…because you might just get it.
I wished for Mr E Man to get a job, after a couple of months in which the local movie industry was as quiet as Stephen Harper’s conscience and two non-movie job offers both fell through amid a confusing haze of vague job descriptions, constantly pushed-back start-dates, and – ultimately – unreturned phone calls.
I wished for some time to myself after a combination of Mr E Man’s unemployment, a new job, and my parents’ visit completely disrupted my pre-work, work, and post-work routines, respectively, for a couple of months and I never had the house to myself for more than a few minutes at a time.
Well, the local transit authority must have taken over the movie industry, because three job offers came along at once. Two were for TV shows (which pay less than movies) that weren’t starting for another couple of weeks, would only last two or three weeks each, and were likely to feature five short days of work per week. The third was for a movie at the full feature rate of pay, oodles of long day and weekend overtime, for at least four weeks…
(There’s also free accommodation in a rather nice hotel with two swimming pools, and a very generous per diem payment that more than covers all the food and drink crew members could possibly hope to have time to consume during the approximately 3.5 waking hours per week in which they will not be working. But still – Montreal. Booooo).
He found out about the job last Thursday, and was on a plane first thing Monday morning. On Tuesday he started to hear rumours about the job lasting more like six weeks than four – or possibly even longer.
This is not quite what I had in mind.
Ah well, it could be worse. Last time he worked away from home for four weeks it was worse in many ways: no kittehs to keep me company, no Skype, a smaller group of friends (because I hadn’t been here as long), no online blog / Twitter community to chat with, and we were living in a baking hot apartment that was simply miserable to be in during the summer*. There was one long weekend where literally every single local friend was out of town on non-crashable family or romantic trips, I had horrible menstrual cramps, and just sat hunched up on the sofa in front of the fan and chugging ibuprofen for three days, feeling like the world’s biggest loser. This time will definitely not be anywhere near as bad as that.
On the other hand, Mr E Man is more than 3,600 km and four hours flight time further away than he was last time, when I visited him in Victoria for a weekend and he came back to Vancouver for one night (his friend’s wedding). I was just in Montreal myself, and it’s a hell of a long way to go for a short visit – Canada is HUGE and Montreal is almost the full width of the country away from Vancouver. When the job was going to be four weeks long, I wasn’t planning to visit at all; however, a six week stint would mean being apart from Mr E Man on our anniversary and his birthday for the second year in a row**. I did have some good news on this front today: I’d originally thought that, as a new employee, I couldn’t take any vacation days for my first few months, but it turns out that this doesn’t apply to people like me who’ve transferred in from other departments within the same institution. Vacation time is accrued in some weird kind of back-dated way such that you don’t accrue any time off for your first few months, but there’s no restriction on when you can take your days off if you actually have some available, which I do. (This is why you ask HR instead of just relying on everyone’s assumptions). So I might head out there for an extra-long weekend if the job gets extended past four weeks…
…which we would probably find out about on the final day of the fourth week.
I’ve been with Mr E Man for almost ten years, and I still can’t get used to how the movie industry works. Boom and bust, weeks and weeks of no jobs followed by multiple offers of 13-hours-a-day-six-days-a-week frenzies, vague predictions of shows starting “some time in the next few weeks” that then get pushed back multiple times followed by panicked phone calls asking if you can start tomorrow… it’s even more chaotic than academia during grant season.
Oh well. It’s not so bad. As always during the first week of solitude, I’m quite enjoying the me-time – not to mention being back in my usual pre-work routine of listening to podcasts instead of watching the stupid local TV news channel Mr E Man prefers, talking to the cats without ridicule, and dancing to cheesy music while I get ready for work. I’ve been out after work once this week already, and have a few other fun times with friends planned for this weekend and beyond. As soon as I get used to sleeping sans snoring again (right now, in the absence of the usual in-room noise, it feels like I can hear every single sound anyone makes within a four block radius, so it takes me ages to get to sleep), and assuming I can arrange fun times for every Saturday night (at a minimum), I should be all set.
This movie‘d better be good, though!
*It had massive ceiling skylights that let in ALL THE SUNSHINE ALL THE TIME but no air, was too close to the ground in too dodgy an area to leave the other windows open while we weren’t home, and was directly above the ovens of the pizza restaurant on the ground floor. Great in winter – we barely spent any money on heating – but MISERABLE for a few weeks every summer (no-one has air conditioning in Vancouver because you really do only need it for a few days a year. Assuming, that is, that you live in a normal dwelling as opposed to a skylit pizza oven). We ran the fan on maximum speed pointing directly at the bed all night, kept a spray bottle of water by the bed to spray ourselves with every hour or so, and still couldn’t sleep. We ate breakfast and dinner in a nearby park every day, and spent as little time in the flat as humanly possible.
**Last year he was on his way to and then at Burning Man. I originally told Mr E Man that if he missed our anniversary again I would start adopting an additional cat every day until he returns. But 16 cats is a few too many, even for me.