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Being The New Guy

Chris Keslar explains what it's like to be the new guy.

By Chris Keslar

Hi Everyone! Welcome to the second season of Flipping Out! As Jenni likes to say, the drama isn't for sale this season. Baby, it's FOR FREE! We're givin' it away, so fasten your seatbelts, kids -- it's gonna be quite a ride!

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First, I'll tell you how I came to be the newest Chris on the block. If you watched the first season, you'll remember that Jeff hired a pet masseuse to come over and give Oliver and Casey a massage. The masseuse was provided by The Zen Pooch, one of the best pet care companies in LA. The Zen Pooch is owned and operated by a guy named Scott Sobol who takes of Jenni's little doggies. I know Scott through one of my best friends. When he found out I was contemplating making a career switch to house flipping and interior design, he set up the interview. Luckily for me, the competition (apparently!) wasn't too stiff and I got the job.

I had watched the first season of the show and LOVED it, so I was pretty psyched to start working for Jeff. Most people who know me would agree that I'm a perfectionist and my attention to detail is one of my strong suits. So, I really respected that in Jeff and his work. That's totally one of the main reasons I wanted to learn the business from him. Yes, I was a little (OK, a lot) worried about the "flip out" factor, but he really couldn't have been any nicer or more understanding when I started working. There's a real, sincere warmth to Jeff that comes out more than the viewing audience would think -- you really see it in the breakfast scene with Zoila. The Jeff that is "off the clock" is definitely different from "on the clock" Jeff. The stress of his job really is kuh-kuh-krazy and you start to understand the nexus of his flip-outs the longer you're around. Fortunately, I have never really been the recipient of a "Season One flip-out!" Seeing him deal with Courtney in this episode (the tone in her voice towards Jeff was excruciating to listen to -- his ability to contain was very impressive, in my opinion) I am even more amazed at how he was generally able to leave those types of situations out in the field when he would come home for lunch. (By the way, Jeff buys lunch for everyone everyday and it's definitely one of the nicest parts of the job. Not because we get free lunch, but because it's a time for everyone to come together as a team and have a little bit of down time together. It's very family style.) I never knew the extent of what was going on with her.

Even though I had a good idea of Jeff's eccentricities from the first season one can never really prepare himself for the experience that is working for Jeff Lewis! Probably the strangest thing for me to adjust to in the beginning was trying to get to know everyone and how things worked with the cameras hovering about. You who are reading this right now: Imagine going to the first day of your current job and having it filmed. I know. TOTES WEIRD and SURREAL! It was definitely an adjustment I was trying to not f**k up to 1) Avoid any form of flip out from Jeff and 2) To have said f**k-up not captured on national television. I think I stressed out waaaaay too much about this at the beginning. Eventually, though, I got used to it.

In the beginning, I wasn't horribly fazed by all of the insane details of the job because I was expecting them. However, there were some things that I was like, "For real???" In the show, it makes it look like I was referring to the contents of the refrigerator, but what I was really referring to was number 67 on "THE LIST." It was "Shine shoes." I didn't think it was a big deal -- I just thought it was funny/crazy that the assistants had to do that. Even though I've never had to shine his shoes, I have dusted them! One of the other crazy things was picking up the damn leaves in the driveway! The wind was forever knocking them off the trees and it felt impossible to keep up with having it look clean all the time. That's why I joke to Chris about getting a leaf blower. It just would have been so much faster! And even though Jeff says in the episode he would like me to pick up the pace a little, I tell you, I was always going as fast as I could! All in all, my first few days were exciting and filled with possibility. Everyone was very helpful and accommodating in helping me get adjusted. Chris, especially, was helpful in teaching me the tricks of the trade. He was a very good supervisor and funny as hell. It's nice to have someone to share the mundane aspects of the job with. It seemed like he really wanted to do a good job with his new found seniority. It was cute to see him all managerial. Zoila was also a rock in those early days. Most of my time was spent with her. She has the best sense of humor -- very dry and witty. Getting to know her and all about her life was amazing. I have so much respect for what she has accomplished in her life. Jenni (or Saint Jenni -- seriously, she should be canonized. You saw her combine those mints. Enough said) was also a huge help in the beginning helping me to decipher the ins and outs of the job. I always loved coming into work to see what cutie-patootie outfit she would have on. Grrrl can rock a look! And, last but not least, Ryan is just as sweet, nice, and kind as he appears on the show. That grrrl can definitely rock a look, too! He's always dressed to the nines and I love that about him.

Thanks for reading and I'll chat ya next week!

Xoxo, Gossip Girl

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