150421-tudeThe comedian Louis CK is fielding questions after a 2010 Paley Center interview when a film production student raises her hand.

Student: You kinda say a big F.U. to people, and I like that. When you’re in production, what’s the best attitude to give?

CK: The best attitude in production is really wanting to help a lot … really wanting to help whoever’s show it is be really great. I mean, I think anybody who’s doing any job, really, should want that job to be done really well. … It’s such a rare and great gift to get a job in show business … Statistically, you’re not going to … So if you do, holy shit. … You gotta be a human being. Everybody just wants to be treated decently. Life’s too short to be an asshole as an employer or as an employee.

Several things here:

  1. The production student’s question sounds to me like she’s asking for permission to bring some of CK’s “big F.U.” performance style with her into the workplace. Permission denied, of course, but does this aspiring entertainment professional really think it might be okay for her to treat her coworkers with anything but kindness and respect? Worrisome.
  2. Assuming that CK’s definition of “show business” includes what I sometimes do for a living, it is indeed a rare and great gift to be so employed. Working with other people who feel the same way is a rare and great gift, also.
  3. Even though I know these things, I don’t always remember them. I forget to be grateful, to be human and courteous and kind. I forget that the price of forgetfulness is a bite in the ass. Usually a hard one. As it should be.