Thursday, June 10, 2010

Unprecedented since Terminator 2

A couple of weeks ago at work, I was feeling pretty fed up. I had the flu, I was stuck on a boring repetitive task, and I started thinking about all the bills we had piling up. For the last six months or so I've been pretty bored at work. I used to not fuss too much about my salary, as I found my work largely its own reward. But now I was moved to do a little research on comparative salaries. As I suspected, my salary bumps along near the bottom of the band of pay for similar jobs. Everyone knows pay in Tasmania is always lower than the national average, but maybe it would be nice to be at the bottom of the middle rather than in the middle of the bottom.

We live a reasonably spartan life. Of course we are much better off than many, many people. We can afford to eat, and feed a cat and dog. We get takeaways perhaps once a week these days. We have a reliable car, a lovely house, we don't miss our mortgage payments. But we don't buy books or CDs or magazines, we buy clothes for the kids but not ourselves, we scoff at iPads and bluRay bluetooth-enabled telephone wireless dishwashers.

So anyway, before I had a chance to have second thoughts, I emailed my boss and said hey - can we talk about a payrise? I have worked for the same dynamic film producer/director couple since 1991, with a couple of breaks when their business (and me with it) have been bought out and they have gone off to start something new. I haven't ever asked them for a pay rise. That's Nineteen Ninety One, people! Nirvana! Bob Hawke! Terminator 2! Mobile phones the size of a car battery!

So asking for a pay rise was a big deal. I had a meeting with my 3 bosses today - I didn't get a raise, but we had a good long chat about the prognosis for one down the track. Roar Film is very dependent on our export product going to the UK, and things have tightened up there lately. Ours is not a workplace where the staff are constantly told 'business is bad - work harder and don't complain!" - we cruise along blissfully ignorant of the big picture mostly. I appreciated them taking me seriously enough to all make time to go through the big picture with me, and I elicited a bit of appreciation for the work I have been doing. We stopped short of a group hug, but I think we all left happy.

In the last 6 months I have keyed out the green screen background on hours of interview footage, sometimes the same footage over and over when it's edited into different packages. And it's been driving me loopy. The good news is that a couple of more interesting jobs have plopped out of the chute this week, and I am enjoying a break from the dreaded green screen. My current gig is all about the Sunshine Harvester - the fact that I'm finding it deeply interesting reflects pretty poorly on what I've been doing lately.

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