Many of you are probably wondering what happened to me– did I get arrested? Die? Give up? And no, it’s none of the above.
Remember when I called the Other Job a cancerous mass that’s slowly consuming my life? Well, the Other Job is why I’ve been more or less absent the entire month of June.
The new management has given me a position of not inconsiderable responsibility; I manage most of the day to day operations of the Fairbanks station, as well as running my department. And that’s great; someone needed to do it, and it’s nice to have some recognition of the fact that I’ve been filling that gap for some time.
The problem is that thanks to this company’s hiring policies and the whims of upper management, we as a station –and my section in particular– are still massively understaffed. I’ve been performing the jobs of at least three people for a long time, and adding management responsibilities to that list has NOT helped.
Suffice to say, I haven’t been writing or even around on social media much because I’ve been spending most of my time at work. I worked 81 hours during the week of June 29 through July 3. I worked 70 the week before that, and 71 the week before that, and 68 the week before that, and… well, you get the idea.
This isn’t sustainable. I was so exhausted Friday night that my vision was blurry. I slept through most of Saturday, and I’m still tired today.
I don’t know if I have much of a future with this company. Their problems are so deeply entrenched that it would take mass firings at the upper management level to fix them. I also doubt they have the desire or financial ability to pay me what I’m worth– although they’re coming closer to it, whether they like it or not, due to the fact that I’m spending so much time on the clock.
This means I’m not particularly attached to this job. I’ve come to view it as a means to an end– at the moment, it’s rapidly rebuilding my savings. These are funds that I can either go rogue and live off of, or use to buy a house. I’m nearly back to where I was after eight years with FedEx.
The main reason I’m still there is due to the team I work with– the guys I trained when I was still new who’ve been through most of this with me. The Marine vet who I can always count on to get stuff done, who’s still here despite multiple attempts go somewhere else, and despite the prior management’s attempts to fire him. The bright-eyed new guys who rely on me for information, leadership, and a point of order amid the chaos upper management inflicts on us.
I’ve considered walking out many times. I stay because I can’t justify leaving these people hanging. The rest of the company deserves it, but these guys don’t.
Obviously, I hope things let up. I really hate missing my deadlines on Patreon and on the author blog. And in the case of Patreon, I fully intend to try to make up the work that I’m behind on.
They’ve finally managed to hire someone who’s worth something and able to work the front counter, and part of my 81 hours this week was due to training him. However if this means that I finally have someone competent to delegate some of my front counter duties onto, that would be a huge relief. I’m not a particularly good customer service person, and there is a lot of the data entry and clerical stuff that I do that should actually be performed by the front counter staff.
I’m told that I’ll have another bright and shiny new hire this coming week, and I have my fingers crossed that he’s as good as the one I got last Monday. My hope is that once I get both of them trained and we get a few more competent people in the warehouse and aircraft loading parts of the operation, I’ll be able to get back to some kind of normal writing schedule.
Wish me luck!