Ok another update:
This is where things stand right now: I'll be in the lab where I have practically 0 beneficial knowledge during the week, 2-10, until the end of July, when I will for sure get morning shift in Stop-Mo. On the weekends I work mornings in Stop-Mo. No midnight shifts for me. If I can negotiate my 2 days off to be during the week, that's only 3 days in the lab where I'm unqualified. I honestly expected to run into a wall, and to walk. This is both a pleasant surprise, and a bummer, as I was looking forward to having a freed summer.================================Small update:
talked with the lab supervisor boss-lady, and she says that new guy has to keep morning shift because 2D undergrad needs his help (for what, I don't know; is it something I can do, too? Probably. Am I gonna fight that? No, I don't care at this point, and both 2D undergrad head and new guy are friends I don't want to piss off). Lab supervisor boss-lady says she has no mid shifts available in the animation department, that there are no morning shifts available anywhere, and that why can't I stick it out for a month and then get morning?
I just told her that last time I got sick after 2 weeks of night, and it took 2 months to recover, and I will not do that again. If there isn't any non-night opening for me anywhere, then maybe my time working here is done.
Lab supervisor boss-lady really doesn't like that, and just says she'll take another look, she'll see what she can do, etc. etc.
If it's as set in stone as she says, and that no one can be moved, then that's it, I'm out.
Today I'm working night (not to midnight, thankfully, first week of the semester labs close at 11) but if nothing changes I am noping out of this and spending the summer hunting for a real job where I use my skills and am paid like what I am: someone with a highly specialized BFA.
I can't believe the bullshit happening at my job
For those who don't know, I work as a lab technician at my old university. I started in the Fall semester of 2016. I worked the midnight shift, 3:30-12am, 5 days a week.
Last semester, I was transferred to the very understaffed and underloved Stop-Motion department, because in the fall semester I had done favors for the head of the 2D and Stop-Motion undergrad (a friend and old teacher of mine). The supervisor of all the labs (an overworked, over controlling, micromanaging lady) was all "you're here because Beth asked for you, and I know you'll do well here" and stuff. Nice and supportive, right?
I was given mid shift, 11:30-8:00. Not bad, except I had some freelance deals I needed to work on, that I could only work on at home, and I had no time for it at all. No luck getting off the shift, at least not while they're waiting on the hiring status of a new employee.
Well, a month in, the new guy shows up. New guy is also well liked by 2D undergrad head (sometimes I think liked more...). He's a really nice guy, and we get along swell. Except, I'd been asking for morning shifts for a month, and the lab supervisor of Stop-Mo (nice guy who I liked, but who has since moved on to a better job and his replacement is no where near as nice and understanding) had let me know I'd get it when the new guy showed up. UH. New guy gets the morning shifts off-the bat. Excuse me???
When I worked 3-12 in the fall, and I asked for a better shift, I was told that you need seniority to get those, that the newbies get the shit shifts by default. Well then, what the crap is happening here?
I wrote a professional email to lab supervisor boss-lady basically saying "what the crap happened to seniority???? New guy gets the morning shift because??? He said he wanted it because he's nervous about walking home in the late evening?? Well, surprise, guys, I'm a woman! And the risk to me is higher k, thanks."
That got me the morning shift. I was happy. I expected no issues for the summer semester; lab supervisor boss-lady would remember to honor seniority, right? Wrong.
Lab supervisor boss-lady put me back on shitty night shift. All week. New guy gets all the morning shifts. All of them.
See, new Stop-Mo lab supervisor wasn't even involved with the making of the schedule this semester; long-time employee friend had to do it because she now has the most experience in the lab, more than the new boss of the lab. SO I can't go to my immediate boss about this because he doesn't know crap about it. In fact, he's probably not my immediate boss anymore, since I would now only work one shift in that lab all week
I can't ask for morning shift in the basement, because the girl who owns that shift has 1 semester seniority over me. 1 semester. That's it. You smelling bullshit yet?
"Nekno, I thought you had 1 semester seniority over the new guy in Stop-Mo?"
I do. Doesn't count for shit, though. I think it's because A) 2D undergrad head likes him more, B) Lab supervisor boss-lady likes him more/has a bias against girls (I have other proof and stories to back this up), and C) new guy won several awards in the yearly student work show, while I only got in once and placed runner-up once.
So, now I'm basically "the spare" bouncing around 3
departments. Working shit shift in all of them. OH and it gets better! The new guy in Stop-Mo's visa is about to expire at the end of July (I'm very sorry for him, he's a nice guy, with a good work ethic. He could have made it here) so the lab is going to lose a worker. ALSO the girl who owns the basement morning shift is leaving at around the same time because she got a 4-month job offer at a studio. SO. The guy who is only going to last a month gets the cushy shift, while I, who can stay on for the rest of the semester, and likely for the fall, too, gets shit.
Lab supervisor boss-lady said that when they leave "maybe we can put you on morning in Stop-Mo. No guarantee, though. Hang in there and maybe after the summer we put you somewhere better, like arc tutoring. Just hang in there"
The hell I will. "Maybe"??? "No guarantee"???!! Fuck you.
I told her night shift made me sick. She didn't care. I sent her an email plainly stating that I won't work night shift, that if she can't fix this, then she should find another person for this job. Her answer? "Thank you for bringing this up"
. That's it. No "I'll see what I can do", no "come talk to me and we'll see what we can do", none of that.
I'm done. I'm so. Fucking. Done.
If she can't put me somewhere healthy, I will walk. I replied to her bullshit email with "I won't come in on my next shift if it's still night." I don't give a fuck that she's about to lose 2 other people, that should motivate her to make this work.
I developed a sleep disorder after 2 weeks
of night shift. I had to take a handful of sleeping pills and make myself drowsy with allergy meds so I could fucking sleep. I'm still on an antidepressant and antianxiety meds, because during those hours and hours of lying awake in bed, unable to sleep, I had no small amount of bridge-jumping and walking-into-traffic thoughts.
Even after I got morning shift, it took over 2 months for me to be able to sleep without medication. I still need a white noise machine to sleep, something I did not need before working nights for 5 months. I don't get medical benefits from my job, I work barely more than minimum wage, and I work 40 hour weeks. I do things that you can't do without a degree; you can't help a kid with Maya bugs if you don't know it, you can't teach a kid how to add sound to Toon Boom if you don't know how to. How many other minimum wage workers know that you can, in fact, open video files in photoshop?
The lab tech job pays barely more than flipping burgers at McDonalds, or selling towels at Macy's, yet the vast majority of the people who work those jobs cannot work the lab tech job.
I almost want this to go to shit; that way I'd have so much more time to apply to industry jobs, work on my reel, and do art for me. My mom supports me in this. An old teacher from that school who is now a close friend also supports me, and she's offered to hang out with me during the summer and teach me more rigging stuff if it falls through.
Have some self-worth, peeps. If your boss doesn't care about your health, someone has to. That someone is you. Have standards, be firm, don't budge until you get what you want. Don't let people tell you that asking for better work conditions is being whiny. It's not being whiny if it's big, life-impacting stuff. Don't put up with comparisons to others who can do what you don't want to and not complain; you are you, and not some other person. Don't let people intimidate you, don't let anyone make you think that "this is the way it has to be, there's no choice". Fuck that, there's always a choice.