pro’s and cons
Strange week, it has been.
The first few days I had to help set up the Bon Jovi stage, as a testbuild for their new "Have A Nice Day" tour. Lots of fun, by the way. The third day, the load-in was almost complete, and they only needed just a few people to round up. All this was at the StageCo site, where their warehouses are at. Coincidentally, a colleague and myself had to help out some in one of these, instead of the stage, which we had been doing for 2 weeks. This wasn’t properly mentioned in our text message, so we just assumed we were asked to do some more stage.
We sat around at the catering for a full hour before our colleagues started pouring in, and told us we were expected somewhere else. That was the first we heard about that, so quite confused we reported to the right person, and got to work. Arranging ledgers, painting, easy, boring work. In the afternoon my boss called, telling me "there had been complaints about us". He called because he couldn’t believe that, which was quite the compliment, but I was still amazed to hear we seemed to have done something wrong. I checked up with StageCo and it turned out, they had asked our boss for someone else because "we were an hour late". I explained but of course, it didn’t do much good. Oh, well.
So the next day, we were put back with the Bon Jovi crew, who were now busy with the load-out already. I got to climb some, the whole thing was my playground. I love jobs like this, and I work best there.
Thursday, I couldn’t find the goddamn key to my bike. Someone else now was picking me up in Gent at 6am, so I had to get up around 5, which is way too early for a bus. Eventually I found it, and was 5 minutes late in Gent. 5 minutes. Any respectable human being would at least Fucking Wait, but not this guy. At 6 sharp he said "oh fuckit, he’s not coming" and drove off. This lead to me having to take the train and eventually being a full hour late. It’s an hour drive by car and we arrive 15 minutes early, so it Wouldn’t Even Have Fucking Mattered if he’d just Waited for me.
Little did I know, of the 16 people assigned to do the stage, two people arrived in time: the crew chief and her ride.
Our boss just, fucking exploded.
People who had overslept called him to ask if they still had to make their way there, but he just yelled "No! In fact, why don’t you just go and enjoy the Sun some more!". I was the only one smart enough just not to ask and get there myself. The crew chief was quite happy to see me, I even got a hug. Our boss, on the other hand, was furious at all of us. This was the first time this happened since 1998, go figure. StageCo, our client, wasn’t particularly happy about it either, which only pissed him off even more.
Around noon, all of us received a message, saying we had to report to the office tomorrow 4pm, or prepare to kiss our jobs goodbye.
Before I decided anything, I sat down and asked myself if it really was worth all this. Driving 100km by train, having to pay for it, just to get scolded at the office. Eventually I went, I figured I’d just tell him to go fuck himself if he’d get too rude.
In the end, things remained very civilized. We had some words but none of us got angry. Both parties suggested a few solutions, and I now know I can always call the hotline for any given problem, even if it’s just because I’m 5 minutes late.
No one that I know has to take this kind of crap from his employer. I realize very well other employees could have said "fuck that, I’m not going" without any consequence, simply because they know they can’t be missed. I may be a familiar face around but I’m not "hard-core" like them, mostly because I don’t have my own transportation, so I didn’t want to risk that.
Hey, no one that I know loves his job like I do, either. If only it were paid a little better and would be more reliable, I’d do it for the rest of my life for all I care.