones etc… and the wicked jokes of one of these two colleagues Elodie and Dorothee, was “Dalva come see” ; “What again ?” ; “Who would you shag between me and Jerome” (our production assistant, that was looking at me for my response)
- You’re not leaving until you answer the question
- Hmmm I don’t know
- You have to choose
(As I didn’t want to vex anyone I said both as a joke)
And got away with a “You ******, well answered, I like it, now off you go to your tasks and go find someone to get me coffee”, while the first week found me coffee so there definitely was improved)
So of course, I sent one of the other interns; who was having a harder time as simply being ignored all the time, while I was asked every Monday what kind of screwed up things I had been up to the previous weekend.
They liked my humor that was probably as deranged as theirs. But, I mean these colleagues are educated, they live in fancy neighbourhoods and do have hearts, they’re just very unusual in a way are used to saying real stupidity every day that they are almost immune to it, they have such a fierce humour that I sadly feel this kind of humour has become I kind of very bobo (bohemian bourgeois) cynical trend.
So respect takes many forms, and I am genuinely good-hearted and these girls were too, but it fascinated me at first, how Parisians can be and how sometimes people have so little respect in some industries or how in business people will tell you to not be soft; like illustrated with humor in the legendary movie “La Haine”.