Wednesday, January 12, 2022

"Don't Leave."

I wanted to quit. I was going to quit. I was deeply unhappy on this job and as much as I liked some of the people, one of them was a horrible enough person to spoil it for everyone. I wanted to leave.

I had planned on letting the Gaffer know at wrap that I was going to be leaving the show and why.* He was the one who hired me, after all, so I figured I'd owe him at least that much. But then I got a phone call during lunch that changed those plans. 

The phone call itself wasn't an important one. It was about a job over the weekend that I was going to do regardless of whether I had quit my show or not. The important part was that one of my colleagues had overheard/misheard part of my conversation and assumed I was leaving the show. 

"Please don't go," he said. "It's so terrible here, I don't know if I could stay if you weren't around."

I sighed. Fine, I thought to myself, I'll just stick it out a little bit longer and take it from there.

Some more time had passed and things only seemed to have gotten worse. Or maybe it just seemed worse because the misery had been going on for so long now. Either way, I was seriously thinking of quitting again.

This time, another friend must have sensed it was coming. He's seen me metaphorically kicked around the most and has been the main person I vented to whenever another incident happened, which was a lot on this show. But I guess he felt that this particular episode would be the one that broke the camel's back and after listening to be vent for the millionth time, he asked me not to quit. I hadn't mentioned to him I was thinking of quitting, before or now, but he still asked me to stay. He said he hated it there, too. But hanging out with me made things more bearable. So I stayed.

Some time later, surprise! Things were still terrible. I was crying on my way home from work a lot and we weren't even halfway through shooting the season. There were other jobs starting up with people I knew would love to have me that I enjoyed working with. I had to leave for my own sake. 

But again, another colleague must've sensed how bad things were getting. We were eating lunch together one day, just the two of us at catering, when he asked me not to leave. He hated it there but couldn't leave. He depended on this crew for work and didn't know if he could fall in with another as easily. But what he did know was that I made things better there and things would be worse if I left the show. He's a sweetheart of a guy to the point that I can't stand to see him sad, so again, I stayed.

Again and again, people kept asking me to stay. Some of them repeats, some of them new. All of them saying that the show was terrible, everyone was miserable, but things would be worse if I wasn't there. Apparently I would be the highlight of their fucking day, if that give you any clue to how awful the job was. **

All in all, about half of my entire damn department had asked me at one point or another to not quit. 

Only one of my colleagues said they would support me if I chose to leave the show. She saw the horrible way I was being treated. She knew I deserved better. She'd been in my position before and had to resort to extreme measures because she didn't know how else she could get out of it. She didn't want me to go through what she did. She saw me struggling and gave me her full support should I decide to walk away from the show. She said she would be sad if I left, but she'd understand why. But she didn't have it that much better on the show that I did, she just had more chances to hide from it. I felt like she was the only one who really saw the mental toll this job was taking on me, and in turn, I think I was the only one to see how much she was struggling as well. So despite her giving me permission to leave, I stayed for her sake as well. Her support meant the world to me and I could sense that she could use some support as much as I did. So I stayed for her. 

Despite coming close to walking away from this job so, so many times, I eventually made it to the finish line. Things never got better, though it may have felt that way at times. I think instead I just came to expect getting treated like shit and could predict when the hardest hits would happen, which, when I think about it, just makes it all worse. 

In the end, I learned that I'm the type of person, that despite it being one of the worst job I've ever been on, I do not regret staying in misery for half a year for my friends. I'm glad I could make things better for them. However, there's no way I can ever go through that again. If put in the same situation now as I was then, I would leave. 

I guess you don't really know how much something affects you until you look back on it. It's been five months since we wrapped and I still tear up when I think about how I was treated. How worthless people made me feel there. It took months for me to feel like my old self again on a job, and if I'm being 100% honest, I'm not really there yet. 

As much as I want to be selfless and be the type to do anything for my friends, the reality is that I need to start being more selfish and put my wellbeing before others. I can't help anyone if there's no more "me" around. I learned that I need to be selfish for myself because there's no one else to be selfish for me. 

*It's probably important to note at this point that shockingly, Production wasn't the problem here. The misery was 100% caused by people within my own department which is probably the most disappointing thing of the entire situation.

**How this terrible job ended up so terrible is another post. Coming up soon-ish.

Saturday, January 8, 2022


I realized I hated the show I was on last year when I'd spend my commute home fighting back tears (though oftentimes, I wouldn't even fight it). Almost every day. I know I should've quit but for personal reasons I'll touch on soon, I couldn't. 

So almost every day, I'd cry on my way home. 

But today, in some kind of morbid way, I learned that I'm at least an optimist. Because my tears always came at the end of the day. 

I never once cried on the drive in.

That's something, I guess...
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