Monday, September 30, 2013

Charity Work

Had a sobering lunch last week with a supervisor at one of our fine, L.A.-based animation studios (TV division.) He told me:

"I'm very frustrated. I have some board revisionists who work fifteen to twenty-five hours of free overtime week in and week out. It's driving me nuts. I tell them not to do it. I order them not to do it. They do it anyway. They tell me they want to look good, that they have to do the extra work, they're paranoid about management and afraid they'll lose their jobs if they don't. I leave at six anyway, and they make me look bad. I refuse to work more than forty without pay.

"And then they complain to me about how the schedules are getting shorter. And how they can't keep up." ...

The above is verbatim. Sad, but verbatim.

The veteran who told me this was semi-beside himself. He comes in, works his butt of for forty hours, then goes home. And of course he's nervous, because others on the crew are working extra hours for free. (As I put it to the supe: "They are slicing their own throats and then complaining about it: Stop me before I kill again!")

I've gotten variations of this scenario many of the years I've been doing this job. I've never gotten the complaint from a supervisor before, but it really doesn't surprise me much. Why not a supervisor? All the folks doing charity work on behalf of our poor, suffering conglomerates make it increasingly tough for other employees who don't want to perform charity work, including the leads.

Just so you know, I'm willing to combat this. Just call or e-mail me, tip me off when employees are working for free on the weekends, or at night. I will trot over to the studio where the charity work is being done, and work to put a stop to it. Of course, it will mean the employees will need to tell me they are performing charity (i.e., working for free) but that's a bridge I will cross when I get there.

A journey begins with the first step.


David said...

It seems that ALL the storyboard artists and storyboard revisionists in the industry should band together in some sort of ... I dunno, whatchacallit -- guild or union or something -- and set standardized professional practices (like no unpaid overtime and setting reasonable production schedules to keep overtime to a minimum ) and then ALL artists working in the animation industry would adhere to those practices uniformly . That seems like it would work.

What's that you say ? OH ...

Site Meter