Blog Post No. 468
I have a love-hate relationship with my day job. Pre-pandemic days, I mostly worked at a single rental facility. It was mostly a great job. I liked my co-workers (or at least got along with them well enough). I had large chunks of time when I could get some writing or editing in (when I was good and forced myself to) and I made just enough money to afford working part time and have free time to write.
There were obvious downsides. Since the facility was different from the others, we did a lot of weddings and provincial tribunals. Occasionally there were dance classes, plays, tour groups, or concerts (all a mixed bag of good or bad dependent on who was involved) but those weddings and tribunals were not a good time. Angry, stresses, self centered people are never easy to deal with. Still, those events meant hours for me and working four, nine plus hour days a week meant more totally free days.
Almost everyone I worked with (including those who only came in when we were short staffed) had something else going on. Writing, music, acting, we were all something else. That meant the atmosphere was positive. Everyone understood the deal. We did a good enough job to keep the costumers happy and to make each others lives easy and covered for each other when we had something better to do (like readings or conventions).
For several years now, I’ve purposefully call it the day job to keep my perspectives strait. It’s easy to get stressed out with the little things at work. By calling it the day job, I remind myself that it isn’t worth my attention after hours. I leave the crap there and focus on the important stuff in my free time. We had a great saying when the tension was high at that facility. Be a pirate. Come to work, make as much money as you can, and get out. It’s a mantra I still repeat at the end of a stressful day.
Not that every day was stressful. Some were amazing. Some were enough to give me headaches and zap any motivation I may have had at the end of my shift. It all comes down to people. Weddings could be a nightmare of drunk, selfish people making messes at two-in-the-morning. They could be lovely with smiling couples who come down to make sure you got some food and try to slip you a twenty at the end of the night.
It’s kind of the same now, but since there aren’t enough hours to go around, I’m now working at multiple facilities including doing bookings at one. The same sentiment true that some days are better than others (and it is usually dependent on what the people are like) but now I have more responsibility (without any extra pay). I’m getting fewer hours over more shifts and I’m stuck dealing with stuff on my off time.
I could say that I was in some kind of golden era pre-pandemic. It was a special time that I didn’t appreciate until it was gone. Really, my day job is still pretty easy (for the most part) and I shouldn’t complain. The problem is that I’m not getting enough hours. Hopefully it will pick up again, but all these short shifts are a drag and aren’t adding up. Those tribunals (which were so lucrative) seem to be permanently gone. I just don’t know what the next few months will hold.
I hope things will smooth themselves out as the province opens back up (for better or worse). For now, though, I’m working on being a little more productive than I have been so far. Because, how great would it be if could start making extra cash as an author? Until then, I’m working at the day job as much as I can and sending the new novella, Snow From a Distant Sky, out to beta readers.