Earlier this week I had occasion to gab with a supervisor at one of our fine, signator studios. He's had twenty years of employment in the biz, with side trips working in character merchandising.
He and his spouse have two children, one out of college and the other starting. They're a two-wage family with the wife's cash flow secure, so he's fairly relaxed about the future. He's also confident of his abilities, work ethic, and not worried about keeping his job. What he told me reflects some of the comments in Early Morning Q & A ...
There are people around here who are working uncompensated overtime. Some people are worried about hanging on, and project their fears, and feel they have to kick in extra work if they want to get picked up for the next project. People take work home and work for free, polish the apple so they'll get rehired. There are younger people who do whatever they can to have a leg up for the next project. I don't consider them "wrong" for doing it, but I don't take work home. I think everyone needs to take responsibility for what they do and not play the victim.
But I've never been worried about it. I know what my work ethic is, I know how many drawings I need to get out to supply people in my unit. Some supervisors guess but I do the math, figure out how much work has to be done. There are younger people who take work home and do it for free, polish the apple so they'll get rehired. I've never had a hard time getting a job. The company knows what I can do and appreciates the time and effort I put in. Several years ago I volunteered to fill in for a supervisor who was out sick, and worked seen days a week to do my job and other other supe's. I didn't ask for a higher weekly salary, but I got some paid time off after the projects was done, and that was all I needed.
I have to keep working until my younger kid is through school, but I'm not uptight about coming by more work when I need it ...
I encounter artists who get buried under the workload and schedules, then do extra hours without compensation to keep up. Many are as angry about the system in which they feel trapped as they are fearful about it.
Then I meet people who have learned how to focus on work and streamline the process. Deadlines don't bother them very much, because they have figured out how to be more productive without killing themselves and burning out. They don't put in a lot of o.t. These folks are usually less uptight, more philosophical about the whole "get it in by Friday" routine.
They don't complain much. They also don't seem to be particularly intimidated by management.