As I walked from Lori’s office to look for Kevin, I thought about what she said: “Producing and delivering a television series is like a runaway train. Once it starts, I’ve got to keep up with it or it’ll jump the tracks. The worst thing I can ever do is miss an airdate with broadcasters. If I don’t deliver a script on time, they’ll pull the series.”
She’d personalized it, telling me because Sandy and I were behind schedule it would jeopardize her. I wondered why she’d told me all that. She was in charge of writers. If she thought Sandy wasn’t moving fast enough, if she wanted to cut him loose it would be simple for her to do so.
No. She wanted me to handle it, I think to see how I perform under pressure.
I spotted Kevin, the exec in overall charge of DIC’s production schedule, by a cubicle talking with an artist. He saw me and motioned me closer, telling the artist, “I need your cubicle for a couple minutes.” The artist dutifully left.
Kevin smiled and asks how I was doing. I told him I’ve done better and his smile eased. When he asked what was up, I tell him how when I started, Sandy said we were a week behind schedule and now Lori tells me we’re two weeks behind and that if we miss an airdate the broadcasters could pull the series and that I should talk to him about it. I tell Kevin “I’m just the assistant story editor. What should I do?”
In a voice as friendly as if he was asking a bartender for another beer, Kevin said, “You should take his job.” I felt a chill. The guillotine blade was ratcheting up, all right. I just never thought I’d be the one cranking it.