My phone is annoying me lately. It keeps ringing.*
The frustrating thing is that it’s not necessarily ringing off the hook from work offers. It’s ringing unnecessarily.
Let me explain.
I’ve been lucky enough to be working a lot lately. Which is a good thing, especially if you‘re a dayplayer like me. The not so good thing is that a lot of the jobs I’ve been getting are night shoots or splits, so instead of the usual 6am to 10am call times that people usually get, I’ll get one in the late afternoon or just before sunset, meaning that I’ll be working well into the night and often until dawn.
While the thought of such a schedule is enough to make most people groan, I actually don’t mind them so much provided that I’m given enough of a warning to get my sleep on the day before (or at least attempt to).
The problem arises at the end of the work “day” when I’m at home and crawl into bed. The sun will usually be rising in the pale blue morning sky as I close my window shades and plop onto the mattress like a kid belly flops into a pool on the first day of Summer. Within minutes, if not seconds, I’ll drift into a deep slumber. Working nights, unless you’ve been doing it for an extended period of time, takes a toll on you no matter how much you try to prepare for it.
Occasionally, since the rest of the world revolves around a schedule that’s the opposite of yours, you’ll be rudely awakened well before your much needed seven hours of sleep by such things as leaf blowers, lawn mowers, garbage trucks, and noisy neighbors. These things are obviously beyond your control and you can do nothing but just accept being prematurely woken up by them as a part of life. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
Which makes it even more frustrating when you’re trying to sleep in on a day when the neighbors are gone, the gardeners aren’t around and it’s not even trash day, but you’re woken up anyway… By your friends and colleagues.
It seems to be inevitable. About two hours or so after my head hits my fluffy pillow, my phone will ring, usually from a text or something. And the message is almost always something frivolous, like sharing the contents of their breakfast burrito or a funny encounter with an eccentric homeless guy while they were rigging somewhere downtown.
It’s frustrating and pisses me off with no one to blame because as I’ve said before, the rest of the world isn’t on my schedule. How are they supposed to know that while they’re out enjoying the warm California sunshine, I’m still happily wrapped up in my comforter in a darkened room?
But what really irks me are those messages that come at a time that would piss me off even if I wasn’t working nights. For example, I was woken up at 7am by one the this morning from a friend “sharing“ an anecdote about his car. Yes, I realize that in the world of call times, 6am isn’t unheard of so depending on what I was working on, it might not be too far of a stretch to think I was already up at that hour too. But in my opinion, it’s one thing if they send me a silly text message if they know I’m awake at that hour, but it’s a whole other issue if they just assume I’d be up. Because chances are, unless I have are reason to be up that early, I’m not.
And further more, I was so incensed about how thoughtless the dumbass was being that I had trouble getting back to sleep, making me tired and cranky for the rest of the day. This has happened more than just a few times.
Sure, a simple solution to this seemingly mild yet definitely irritating problem would be to just simply shut off my phone. But unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. The last time I did that, I woke up to half a dozen messages on my phone from my boss and production. The first couple messages were informing me of some changes that were made, and the rest were frantic calls wondering where I was and why wasn’t I calling them back. Apparently, it’s unheard of in this business to shut your phone off for any extended period of time.**
And if this post sounds like a frivolous rant, it’s probably because I’m sleep deprived and cranky.
* That is, if my phone actually made a ringing sound. Despite having a long list of ring tones to choose from, “ring ring” isn't one of them.
** Even if you’re on set.