With the week I’ve had – capped off with the events of today – it’s a real wonder I don’t drink more.
I’m serious, you guys. The combination of Mercury in retrograde and PMS has brought me to the brink of something that looks a lot like insanity.
But let’s talk about today.
I woke up to a voicemail in reference to an emailed resume I sent out late last night. All the sudden I was being offered an associate producer position on a show for a major cable network…in Chicago.
It was a six-month gig and they would push the start date to Jan. 2 for me. They would not, however, be providing housing. (Sometimes in production when a job is not in the town you live, the show provides you with a place to live. It’s awesome. When that doesn’t happen, it’s called “working as a local,” which means they’ll invite you out to the job, but they won’t pay for any living/moving expenses. This all makes me sound bougie, and I get it, but it’s how the industry works.) The rate was less-than-desirable, considering. But it was a job.
Not sure if you’re keeping track, but since I left my full-time job the last week of March, I have worked one three-day gig.
So you can see my conundrum. I’ve also never turned down a job. I’ve taken extra jobs while I was already working a full-time job. Despite my aforementioned lengthy job-free stint, I’m serious when it comes to work. I mean, as serious as I am about anything.
I’ve also lately had several randomly-introduced job offers disappear as quickly as they came about. And now this one was up to me. They told me to come up with lowest number I could live with and call them back to see if it was something they could work with.
I started my phone tree. My Dad, God love him, always gets the freak out calls. And, God love me, he always answers. I’m the only one in my family in “the industry” but he’s a dad and dads always know what to say. Even when you don’t know all the information and just want someone to listen to you catastrophize it out. My dad got three calls today. Gold star.
I can admittedly be independent to a fault, and I often make rash decisions, but every once in a while, I have to take a poll of a few close peeps and get perspectives and, well, sometimes we all need help making decisions.
So I sent a couple of emails. G-chatted. Texted. Took a couple of calls.
My neighbor had a fun reaction:
K: “What about your obligations?”
Me: “Um. That’s just it. I don’t really have any.”
K: “But, your blog!” (she later admitted “blog” was code for my obligation to be her neighbor)
Her other concern was: “You don’t have enough clothes!”
That’s true. It’s about to be winter in Chicago. I went to school there. I know what winter in the Windy City looks like. It looks like the top thing in the “CON” portion of the chart. I even asked my friend who lives there what the chance was that winter maybe wouldn’t happen this year. Like maybe there was a global warming/Indian summer phenomenon scheduled to take over?
After saying something about forecasters saying “hold on to your hats,” (do I even HAVE a hat?!) he really helped on the apartment search front…and research began…the numbers on the calculator started getting higher. I’d have to get rid of my apartment here, store my stuff, cancel flights, drive halfway across the country, find a new apartment (deposit + first month’s rent), get a new wardrobe (as I’m pretty sure LA sweaters are no match for lake-effect winds), and then do the reversal of the apartment thing when I moved back when the job ended.
I have to admit the excitement/adventure part of moving so fast was competing with “it’s a job” for the top spot in the PRO column.
Per a suggestion from a friend in the know, I went back with a reasonable offer. And then I freaked out in the shower. I don’t know about you, but I do my best thinking in the shower and when I’m laying in bed (you know, those hours when I should be sleeping). So I’m all: I just need a sign! And for my upper arms to not be so jiggly!
And then I took a walk around my neighborhood to do errands and saw this:
I promise I’ve asked for signs plenty of times and this is the first time I recall one so clear. I got home to an email from the supervising producer saying they still couldn’t do it, but he was being super nice, and was like, “we understand if it doesn’t work out financially.”
More emails. Another call. Maybe two.
The guilt I had about turning a job down was a huge deal. But were the possible rewards going to outweigh the cost? In the end, there was no way to know. The supervising producer was again awesome and understanding when I told him I wasn’t able to do it.
Dear job seeker karma, please have my back…Please let there be another, more suitable gig around the corner.
So tonight I went to the Joshua Radin/Sara Bareilles concert.* I was standing next to a couple and when the girl went to the bathroom the guy started talking to me because that’s what happens with me and couples. So he asks me what I do, and I say field produce and – lo and behold – that’s what he and his lady do! So he asks me what I’m working on, and I tell him nothing, and then proceed to fill this perfect stranger in on the day’s events. His lady is back by then and all caught up on our in-common careers.
And then these two total strangers told me I made the right decision. Without hesitation. They would have done the same thing.
Thanks guys. I needed that. And thanks friends. It really does take a village sometimes. I hope this is the only job I ever have to turn down.
*I’ll talk about the concert tomorrow after people post their videos online. Because, y’all…that sh*t was crazy.