Blog Post No. 456
Since I’ve been called back to the day job, my schedule has fluctuated greatly. I may call my supervisor on one shift with a question and be offered another shift for latter in the week. Since, for the most part, the rest of my schedule consists of writing the first draft of Snow From a Distant Sky (the next novella) I’ve taken every shift that’s come my way. Technically, I have to if I want my income to continue to be supplemented, but I can also get that daily writing in almost any time (though I’ve almost completely lost my late night writing chops since I’ve been getting up so early for most of these shifts).
It’s a big shake up from what I was used to pre-pandemic. Not only the constantly changing schedule, but also the fact that the only shifts I’ve gotten at my main facility have been covering for people who were away. I have a history of working multiple facilities, but for the most part, those shifts were supplementary to my regular and (to the best of the scheduler’s ability) fairly consistent schedule. As of now, most of my shifts have been at those other, less familiar, facilities and I’ve even gotten keys and codes to an entire new center.
My regular workplace is only partially open, and since we lost some long time contracts and big events are only now starting to be scheduled, there just isn’t any need for staff there (and I’m in the middle of the seniority list). The other big reason is that my new supervisor is in charge of all her old facilities, the ones my old manager handled, and a few other locations on top of it. And not all of her staff is willing or able to come back. What all this means to me is an inconsistent schedule and a hit to my personal productivity at the day job.
I’m not the only person who does their own work on the job. A lot of what I do is hectic setup at the start of an event, sitting around taking calls and greeting people in the middle, and a mad scramble to get people out of the building on time, then clean up the big, huge (every time way worse than you’d expect) mess. I spend a lot of my shift sitting and waiting for things to happen. In that time, I’m pretty free to do as I please (within corporate guidelines) as long as the work gets done and I’m on top of anything that may come up.
That means, depending on my shift, I have the time and freedom to read, write, and edit. To a point. Since I have to have an ear open to my surroundings, I find it difficult to get too deep into writing fiction. Reading is also tough for the same reason and also because I have to juggle a physical book on top of it. (And keep it out of sight since my supervisors are okay with it, but the clients rarely are). That leaves editing and non-fiction writing for the most part. I do hope that I get better at the fiction writing, but being able to write the majority of these posts while on the day job is pretty good.
For now, thought. I’m in a position where I’m in unfamiliar places doing unfamiliar things. the locations aren’t always suited to reading and writing, and/or there are too many things going on for me to get anything done. I have no idea what the day job will hold for me tomorrow, or long term. I may need to find a second job, or leave all together
(since I won’t be in a position to be a full time author any time soon). If I do have to leave, I’ll miss parts of it. As much as you can miss work. But that’s all for future Ben to deal with. For now, I just have to roll with it and get in some writing when I get the chance. Oh, and at home when I’m not at the day job, too. I guess.