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3:04 pm - Fri 12/21/07
Happy F-ing Holidays

Happy F-ing Holidays!

The holidays are always, to some extent, difficult for me ("poor little orphan boy with no family to call his own...", blah blah blah, etc. and so forth. You know the drill).

And it hit me recently - It probably hasn't helped that my jobs in the past 16 years (Bookstore-ing and movie theater-ing) basically require me, in my holiday unhappiness, to watch other people actually enjoying the holidays; buying presents, being with loved ones, enjoying time off, etc. Enjoying holidays that, without a spouse, children, or family, I'm basically not part of in any real way.

Sometimes, even after all these years, it stings - To be this alone, this solitary, at a time when family and friends are particularly celebrated. To always and forever feel "outside the loop" of regular humanity.

So when I saw that the holidays this year fell on my normal days off, I was very happy - "I might not have any big thing to do, or anyone to do it with", I thought, "...and I might not have an actual Xmas vacation, but at least I have those days off. I can relax, I can do what I want, or not do anything, for that matter, and I don't have to have everyone else's happy holiday shoved in my face...".

Then I got this weeks schedule.

Not only do I not have the holiday off, they scheduled me so I don't even have a weekend (I have one day off this week, on Wednesday. And I'm guessing they'll bone me again next week).

And to add insult to injury - And I felt deeply insulted by this - they have me working concessions on Xmas day.

Why's that bother me, you ask?

I do a number of other things at the theater - retail, Guest Services, Usher Greeting, box office, etc. - and because of that, I only do concessions once in a blue moon, and pretty much always on a slow weeknight (I recently closed concessions on a weeknight a couple weeks ago; I couldn't remember the last time I'd done it). In my view, it's one of the few rewards you get for learning to do other things at ArcLight (Never, or rarely, having to do snack bar), cause they sure as shit don't pay you for your added "expertise". I see that task - snack bar - as something you, by and large, grow up and out of (Initially, it's all you do at the theater - that and ushering - cause it's all you know how to do at first).

So to put me in snack bar, on maybe the busiest day of the year, when it will stress me out hugely (Cause I haven't done a crazy-busy snack bar shift in probably a year-and-a-half), when any relative newbie could do the job better at this point, pisses me off.

Not only that - If you're going to schedule me against my availability on Xmas day, don't plug me in somewhere like I'm a fucking cog, indistinguishable from anyone else. It's insulting - If you're going to use me, then use me; I'm the acknowledged best Usher Greeter at ArcLight, so why would you not schedule me as Usher Greeter on a day when you have thousands of people coming to the theater, many of whom have never been there before? Why would you not show off a clear asset of your theater?

They blather on about "Business Competence", but how is sticking me somewhere in a position most anyone could do, instead of "putting your best face forward" on a busy holiday and having me do something I'm exceptional at, how is that "Business Competence"?

(Even Guest Services makes more sense; again, what does it make more sense to do on a super-busy day, put me somewhere where I work a lot, and have shown that I do very good work, or put me somewhere where I will likely not do as good a job as someone who works in the position all the time?)

Anyway, so when I got the schedule, I was deeply depressed, then I got pissed off.

Royally pissed off. I felt like ArcLight had actually taken something away from me. I was fighting my natural tendency to be depressed over the holidays...and they grabbed me and threw my ass back in the quicksand.

I went in the next day and told Brian, one of the managers, that I "had plans" and couldn't do it (He told me to write it down and he'd put it out in an email to the other managers).

I told Casey R, one of my friends at ArcLight (Who was working at the time) that I "would rather sit in my 'Darkened Closet Of Shame', crying about all the mistakes I'd made throughout the year, than be at work on Xmas day".

(In my world, I was "compromising" by giving them Xmas Eve, which is also one of my regularly scheduled days off.)

Anyway, last night at the end of my shift - in Retail - Ray (A manager) approached me, to basically say that I was scheduled when I was scheduled, and that I'd get written up if I didn't comply (Or get someone else to work my shift).

And I...well, I wouldn't say I "blew up"...but it was close. The lid definitely came off, let's say, and I found myself venting about everything that's pissed me off about ArcLight, along with the stuff I've written about in this entry.

We talked for quite some time - I was shaking at one point (I think half in anger, and half in fear that I was flushing my job down the toilet with my "honesty") - before it shook down to me showing up on Xmas, and him "trying" to redo the schedule to get me out of concessions.

I'm tired of ArcLight.

Really tired.

But more later. Much more.


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