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My First Job

Well, I'm at work now.

I interviewed with City Weekend on Monday. It seemed like a really cool job. Basically my immediate responsibility would be to develop a big network of contacts so that I could figure out what was going on in the city. They asked me how I would go about doing this, and I thought of anybody who I could contact, and who they could point me to, and what random social networks I am a part of... They seemed most concerned with the fact that I am more or less new to Beijing, since they were really looking for someone who could bring their own information and contacts into the job with them. But other than that, I think they still seemed interested in me, and I thought the interview went really well.

That evening I was feeling poor as I waited by the bus stop to meet up with Nick for Dairy Queen, when I got a call from Geoff. He checked to make sure that I was okay with the salary terms we had talked about before, and asked me to come in the next day. I felt less poor as I ate my ice cream.

Actually I figured I would just be ironing out the details with the boss when I came in, but she wasn't there, and Geoff started off by loading me down with all sorts of information about what projects I would be working on, and I was like, Woah! I don't remember accepting any job offer. But I spent the morning reading through materials about the company, and finally got to talk to Mou after lunch. Apparently she was confused that I still wanted to discuss specifics with her, since she thought I had come in to work that day. So I brought up insurance and visa renewal with her, both of which she basically said she couldn't help with. She told me what a hassle it is to get a work permit for a foreigner if you're something other than an English training school, and how absurdly high the tax they have to pay on me is. As for insurance, it sounds like I have to wait until the end of my three month trial period before I can get her to provide me with any benefits. Although this isn't exactly ideal, I figure it's acceptible for the time being. I just need to figure out some way to renew my visa at some point before the end of August, and will probably either have to just buy an insurance plan once my current one runs out, or go without it for a while.

I've been doing the best I can to learn about what exactly I'm supposed to be doing at this job, but it's a little hard since Mou is always busy or away. She left for Hunan yesterday on a bid for an advertising case and won't be back until the weekend. This is all complicated by the fact that Geoff and Jasmine are leaving soon, and I think I will more or less have to take over what they're doing. I've been learning about this Jackie Chan and Jet Li movie that we're coproducing, which I've been drooling over. It's also being produced by Bill Badalato, who did Top Gun, and Johnny Lee, who did Rumble in the Bronx. The martial arts director did Crouching Tiger and Fearless. I am apparently responsible for doing various coordination between us and Chinese and American parties who are involved. I have a bunch of casting information, the script, and other random documents and promotional materials for investors and distributors. I also called up the guy who I guess is Jet Li's producer the other day to ask if he had shown this script for another project, Shangri-la, to Jet, and to ask what Jet thought of it. This is all pretty weird. As for something more concrete, I translated an ammendment to a contract the other day, which made me feel useful.

We're in pre-pre-production right now on these two movies, so my work will be limited to the office for the time being. But Mou says that as we move to pre-production and into production, the work becomes more and more on-the-spot and physical.

As for now, I've been at work for an hour and a half this morning and so far I have done little more than write this blog. I hope I get into the swing of things soon.


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