Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

The more time I have, the less I find.

When I’m busy, I get an immense amount of stuff done.  I get up at the crack of dawn, hit the gym, return phone calls on the way to work, squeeze paperwork in between lighting set-ups, pay my bills on time (usually), keep the garden watered and the cat happy (as cats go) and still manage to squeeze in some internet time.

Now, that I have nothing on the schedule I just can’t seem to find any time to do anything – the day just slips away from me leaving me scratching my head around 7 pm, wondering what the hell just happened.

Part of the problem is that the foot still hurts a lot in the evenings – it feels fine in the morning, but after even a couple of hours of walking on it the low-level (no pun intended) aching comes roaring back and I can’t think.  Despite my best intentions, all I can do is sit on the couch and pretend to read, although I seem to mostly re-read the same thing 15 times and then give up and turn on the TV.

The foot’s not healing as quickly as the doctor would like and at my last appointment he expressed a desire for me to get back to work – I couldn’t agree more.  I think he thinks that I’m goldbricking and trying to extend disability, but nothing could be further from the truth.

I desperately want to get back to work, but unfortunately for me there’s no ‘light duty’ distinction in my line of work – I can either do the job or I can’t, and until I can stay on my feet for 10 hours and walk for most of that time (which I currently can’t), I’m not able to work.

The physical therapist keeps trying to reassure me that it’s all going to be okay, which just makes me want to kick him.

With the good foot, of course.

On a lighter note, I so very rarely find something that actually makes me laugh out loud. Behold, the camper shell fail:

Camper shell fail.

Happy Friday!

Filed under: Non-Work

4 Responses

  1. getsheila says:

    I can so relate to the “what the hell just happened?” scenario when not working. I am pretty sure it is some weird time vortex that is totally not our fault at all. At least, that’s the story I’m going with.

    Hope you heal up soon. Hang in there.

  2. I’ve had the same experience with doctors, surgery, and disability. Most medicos have no idea just how physical our job as juicers really is. After the first of two shoulder surgeries, my surgeon told me “You should be back to work in three weeks.”

    Like most doctors, he figured I had some kind of desk jockey job requiring nothing more strenuous than lifting the occasional pencil.

    I tried to explain the situation, after which he shrugged and said “I guess we could go for six weeks.” It was only when I got off the table and pantomimed lifting a hundred pound coil of 4/0 from the floor to my shoulder — the recently surgically repaired shoulder — that he finally got the point.

    “I’ll put you on four months of disability,” he nodded.

    Coming back from an injury or surgery is tricky. If you return before you’re really ready to put in a full day’s work, the gaffer or best boy who called you (and who believed your assurances that you were fully healed) will no longer consider you credible. This is equally unfair to you (since you’ll have to hobble around the set in miserable pain) and to the rest of the crew, who has to pick up your slack. Should this happen, it will be a while before that best boy or gaffer calls again — and what’s worse, word will get around fast, which means nobody will hire you. Coming back too early is the worst thing you can do. It can screw you for a long time.

    The problem is making the doc see the harsh reality you face. They don’t understand that we live and work in mercilessly Darwinian free-lance jungle that pretty much leaves the wounded and injured on the side of the road to die.

    You need to get that disability extended for as long as possible — and failing that, there’s really no choice but to go back to work and grit your teeth through each miserable day. I’ve come back to work from three surgeries (two shoulders and one big toe), and each time it really sucked. Recovery took much longer than I’d been led to believe, but eventually the pain receded. In the end, it was worth it — the pain from all three is considerably less than before the surgeries — but the process was no fun at all.

    You can do it, Peg. You’re juicer-tough…

  3. Galen says:

    During the dreary quiet months (usually Jan-Mar) I usually find that I can drag a simple task out all day. Good luck with the recovery, perhaps you can find an easy studio gig to ease yourself back into the flow. Something with a lot of board work and not to much ground lighting.

  4. GripChick says:

    I had the same difficulties with my doctor believing how physically challenging my job is, after having been in intensive care for a week. I don’t know how your local is, but Local 80 was really helpful with faxing me a copy of our official “job description”, and I had them add a cover letter confirming that there was no such thing as “light duty” work.

    Best of luck!

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