Sunday, October 15, 2006

18, 19, 20...

Do you have trouble taking your own advice?

A couple of weeks ago I was advising a student who was talking about how much crew he was working and I explained that since he was the one making the calls there was nobody to blame but himself for all of the hours. Just this morning I was thinking about a conversation I had recently had with a fellow professor about all the time they were putting in, how much there was to cover, and how they were carrying the entire load. While I was walking I was composing a message for them saying that they should cut down their overload, scale back what they were doing and focus their effort on the highest priority items.

The irony here is that when I was having that thought was while walking from the parking garage to my office, on the way in for a meeting, on a Saturday. The Saturday that by my count is the 20th consecutive day I have gone to the office.

I don't think I worked 20 straight days in summer stock. I remember working at Yale Rep during installs and going like 13 consecutive days and hoping for darn sure there wouldn't be any notes so that the install could end and we could take a day. I'm fairly sure I did work 20 straight days for Cirque, but its all such a blur that I can't be sure.

It's not like its been 20, 16 hour days. Mostly I'm not there too early, although about 8pm is the over/under for leaving and at least one day in this stretch had me around until after midnight. I need to watch next year's schedule as it comes together and check for a rolling sequence of Sunday install and tech calls. What with shows coming together, the weekends tend to be the only real time available for grading and class prep - and when production invades the weekend, well, it gets real ugly.

I suppose it's only fair. The students often work day after day after day. I guess you are calibrated a little differently when you are a student though, and as much as I don't want to think about it, some of them have almost 20 years on me.

Still, upon further review, and an insightful remark from my wife, maybe I will take that advice I was about to give the co-worker. Thin out my plate some, change up the routine and focus on the priorities. There are other people I work with to share the burden, and in the end there will be nobody to blame but myself.

21? Maybe not this time. Could be though, I do have trouble taking my own advice.

1 comment:

Blake said...

I think I have you beat. After 9-11, I worked 4 1/2 months without a single day off. I barely had a year on the job at that point and it was something of a trial by fire.

By the way, your former employer, Cirque du Soleil, has become a thorn in my side. About this time last year, Washington DC demolished their old convention center in favor of a brand new one several blocks away. The two-block space where the old one used to be was paved over and became a very cheap and convenient parking lot. My building is directly across the street and it was very handy. Well, about a week and a half ago, a bunch of Cirque du Soleil trucks showed up and they closed off the entire lot and started digging up some parts of it and building huge asphalt crop-circle-like designs in the center of it. Apparently we're going to have a Cirque du Soleil production going on for two months right across the street and in the meantime, I have nowhere to park. I guess it's back to riding the subway again...