Today I was supposed to hop over to Imagi Studios for TAG's first 401(k) enrollment meeting, but the meeting got scrubbed because many artists were already headed to the Comic-con in sun-kissed San Diego.
So I figured I'd be staying in the office clearing some of the perpetual rubble off my desk...
Only that didn't pan out either, as staffers at a signator studio wanted me to come over and "do something" about the tight schedules that compel many of them to work uncompensated overtime to meet deadline.
I motored over there and talked to a show producer (who's a very nice guy, by the way). I explained the situation ... and the gripes, after which I went back to some of the staffers and synopsized my conversation with him. We batted ideas back and forth, but the gist of my solution to the ongoing problem they laid out to me went as follows:
"If the company doesn't want to authorize you to work overtime, don't work overtime. Do as much of the assigned work (production boards, design work, whatever) as you can get done in forty hours. If the work isn't complete, then the work isn't complete.
"And if the company is adament that you adhere to the schedule, then work the overtime, don't take the work home, and put the hours you actually worked on the time card (to do otherwise is breaking the law). And hit the deadline.
"If everybody does those things, the company will get an idea of how long the assigned work actually takes, and you'll get paid for work performed.
"And if employees don't want to be honest about the time that's required for the job, and keep their heads down and just suck up the extra work for fear of negative repercussions, then that's the way it will be.
"Because no union can prevent people from working uncompensated hours if they're determined to do it."
And yesterday, I spent a piece of the afternoon at Disney Animation Studios. A couple of new story rooms are being put in up on the third floor, Bolt story reels were unspooled for the crew to favorable reaction, and people were getting ready to go to Comic-con.
What is it about this Comic-con thing?