It was flat silent in the long hall. I sat at my desk, the third office down on the right, listening for any sounds at all. Then I heard crying, a wail really, followed by muffled sobs. It had begun.
On February 13th, 1991, Gloria Monty, renowned for her vision and temper, returned to the soap opera General Hospital as executive producer. She had built an empire in the eighties around two characters Luke and Laura that had sustained the show for ten years after she left. Now it was losing steam fast and she was back to fix things. One by one, the writers, actors and directors filed into her office where she would seal their fate with a flick of her bony wrist. Some were fired, some left, but everyone was changed. She told one of the actors who played the illustrious Quartermaine men, that he had gotten fat and needed to do something about it.
I worked at General Hospital as a writer's assistant. One of my jobs was to summarize the plot each day. For an aspiring writer, in love with the campiness of it all, it was a dream job. Unfortunately, the new writing team had their own assistant and I was soon moved to the Xerox room (quite nice of them actually). The room contained four thing, a small desk and three loud, enormous Xerox machines. My job was to produce 175 200-page, fully collated scripts a day.
Every fifteen minutes there would be a paper jam requiring me to unfurl the beast and dig out chewed up pages that did not want to dislodge. I have trouble with can openers. Eventually I began binging from the stress. My desk was full of Halloween candy and donuts and the scripts were becoming suspiciously sticky. It was not to be.