Sunday, November 18, 2007

Long hours: over!

I had an actual day off today, for the first time in a while. Like last year, the holiday decor at the Artsgarden installed the same week as a few events and performances; this year, though, my long work week was only 82 hours. I tried to think of what we did differently this year that shaved 22 hours from my time commitment, and I finally came up with something: no artists this year. I just did the work, without any assistance from artists telling me where everything needs to go. It was a long week, with my biggest day around 17 hours, but it really wasn't a bad week. I got stuff done, I ran some fun performances, I learned a few things, and I got to be clever (though it was pretty much all internal or hidden cleverness, of the sort that nobody but me will ever know about). Now I've got most of a week off; just a few phone calls to make tomorrow, and a bit of work on Tuesday, and I'm done until next Monday.

I really like my job, but I'm also aware that I might be a bit underappreciated. Nobody really understands what I do, or really has a grasp of how well I do it. I'd be more okay with this if I were paid hourly. When I was at Warren, I had weeks when I worked way too much and really went above and beyond the call of duty. But at the end of the week, I'd have a huge paycheck waiting. Even though they never paid me an overtime rate, with enough time on the clock I'd still make good money on the long weeks. At the Artsgarden, I get comp time. It's less of a good deal than time-and-a-half; for my extra 42 hours this week, instead of getting paid 63 hours more than usual, I get a week off. And it's a week in which the rest of the staff is only working 2 1/2 or 3 days anyway. And time off is nice, but it always gets filled with silly stuff. I'd rather have the cash so I could pay off some bills, or buy Xmas gifts, or save up for a new computer (the fund is up to $18 already!), or fix my car. I know that no overtime is one of the trade-offs for working for a small non-profit arts agency, but it'd be nice to get paid more for doing more work.

After my week off, I go back to work and have a week of normalcy, with just a few projects to take care of. Then we dive into the holiday season, and it's back to a busy schedule. In the three weeks after, I'm not entirely sure I get any days off; I haven't seen the schedule yet, but I recall that we've got something going on every day for three straight weeks.

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