Thursday, August 19, 2004
I managed to get three episodes of Widow’s Chamber written yesterday before yet another argument with Dell Tech Non-Support.
The manager had me take apart my computer so that it was in pieces all over the living room floor as a “troubleshooting” technique, and told me he was not allowed to put in a service call until we’d tried every possibility. Obviously, the past week of working with Tech Non-Support didn’t count.
By this point, sitting amongst a bunch of computer parts I don’t understand, I became completely hysterical. I am not a computer technician. If I was qualified to take the machine apart and put it back together, I wouldn’t have needed to BUY a service contract.
Finally, he agreed to put in a call to a service technician.
Why did I have to go through week of pain and suffering and AT LEAST $2000 of lost income? When I had a paid contract in place?
The executive office refuses phone calls, so I got the fax number of the CEO of Dell, borrowed a friend’s computer, typed a five page letter detailing what happened – and faxed it off.
Not even a phone call to say “We’re looking into the situation.’
Today, the service technician showed up, put in a new modem and the problem was solved within TWENTY MINUTES.
Why was I put through eight days of hell for a problem that was what I originally thought it was that was fixed in 20 minutes?
I am in the process of filing with every consumer protection agency I can come across.
This is NOT ACCEPTABLE.
And, I’m afraid to log off to head for the show.
I can’t even believe I have to do a show tonight. I’m completely spent, both physically and emotionally. Between this, the death of my colleague and what’s been going on at the show, I am wrecked.
What I want to do is sit down and drink an entire bottle of wine.
What I have to do is pull it together to do the track on the show in which I am least comfortable.
I’m a hair’s breadth from a complete nervous breakdown. And I’m not someone to have breakdowns.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
It’s been a week of turmoil, in every sense of the word. I’ve been out of touch because my computer died and my modem is down. Dell refuses to send a technician, although I have a pre-paid service contract where they send someone to the house. My friend Jane lent me her laptop, and, for whatever reason, it’s not connecting to the internet either.
So, basically, I’ve lost several thousand dollars of income, with no way to get it back. And I’m furious. It’s not income I can afford to lose.
The biggest, most important, and saddest event is that, last Thursday night, our colleague on the show passed away. While it’s always a blessing for his pain to be over, those who are left miss the warmth, gentleness, and joy he brought to all of our lives. We celebrate his place in our lives. We will always regret the conversations and interactions that will never happen. We are in mourning. I want to write more, but there’s nothing else to say. He is missed. He lives on in our hearts, and his contribution to so many lives is enormous. And, at least people had the chance to let him know how much he meant in this world. And very often, people don’t get to know the positive impact they have on the world. His life was a gift to us, and at least we got a chance to give something back before it was over.
On a more unpleasant note, a situation has come up at the show that makes me rethink whether or not I should stay. I have more than proven my dedication to the piece, and made myself available and on call all summer. I was booked to cover a vacation for the first week of September. Suddenly, the supervisor decides she wants to book someone else who can do a few additional days (I’ll be away for those days). So, she cancels me – which means I’m out a week’s pay, no small fee. On top of that, she has ME train the person who will be taking the money out of my pocket. On top of all of that, she has me train the new person on a day when I have a new understudy going on who’s never done the show, and we’re making it all up anyway. It’s a slap in the face. If I am not going to be respected, if a booking doesn’t mean a booking, then I will have to find work elsewhere. Unlike most of the people on that show, I do not stay in a situation that is bad for me.
We’ll see how it works out.
In the meantime, I can’t get online to send out any of my work or find out if I have any new work. I’ll have to go to Kinko’s or something to get online. Which costs money. Which I can’t afford right now.
I HATE MERCURY RETROGRADE!!!
Did anything good happen over the past week? I had dinner with friends in between shows on several nights, and it was nice to catch up. I read some decent books. I tried to write, but didn’t get much done. The union had a wardrobe party on Sunday night after the matinee. Good food, good wine, gifts, and it was terrific to reconnect with people I hadn’t seen in a long time.
The idea for the pirate story is chugging along nicely. It’s time for me to do some serious research and start working on the first two hundred pages, to see if I have something viable.
I also have another idea, for something set during the time of Hotspur, in Northumbria. I’ve wanted to write about him for years. While many teenagers were crazy about rock stars, I was obsessed with Hotspur Percy and Northumbrian history. I’ve never been quite sure what I wanted to write. And, finally, some characters and situations are starting to form.
Mostly, though, this past week, I’ve been trying to get through it. I’ve attempted to be pleasant and professional at the show. I’ve been grieving. And I’ve tried to deal with my hurt and anger at the way my boss treated me. I’ve put my cards on the table with them. They know how I feel. I doubt it will change anything, but I’d rather say it to their faces than simply bitch and moan with other crew members and pretend everything is okay. Everything is NOT okay.