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Edmonton
October 18, 2019

Messy Work

A webseries reflects the clean-ups that result from working as a hospital janitor.

After a long shift at her day job, Angela Palmer couldn’t wait to get to the set of her web series, Dookie Squad. It meant she could make a mess – a little fake coffee here, a little artificial vomit there, pretend urine everywhere. She’d make those messes and then clean them as Robin, the main character of Dookie Squad, which Palmer wrote and produced. Following the exploits of those who work in the janitorial ward of a hospital, the series is based off Palmer’s former day job where she cleaned similar messes with one unfortunate distinction: There was nothing fake about them.

Prior to starting her own webseries, Palmer, now 25 years old, was complacent in her job; it was a daily grind to get through days where she often felt invisible. “I got tired of the fact that people look right through you; they see your uniform before they see you. Already people know how they’re going to treat you,” says Palmer.

Palmer was an aspiring actress and by this time had appeared in the webseries, Truckstop Bloodsuckers. She began to write down her experiences, which formed the framework for six episodes making up season one, which can be found on the Dookie Squad website.

The episodes are full of cringeworthy and embarrassing moments that are hilarious in a self-deprecating way. During the process of writing and filming the webseries, Palmer started to look at her day job in another light. “There’s something therapeutic about reenacting everything that used to piss me off and making a big joke out of it,” she says.

But the series wasn’t just an exercise in stress-relief for Palmer – many others could relate as well. In March, the series won awards for outstanding writing in a comedy and outstanding theme song for a comedy (by Locution Revolution) at the L.A. Webfest with Palmer in attendance.

Palmer says she was genuinely surprised by the awards, and really excited by them. While the series doesn’t take itself too seriously, it also has a message that Palmer hopes will shine through. “We all have a story to tell. And we all have a life that shouldn’t be diminished because you don’t agree with it. Even if it’s a shitty story – literally,” she says, laughing

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