TGIF. Feel like we’re back on schedule after all the shifting around earlier in the week.
Date: August 28, 2015
Days Spent on Project: 920
Location: NW Portland, OR
Person I would have sent it to: TBD
Music I listened to while sewing: It’s pretty quiet in the shop. Everyone is silently working at their tables and machines. Wonder what that’s about…
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: I feel like I’m learning so much about PEOPLE because of this job. I mean, not being freelance (which meant setting my own hours and spending a lot of time by myself and not having to be continually around the same small group of people), it’s so interesting (and educational) to become a part of a group dynamic.
Yesterday, out of nowhere, I got a rather long (3 pages) document emailed to me… from the person whom I replaced in this position last summer. He made an abrupt move (well, it seems like he had been planning it, but announced it abruptly and secretly if that’s believable) last summer, quickly, and I was brought just as quickly it seemed. In the past year, he and I have been in touch sporadically- mostly on my part as I’ve emailed him to remind him to change his email settings on his billing statements or to let his friends know he no longer worked here.
Over the summer, he got in touch. But it was for a costume rental. I sent the pieces he wanted along back in June. I’m still waiting for him to pay me for that.
So, this three page email was a bit of a surprise. That it came with the preface “I’ve sent this also to the Artistic Director and the Associate Artistic Director” was a bigger shock. That it also mentioned that I should forward the info along to the people I manage (people HE managed for several years and people he has work- and probably home- email addresses for…) was a surprise.
I don’t know him other than an email address the infrequently pops into my Inbox. I know what he looks like. I know bare bones work information about him (he was here for a while after all). That’s it.
After reading the three page letter addressed to us in the costume shop, I know a lot about him. My immediate response and thought: why is this stranger sending me all this information, which I’d consider to be rather private? What’s the purpose of this email? What does he want?
I did what he asked me to do, and I forwarded the letter along to the people he used to manage for several years and whose work emails haven’t changed. Their responses to it have been equally as confusing and confused.
I get the sense that there’s a larger story I’m not aware of here. I don’t need to know, of course. I don’t feel threatened. Maybe I do. I’m not sure.
I’ve been here for almost 14 months, and I stepped into a position that was vacated quickly and with haste. There was no orientation. There was no training. There was no grace period. Within a few weeks, after uprooting my entire life and arriving here, I was waist deep in the largest show the theater had ever tackled, which was incredibly and ignorantly under-budgeted and under-staffed. I gutted the shop and re-organized it. I started the shop over… because it was apparent that my predecessor hadn’t “managed” it at all.
That was so obvious, from the first moment I stepped foot into this concrete room.
Understanding other people, their intentions, their motivations, and their obvious and subtle reactions… it’s so interesting.
So much to learn and witness, you know?