30 days of night
“Roadrunners are intelligent people, behaving like idiots.”
The job we have can hardly be compared with any other. It’s so much more than that: it’s a lifestyle, it’s an addiction. People who come back or keep in contact after leaving, always tell us how much they missed it after they quit. No other job in the world provides you with the diversity, adrenalin, sleep deprivation, stories and scars like this one. While I considered leaving because I didn’t feel connected with my colleagues in my first year, I now feel a bond, individually and as a whole, with the entire crew. While I am no crew chief by far, I try to step up and solve issues from time to time, or speak on behalf of the crew in a dispute with the forces above.
And disputes have been numerous, nowadays. Ever since August left us all bankrupt because of its lack of working days, frustrations have peaked and that translates itself into a negative effect on the atmosphere.
We will always find reasons to nag: it’s what we do. Some idiot who puts us all in danger, another administrative fuck-up, every job there’s a common enemy that binds us; we are each other’s shrink on the floor. But these days, it is progressing into something bigger. Our employer is losing our trust, and the crew chiefs, our respect.
“It’s like a drug. You know it’s shit, but you’re addicted anyway.”
I am no capitalist, and I don’t own a company. I never studied anything like it, but I am on the receiving end of things gone bad and I see the effects clear like any of my workmates. And this is what I see:
- The usual. Scraps for pay, office mistakes, long days,… it’s a factor that has always been involved.
- A crew that works for a crew thief, rather than with him. I get the feeling sometimes the chief is more involved with the office’s agenda than issues within the crew. Complaints are to be taken seriously, and everyone is supposed to be working. Just because you can’t be occupied with lifting shit doesn’t mean you can go and sit on your ass in the local production office. You are part of the crew. Respect us, and we respect you.
- Lack of communication. No one can help what August brought, but in contrary to the office, the crew was caught by surprise. We get a warning when there is a busy month coming up, why weren’t we notified beforehand when there would be no work at all? Our company demands that we are ready and prepared to work at their calling, but does nothing in return to reward it. Afraid that you will go and find another job, they rather keep you in the dark -and financial debt- than let us know that we better find another income.
- Empty promises. “Don’t you worry, that will be taken care of.” We’ve all heard it, and we get so immensely pissed at it. The office asks big things from us, but does extremely little in return. While they would never work the hours we do, let alone for our wage, they don’t bother making us feel appreciated. An effort from their side, however small, is always a problem. Safety equipment, free tickets we know are abundant, tools and paperwork: always we get the same response. “We’ll look after it” and that’s the end of it. We are ignored, and it is immensely frustrating.
- Disputes on higher level. What’s going on above us right now, is starting to look a lot like a power struggle. None of our crew chiefs get along, and the stream of new ones isn’t helping much. They have overlapping responsibilities and vastly different ways of handling them. As a result, they argue and while there’s little wrong with that, the crew feels the impact. They are so involved with their own ideas and agenda, that they fail to notice that we, the many, are on the receiving end of the shit. How do you expect us to respect you if you resort to squabbling and threatening? Even if you are right, you lose your crew because of the way you handled it.
A lot of idiots have gone AWOL and the crew has been friendlier than ever before. Sadly, there is little opportunity to enjoy that fact when the motivation to work is diminishing.
“I love my job. I love my colleagues. All the rest is just… too much.”
After thirty days of work, things have come to a rest once again.
There’s nothing in the pipeline, so as it is looking right now I’ll be home for an indefinite amount of time. And sitting here in my underwear, I don’t feel like doing much. It’s a bittersweet feeling to come home if you have no actual reason to do so.
My girlfriend broke up -on fucking msn- after an argument -also on fucking msn- so from here on, I’ll largely be spending my days alone, again. Left to pick up the pieces and move on. It seems that “coping” really is the goal in life. How pitiful.
We’re nearing the end of September now, and the summer is coming to an end. Already I miss the warmth if brought, at times it seemed like it would last forever. Winter is coming, and with it… What does winter really bring? Cold, dark days that make getting up a chore, extremely little work,… I’m not very optimistic about it.
Still, I’ve always had a strange affiliation with colder seasons. Perhaps I’ll end up in Norway yet again, and this time find both Pulpit Rock and myself before coming back. What else is there to do? How do we survive this damn cold to begin with? Let it be April again. Let’s climb again, let’s dance. Let’s watch sunsets and make music, dodge steel and scale mountains. The summer seems to have lasted a lifetime, but like any one of those,
It was too damn short.