Tuesday, February 28, 2017
It's a pretty common practice* that if you're late to work, you buy coffee (either Starbucks or equivalent) for your department. Since that usually includes a drink of choice for the DP as well as the driver who takes you on the coffee run AND their Captain that gave the okay for a van to go M.I.A. for a half hour, the tab for the 9+ drinks adds up fast and is usually sufficient punishment enough for being a few minutes late. The same price is usually paid whenever someone comes back late from lunch from running an errand, or leaving early because of a doctors appointment, etc. Basically, any time your colleagues are covering your ass, you owe them a beverage.
Which is baffling when a colleague of mine was complaining about how much money he had spent on coffee this month.
"You're making me do a coffee run again, A.J.? This is my third time in two weeks!"
"Um... Then don't show up late, ask to come back to lunch late or leave for lunch early because you scheduled a doctor AND a dentist appointment during work hours?"
* On decent paying shows, anyway.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
It was just a wink. That was all it took to calm me down.
He was wrapping a pile of stingers while overhearing the myriad of instructions I was given by my boss on top of the already growing laundry list of things I had to do before the day ended. We only had so much time to get everything rigged and that time was rapidly coming to an end. We would barely finish in time as it was and these new notes were about to push me over the edge.
To say I was stressed would be an understatement. Add "panicked" and "on the verge of a meltdown" and you'd be closer to what I was feeling. I even contemplated throwing in the towel and just going home to a nice hot bath and an episode of Project Runway.
I glanced over to him after my boss walked away and he looked up from the stinger he was tying and gave me a wink.
It was such a simple, almost imperceptible gesture, but that blink of a single eye let me know that I could do it. That I've got this. That it'd all work out in the end. That he's on my side. That quarter of a second move made me stop, breathe, and collect myself before addressing my crew about the latest change in plans.
And in the end, we did the near impossible and got everything done in time with literally not a minute left to spare. But it was done. Mission accomplished. And I couldn't have done it without him
He had calmed me down when I needed it the most, did his job with efficiency, sensed the seriousness of the situation and reacted in kind, yet he'd make a small joke to get me to smile when appropriate. And usually when I needed it the most. He kept the rest of the guys on track when I wasn't around and didn't complain one damn bit though he had every right to.
And when this job ended and another one landed in my lap shortly after, I knew immediately who I wanted beside me to weather the next few months: him. As I learned more and more about what the upcoming job entailed, the more apparent that, once again, I'd be challenged and pushed to my limits, and I couldn't think of anyone else I'd rather have by my side. He'd be my support. My silent cheerleader. A physical reminder that there is someone who believes in me and will be there to help me if I needed it. With this daunting new show ahead of me, I wanted him with me. Badly.
But he turned me down in favor of an offer from his old crew. He said they needed him. Understandable, sure. But didn't he know I needed him, too?
That's when I stopped myself. Did I really need him? I enjoy the comfort and support he brings, sure. But do I need it?
I've been in this business alone for about a decade now, and I think I've done pretty well for myself so far. Sure, I've had moral supporters and a helping hand or two over the years, but no one that really stuck by me through the thick and the thin. No one to hold my hand when things got difficult. No one to help me make the tough decisions. I may have turned to people once or twice for advice, but at the very heart of it, it's just been me the whole time.
I've never had to depend on anybody. And I wasn't about to start now.
I stand alone. And I guess I will continue to stand alone.
I may want him, but I certainly do not need him.
I've got this.
I can do this.
And sometimes, as depressing as it may sound, sometimes it's good to have a reminder that I don't need anyone to hold my hand or give me a reassuring wink.
I may want the support. And things may be easier with someone on my team. But I am strong enough to stand on my own regardless.
I. Am. Enough.