Transcript: Mini Episode: Assistant

[Music: Charlie on the MTA]

MULTIPLE VOICES
This is
This is
This is
Greater Boston

[Red Line Doors]

Gemma Linzer-Coolidge – Lydia Anderson
Thanks for coming in, Melissa. Have a seat.

Melissa Weatherby – Tanja Milojevic
Uhh, oh. For some reason I thought I was going to be — interviewing with Ms. Linzer-Coolidge?

Gemma
You are interviewing with Ms. Linzer-Coolidge.

Melissa
Right. The uhh. The other one.

[Indistinct train intercom]

Gemma
The important one.

Melissa
Yes. I mean, no! I mean —

[Train moving]

Gemma
No. You’re right and it’s important to recognize that. I’m not important. Blissfully unimportant. I don’t have a job. People without jobs are not important. And if you get this job, you will be important. And you’ll be important in the grander scheme of things because you’ll be helping this insane city run on a daily basis. And you’ll be important to Charlotte because she’s stumble-fucked her way into this shithole of a quagmire. And you’ll be important to me because you’ll be important to Charlotte. So with all that said, why do you want to do this?

Melissa
Can I be completely honest with you?

Gemma
If it wasn’t already perfectly clear, I find honesty fairly refreshing.

Melissa
I voted “no” on the referendum. I thought it was a stupid idea.

Gemma
It is a stupid idea.

Melissa
But I — I’ve done all kinds of administration work with plenty of people I believe in. They do a lot of great work. But I’ve never benn… I’ve never seen anyone do what Ms. Linzer-Cool—

Gemma
Charlotte.

Melissa
Charlotte. What Charlotte has done.

Gemma
Me either. (Pause). Me either.

Melissa
And I didn’t believe in it at all. I think there are — there are some things that could be done better. But that’s where I think I’d be effective the most. I’m not trying to say I know what’s best for everybody, but —

Gemma
Nobody knows that. I don’t know that. But the amazing thing is everyone acts like they know it. Everyone. All the time. People know how everything should run, even though they have zero experience doing anything other than running their fat fucking Big Mac mouths. Experience doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is opinion. Who has the loudest voice. Well, I’ll tell you who has the loudest voice. I do. And I’m not afraid to use it.

Melissa
So you need my help being your voice.

Gemma
Partly. I believe in keeping family and work as separate as possible. It’s the only way I survived my last job for as long as I did. But Charlotte doesn’t have that luxury. I mean, they’re — they’re criticizing her for not being a good enough mom. She’s single handedly turned this shit-train into a well run machine, but because she’s not a man and because she has a kid, everybody feels free to kick shit in her eye.

Melissa
You hate that she’s doing this, don’t you?

Gemma
You know what I really hate? They’re gonna keep coming after her. Despite her successes — I mean, I’m stunned, I thought she would flunk out. I thought she would give it her best and get blown off the mountain of responsibility that is running this city. But she didn’t. She climbed the fucking mountain and then dropped-kicked the peak clear off the motherfucking range. She’s more amazing than I even realized and it still doesn’t matter because they are coming for her. They’re going to put her back on that mountain and they’re going to drag her down the most jagged side they can find. You know what I’m talking about.

Melissa
Yes.

Gemma
Here’s the thing. I had to beg Charlotte for the chance to meet with you She didn’t get it. I said if you were working that close to her I wanted to get a sense of what you were. I even played it off as some stupid jealous-wife thing, which, please, not worried about in the slightest. No offense.

Melissa
It’s fine.

Gemma
I can just tell you’re not — you’re — my gaydar ain’t pinging, that’s all.

Melissa
I am not terribly surprised.

Gemma
I needed to talk to you because the job description is all about assisting her and writing memos and sending correspondence and press releases and handling the media and a thousand other things. It’s beyond demanding. It’s criminally insane and we’re not paying you enough. But none of that is your real job. Your real job isn’t in the job description. Charlotte would never tell you what your real job is. But I will.

(Pause)

You need to protect her. As much as you can.

Melissa
Gemma? Can I — can I call you — ?

Gemma
Yes.

Melissa
I know I just met you, but let me just say, I get it. Completely. I know where you’re coming from. I will do everything I can. I will devote all of my energy to protecting Charlotte. Everything I do, whether it’s typing a memo or serving her coffee, it will be in service of keeping her and you and your child safe from — whatever. I’m good at that. I’m the girl my friends call when they need something. Anything. I don’t really have any …intimate relationships and I’m not terribly close to my family. My family are my friends and I would drain my body of all of its useful resources to keep them healthy, happy and safe.

And here’s where I say something you may not like. Because the truth is? It’s not up to me. It’s not up to you. And you’re going to be a better protector than I ever could. The fact that we’re having this conversation proves that.

I just want to warn you. For your sake. Charlotte? She’s a big girl. I will try to protector her. You will try to protect her. She’ll obviously be looking out for herself.

But sometimes it’s not enough. And that sucks. But that’s that.

(Pause).

Gemma
Okay. Thanks for not bullshiting me.

Melissa
You don’t seem like the bullshiting type.

Gemma
Usually not. In this case, I’d really like someone to tell me it’s all going to be okay.

Melissa
No bullshit? It’s all going to be okay.

Gemma
But you just said —

Melissa
I know what I said. And I know what I believe.

(Pause)

Gemma
Okay. You are so hired.

[Red Line doors close]

[Music: Charlie on the MTA]

CREDITS
Alexander Danner
Greater Boston is written and produced by Alexander Danner and Jeff Van Dreason.
This episode featured Lydia Anderson as Gemma Linzer-Coolidge and Tanja Milojevic as Melissa Weatherby.
Charlie on the MTA demo track by Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede.
And now your listening recommendations!
Bright Sessions is back for a new season! We’ve already mentioned our love for Lauren’s show, and we’re thrilled to have new episodes to listen to.
Wooden Overcoats is back for a second season of getting the body in the coffin in the ground on time! This is a wonderful sitcom about rival funeral directors on a tiny English island.
The Family Tree podcast is a magic realist mystery about a discovered body that can’t possibly be the person it clearly is. Framed as a series of interviews, this show delves into family secrets while at the same time probing journalistic ethics. A smart, messy, fascinating show.
And finally, if you’re not already listening to The Infinite Now, then you missed my special guest appearance in last month’s Halloween special! It was such a fun project to be a part of, I hope you’ll go look up The Infinite Now and give it a listen!
COOKIE
Lydia Anderson
Do you know what I really hate?
Jeff Van Dreason
uh..bup bup bup bup bup bup bup. MEN!
[Laughter]
Tanja
Men suck!
Lydia
The patriarchy!
Jeff
Fuck them!
Lydia
You know what I’m talking about!
[laughter]
Tanja
Ha, that was perfect! Oh my god! … YES. Or no, that didn’t fit. Sorry.
Jeff
Sorry!
Tanja
Whoo.
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