We’ve all heard stories about rock stars who make odd requests to prop their sense of superiority. Eric Clapton toured around with a foosball table. Van Halen had the brown M&Ms picked out backstage. It’s one thing for bigwigs to behave like this, but what about everyday people like you and me? At a recent commercial shoot, a production assistant came around to our ad agency team and asked if we’d like anything to drink. This is a very cordial and customary routine at shoots. One of us asked for water. Another for coffee. Then another (usually quiet, unassuming) coworker chimed in with an oddly specific request:
“I know this sounds crazy, but do you have Honest Tea in the organic Half Tea/Half Lemonade flavor?” The assistant said, “No, but I know what you mean. I can go to the supermarket and get that for you.” This was the perfect opportunity for him to backpedal and say it’s not worth all that trouble. Nope. He doubled down: “Cool. I’d love a case of it, since we’ll be here for a few days.” He then looked over to one of us and said, “Sorry guys. It’s my one thing.” An hour later, he was drinking his Honest Tea – organic Half Tea/Half Lemonade. Van Halen and Eric Clapton and those who go on stage to perform for thousands of adoring fans – they can have their ‘one thing.’ People who make car commercials cannot.
Flash forward to today. I’m sitting in a dark room at a production company working on the post production of another commercial. An assistant just brought in our (free) lunches. I noticed that I ordered too much food. A beef and vegetable bowl, hummus appetizer and fresh pressed juice. So I asked the assistant, “Do you have anything I can take this hummus home in?” She said she’d look around. On the way out, I had the audacity to complain that the hummus didn’t come with any bread. Sure enough, an hour later, she returned – with a brand-new reusable Ziploc container that she clearly braved Broadway in Soho to find, along with fresh pita bread.
Taking my work lunch hummus (and pita bread) to-go. It’s my one thing.