Final thoughts about my L.A. trip

As much fun as I had these past few days hanging out with some of The Office writers, I don’t want to minimize the seriousness of the strike. The writers are clearly weary, worried about their crew, and ready for everyone to get back to work. They do try to keep the mood upbeat, though, because they are, after all, comedy writers, and the funny just kinda flows out of them without much urging.

I do want to mention one interesting thing that happened during Wednesday’s picket. A couple of WGA board members stopped by to actually picket with us, and asked people if they had any questions about what was going on. I didn’t talk to them myself, but when I asked later what this meant, I was told that WGA board members hardly ever picket, and NEVER ask picketers if they have questions.

The interpretation was that this was a hopeful sign that there was positive movement in the negotiations. I heard buzz that the impetus is to get a deal worked out in time to salvage the Oscars (Feb. 24), which will suffer the same fate as this year’s Golden Globes if a deal is not struck. If a deal is not worked out by then, the fear is that it could be a LONG time before we see any more progress.

Of course all of this is speculation at this point. With the joint media blackout between the AMPTP and WGA, we won’t know until we know.

Thanks to the Office writing staff for letting me hang out with you guys this week! And it was a pleasure to finally meet writer Brent “Workout Fiend” Forrester and editor Dave “Dwight Isn’t the Only One Who Loves Starbuck” Rogers.

A special thanks to The Office’s co-executive producer and writer Jen Celotta, who was one kick-ass trip coordinator. This visit has been in the works since November, and it simply never would have happened without Jen.

Lastly, I want all of you Tallyheads to know that I told as many writers as I could, multiple times each probably, how much they mean to us. They are pretty humble about the attention, but they know they are loved.

Let’s hope for a resolution very, very soon.