Monday, August 06, 2007


There isn't much knitting happening lately and this is not for want of WIP or UFO's. It's all part of the cycle of highs and lows that occur with depressing regularity. This morning it's catch up time as the body says 'Stop!' 'Give me a break!'
Knitting in times of high stress is not a calming practice for me. It results in tight tension and lots of frogging - no states of Yogic bliss.

The stress and tension is not all self induced - the Culture Factory is undergoing a restructure. The more cynical of us that have been there for the past two decades see it as rearranging the deckchairs once again. While all the titles and classifications are getting sorted and renamed the shows go on and audiences still come.

The stress of getting a show to opening night is different to the anxiety resulting from lack of organisational structure and direction. The only things that seem to be definite are weekly farewell parties and the speeches thanking X for their many (only 6!) years of service. In the meantime a vacuum of information and accountability results in too many hours playing catch up with the reality of a production's Lighting requirements.

This reality means hard physical work for me - running through the grid, focussing lamps at the last minute as I try and cope with the latest addition to the Stage plan, then plotting the show blind as the audience comes into the auditorium.

This has happened so often these days that my work attitude is cynical and angry. Like a Trucker on Speed I am bristly and aggressive. I get the job done to the hirer's satisfaction but it requires a Production or Stage Manager to filter this raw emotion from the Client - it's not normally their fault as they probably had several meetings to clearly communicate their requirements - I just wasn't included in the loop or have been called in at the last minute.

Unfortunately this stress is taking a physical and emotional toll - on me and several others in my position. Depending on who takes sick/stress leave first others have to take up the slack and the cycle goes on.

I have a vain and optimistic hope that the vacuum will be filled and normality will be restored. For the sake of all my languishing WIP's and UFO's I hope so.


M-H said...

It's horrible when work is going "wrong" like this. I always feel so powerless and at the mercy of fate and I don't like it. I hope it sorts itself out again soon.

Lara said...

Sounds awful Kate. I hope that someone gets organised enough to give you the info you need to do the job without unnecessary stress. And that you get more knitting time soon :)

Grandma Flea said...

You've just disabused me of any notion I had that working outside the Public Service might be less stressful. That being left "out of the loop", but with all the responsibility for the end result, sucks.

I hope it settles down soon for you.

mehitabel said...

Misery! When you take pride and pleasure in your work (and obviously, you do) trying to get it done under that kind of pressure and stress is bound to take a toll. I will send you good thoughts and hope that it will get better soon!