You may know I work a few jobs (sometimes simultaneously) and they keep me pretty busy. I house sit for a few families, I do the Writer’s Workout thing, and I work at Scholastic.
Scholastic is “seasonal” so every “season” is a school term: August-December, January-May. I’m on my fifth season and it has been… weird. I’m not really sure what my job is anymore. When I started working there two years ago, my job was pretty simple: return unsold merchandise. There were heavy weeks where we’d get 4-5 days on the schedule, work our butts off, and still have leftovers at the end of the night. There were light weeks where we were lucky to stay the entire 5.5-hour shift–the only shift we were scheduled for the week. If we finished returns early, we went home. That was our job.
In January, the start of my fourth season, they decided to have me come in during the day and learn some other processes to help the day shift team since they were short. I learned how to pack posters and I loved it, but I liked returns more. There’s something satisfying about putting an item in its proper place.
In July, they asked if I wanted a more permanent position on the day shift. It’s still part time but the hours are more consistent and there’s work to do throughout the shift so what you’re scheduled is what you’ll work–and what you’ll get paid for.
I said no.
In my defense, I had to. I don’t have time to work 30 hours a week on top of the 60-ish I work at Writer’s Workout. Additionally, I knew I’d have to ask off for a long list of dates because when I’m house sitting, I’m there the whole time. I don’t leave; it’s not fair to the dogs I care for because I can’t leave work every hour and drive 45 minutes to the house to let them outside to pee. I said no because it’s not fair to the team for me to repeatedly miss days when they’d need someone there to cover that space.
They gave me the bump anyway. It’s more or less on my terms, which is hella generous and confusing. It’s also weird because I’m now on this split-shift thing where I start in the middle of the day shift and work through the night shift OR I leave in the middle of the night shift, depending on my Writer’s Workout needs (I know, right?). It’s also a TON of hours (32!) that I don’t have time for so yeah, super crazy busy there. It means that regardless of the amount of returns coming back for the night, I still work every day. I’m still scheduled at least six hours a day and I’ll get that six hours because it’s on day shift time and like I said, there’s always something to do.
I’m exhausted. I said no to the original offer for this exact reason. I knew I’d be wiped out, not have enough time to get my Writer’s Workout stuff done (currently 3-4 months behind there, hooray), be physically and mentally drained, lose sleep, find pain, etc.
The second Individual portion of Writer’s Games ended about an hour ago as I type this and it was our THIRD portion total for 2018. If you’ve read the production breakdown I put together for our donations page, you already know I alone spend over a thousand hours on Writer’s Games production and I’m by no means an island. I have a whole team of fabulously amazing people donating their time right alongside me. But the sad reality is, I just don’t have time to do both. This is why I said no the first time. This is why I’m really confused by the turn of events in my work situation this season. I turned down their original offer and they bent over backwards to work around my horrendous schedule so I could have even MORE hours than their original offer. I can’t fit this in my brain.
What even is my job now?! I pack some, I clean some, I return some, and then I keep going. But I don’t know who I report to officially, I don’t know if I have to meet the goal for packing, I don’t know if that matters. I don’t know. I know I try to meet the goals but I don’t know if my job depends on it like the day shifters. I know that I will never choose speed over accuracy and that I didn’t want a job packing because I need something I don’t have to bring home with me. I need something I can forget at the end of my shift and leave in the building so I can go home and focus on Writer’s Workout stuff. I know that if I have to worry about meeting speed goals so I can keep my job, I’ll mess up on accuracy and lose the job anyway. I don’t need a production position.
So on top of this new development at Scholastic (promotion???) and the third Writer’s Games portion for 2018, I’ve been house sitting every weekend this month. Every. Weekend.
I haven’t slept since ….. what year is it?
So like the idiot I am, I signed up for NaNoWriMo again. Do you know what else happens in November? The Writer’s Workout internship opens to applications and I spend the entire month reviewing this year, making changes, and planning for 2019. Additionally, we’re slammed at Scholastic because every school in a two-hundred-mile radius has decided the weeks surrounding Halloween are a great time for a book fair (can you blame them?). This means I’m not only packing a TON of stuff to go out, I have to stick around for the TON of stuff that comes back, too.
Don’t worry, my padded cell is already booked. It’ll be a nice vacation. Maybe I’ll get some sleep and some muscle relaxers to kill this pain in my spine.