Friday, December 11, 2009
For those of you who don't know, the working hours in this industry sucks. And I don't mean the "damn, I just did 18 hours in the rain yesterday!" kind of sucky. I mean the "damn, I can't make it to the grocery store/bank/dry cleaners/doctor's/auto shop/post office" kind of sucky.
Let's say your call time's 7am. With travel and breakfast time calculated in, you leave the house around 6am. You then work a full 12 hour day so you don't get off work until 7pm. Or 7:30 if you're on one of those productions where you don't get a paid lunch. Add on the travel time (hellloooo L.A. traffic!) and you don't get home until 8:30pm. You're gone for a good 14.5 hours each day. Add in 7 hours for sleep, and your 24 hours turns into just 2.5 hours of "free time" which you'll probably spend taking a shower, eating dinner and looking up directions to tomorrow's location. Times that by five days a week. And that's on a regular 12 hour day. I don't even want to do the math on a 14, 16, or 18 hour day.
Meanwhile, you have laundry you can't do, checks you can't cash, and packages you can't send (yes, I'm aware of ATMs and APCs, but sometimes, you need a real human behind the counter) because all of their hours of operation are after your call time and before your wrap time. That pushes all your errands to Saturday (sometimes Sunday if you have errands that don't include a bank, post office, or taking your car into the dealer's). Calculate the time you spend waiting in line at each place (don't even get me started on how much longer everything takes around the holidays) and there goes your weekend. What sucks is when you don't make it everywhere in time and fall mercy to their reduced "Saturday hours" and you now have to wait until next weekend to finish what needed to be done this weekend.
And if you have kids, a high maintenance dog, or a needy significant other? Forget it.