How I Worked in TV, With No Interest in TV

TelevisionFrequent conversations on the topic of linear versus SVOD, because anyone who digests their television anywhere but on the television, is morally wrong. Working in a room of people, who wholeheartedly believe the talking box will forever rule the world, despite millennials consuming their programming on the go.

It’s fairly easy to determine when you’re in the wrong sector, and even more so when you’ve zero interest in the subject matter. By now, you’ve probably gathered that this is a gruelling depiction of my year long struggle to fit in, in a TV PR company with little interest in television.

Week one, and within moments I’d jeopardised my placeholder at the company. By simply uttering the words ‘who even watches regular TV?’, I’d somehow managed to offend an entire team. But it’s true, how many of us actually sit and watch the television at scheduled times? Perhaps I was being self involved, after all I was basing this generalisation on my own television habits and the habits of my closest peers. The comment was quickly shot down by senior management, who responded with ‘you I hope, seeing as you work at a television company’.

There are often subtle reminders that you’re in the wrong job, be that the do or die question of “who watched Doctor Foster last night?” Or the frequent references to television lingo you’ve yet to ingest. Instantly taken aback to the days where my mother would send me to bed early meaning I’d miss out on the grown up shows like ‘Bad Girls’, or ‘Little Miss Jocelyn’, only to be tortured with the details of each programme by my fellow classmates the following day.

Pretending does however become slightly easier when you’re a fast learner, a depressing thought as the work was of very little interest. The real challenge came when I was asked to liaise with clients directly, of course via email was easy. You see the beautiful thing about email is you’re given time to plan the babble that you need to say, a humble revision before the ‘what do you know and how much do you know’ test. Being put on the spot by your clients however, not fun at all. When a client calls you desperate for information on *insert uninteresting and unexplainable topic*, you have about 15 seconds to answer without sounding a little dim, tough. Though I quickly learnt that PR was know-it-all babble, a bullshitter’s game, in other words telling the client what they need to hear. An unwitting task to a newbie but brilliant once mastered.

Evidently TV isn’t really my remit, far from it in fact. I’ll admit to being one of those self indulged twenty-something’s who much prefer to indulge in online television, over regularly scheduled programming. To be frank the thought of waiting till a specific time to watch a television show sounds like torture, I’d rather binge on hours of television in one sitting than wait a week for the next cliffhanger. As I assume most individuals by age would.

The entirety of it all only worsened when we were requested to shmooze with journalists – my desired role might I add – because to them we were news vultures. Plucking at every straw trying to get our news out, because essentially that what we do all day as PR’s. We pitch client news. My hardest time to date is the day the juniors were forced to meet with a new journalist, now 1. My anxiety only heightens when I’m put in uncomfortable situations 2. I hate not knowing what to discuss with strangers 3. Work drinks, where you’re not getting rat-arsed, are just awkward.

Alas, I’ve since learned from the year-long ordeal. Having gathered many life skills and coping mechanisms from said job, I learnt that perhaps one shouldn’t take on the first job that comes their way, no matter how desperate and strapped for cash you may be. You do well to be reminded, that you do yourself a massive disservice by not staying true to your dreams and your goals. It helps to be passionate about whatever your 9-6 is, because ramming TV shows down peoples throats will only work if you are.

SVOD: Stands for ‘Subscription Video on Demand’ refers to a service that gives users unlimited access to a wide range of programs for a monthly flat rate.

Linear: Live television that is watched as scheduled.

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1 Comment

  • gemma-ama@outlook.com'
    Reply January 3, 2017

    Gemma

    As always your way with words made me chuckle. I like the message behind this post.

    I would say I’m in an awkward place as a millienial who likes watching some programmes at their scheduled time but I also love binge watching online shows until the most unreasonable hour (depending on whether I have work or not) and regretting it in the morning.

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