No longer as truthful as should be deserved, some names, places and events deliberately vague to protect identities that aren't mine

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Fuck this, I'm going to Hogwarts.

So a while ago work actually discovered my blog, so this will inevitably get back to them, but oh well.  To be honest, depending on how much of my blog they read upon discovering it, they already know far too much about me anyway, at least enough to know the Hot Tour Guide story...

Ugh  Is what I'd like to say, just ugh.  Work, frustrating me no end at the moment.  We are launching a new show in January, in fact we held the auditions for it yesterday  (8 hours of watching people audition on only 2 hours sleep also earns an ugh, but that's a different matter). We also have very busy month in December, with almost double the amount of shows, as we are often doing full shows during the lunchtime period, as well as in the evenings.  For the January show, there was a big back and forth about whether we should close beforehand or not, and eventually it was decided that we would indeed have a 2 week dark period, in which to rehearse for the new show, the kitchen to get their times sorted, and for me to completely overhaul, rewire, and reinstall in several cases, the entire technical system, which is kind of a mess.

We already had some full nights booked for this dark period, so it was decided to honour them, fair enough. And although I don't know what cut off mark they used to declare 'full', this now means that 7 days of the 2 week dark period we are open and running a show.  What show I don't know as the contracts for the old show will have finished, and the new show won't be ready but *some* form of show.  This means that we have no more than 2 days in a row dark at any time during this 'dark' period.  During which, we need to have a complete PAT test; I need to take down all the lights, re-lay all the dmx, cat5 and power cabling, in the main room; reinstall all the lights in new positions and potentially install some new additional lights, which would further involve running in and rearranging the power and data cabling daisy chains; regardless of new lights or none, almost certainly repatching the entire system; potentially installing new LED drivers as the current set-up means they are not, and cannot be divided into architectural zones, so you can either macro every LED in the building, or none at all; on top of this I need to basically rip out the entire tech room, dispose of several obsolete bits of equipment, rearrange and redesign the layout of the currently useful equipment, replug the entire sound system from scratch; update the pc lighting software and try linking the control pc and dmx interface into the wireless hub so that i can remotely control it; and then of course, FINALLY, I need to TEST all of this work to make sure the damned thing still actually operates, and perform the inevitable troubleshooting that will be required.

Now whilst a lot of this work can be worked around our need to function and commitments and such, needless to say, a lot of it equally needs us to be closed, and thus not require it functioning, for more than 2 days.  As it is we're closed Mondays and Tuesdays in a normal week, so actually, we've gained very little, at least from a technical perspective.  Being open only 3 or 4 days a week and for relatively short periods puts them in a better position to conduct rehearsals, but they will want lights, and sound, and the absence of technical equipment being all over the entire venue floor in order to do that, so I am no better off than if they'd just bothered to stay open.


Beyond this, I'm having issues with time off in work.  Now I understand I was brought in especially for managing and producing this new show, so its important that I am involved with it as much as possible, and time off is a luxury I am not likely to be able to afford, especially in the few weeks either side of our gala reopening night.  I do get this.  But I asked like a month ago for some time off, some in likely earlyish february, as Terence is coming over, and aside from the fact I would obviously spend 24 hours a day with him given the chance, he was really really good to me over the summer, and spent loads of time with me and took me out loads and cooked and everything, and I'd really like to return the favour, and that's going to be hard to do if I'm gonna be in work 1600 - 0200 every day.  He doesn't know for certain if/when he's coming yet, which obviously complicates matters, and I realise getting a full week off around then just isn't going to happen, but 2 or 3 nights would be nice.

There's then one or two nights I might need off mid February.  I might be able to swing these, but until the reason I need these nights off is set and the date in place, I see no real reason to try and swing these.

And then moving on into March, it'd be hugely advantageous for me to get a week off for a project I'd like to be involved in, but even though we should be 8 weeks into the new show by then, so everyone should have it down fine, I have heard nothing about whether I can have this off despite asking a month ago and I really need to know sooner rather than later, and I still highly suspect the answer will be no.


Work isn't completely oblivous to the fact that they will be monopolising my time, and I will likely be working 90 hour weeks again in January and February (on the basis the show takes up 1800 - 0000 minimum, which is already 30 out of 40 contracted hours a week, and that's before I actually do any set up, rehearsals, maintenance, forward planning for special events and other such things during the day), I have been encouraged to take as much time off in December as possible, and bar the need to do some lunchtime shows, I could probably take virtually the entire month off more or less, which is nice and all, but not that useful.  Taking time off in advance so they can make me work 90 hour weeks doesn't really make up for 90 hour weeks, and I don't want a month off in December, I want a week off in Feb and a week off in March, because that's when I have things to do during those weeks, rather than just taking time off because it's convenient for my workplace if I do and there's nothing for me to be at work doing.

The time off is all rather pointless anyway unless I can get someone to cover me.  Ideally, I would love to hire someone part-time for 20 hours a week, this person could cover the shows I couldn't do, take over some of the more basic maintenance and upkeep that is all too time consuming, and would be especially useful for special events where as an example, the other day I was in work for 15 hours on a Sunday in order to do a wedding reception.  Being able to take 8 hours of an extra person would help immensely.  In a perfect world of course, the place could actually do with 2 full time technical staff, but there's no way in hell I'd get that.  Then again, I don't think there's any way in hell I'll get the budget for £500pcm worth of staffing costs.  Getting £10 for a tin of paint here is enough of a struggle.  Hell they still haven't even let me set up trade accounts with the suppliers so I keep having to use my own money and charge it to expenses, when we don't actually have any form of expenses at this company, they just grumble at me and then EVENTUALLY pay me out of petty cash, but that relies on me having the funds to spare, and the funds being within my means rather than some of the bigger purchases I would like to make.


I don't get paid enough for this shit.

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