Wheee! And away we go: this evening marks the first night of my 14th Dinner Theatre rehearsal schedule at SCHS.

Yesterday, I read a random blog post somewhere about an editor (a job I think I would like) who dreaded going in to work. She said that when everyone at the office was saying “TGIF!”, she would mutter to herself, “I can’t believe I have to be back here in a short 48 hours.” One lonely Friday afternoon, she broke down in tears in her car. Long story short, she ended up giving up her editing career — to be come a teacher. Now she feels fulfilled, challenged and appreciated.

Question: Have you ever felt that way? I’m talking about the “I can’t believe I have to be back here in 48 hours” feeling. I rarely have it. The only exception is during my two major rehearsal runs per year, each of which is about 2.5 months long. During this time, my week consists (generally, with some variation) of getting up at 4:30, getting my lunch and dinner together, teaching till 2:30, choreographing, arranging and rehearsing small groups until 6:30, and rehearsing with a larger group until 8:30. Home by 9:15, chat briefly with the Thriller, check mails and Facebook, fall into the bed. Next day, same thing. Weekends are usually a mixture of recovering from the week past, and preparing/re-energizing for the week ahead. I miss my grandsons and spending time with family and friends.

I’ve done this for a couple decades now, so it really does seem like routine. And some days are better (less busy) than others, so that provides some much-needed downtime. (My students are so involved in sports, jobs and other commitments, we can’t rehearse as a full cast every night because of games, matches and teams having to share one gymnasium at a small school, so it’s good to have the smaller nightly rehearsals throughout the week.) Then there are the times when I can escape to have dinner with Kay or Stoney before rehearsals begin. That’s always a welcome break from the routine. But for the most part, when mid-January hits, I say goodbye to going home at quittin’ time, and it’s hard to get used to at first. Some years, it’s hard to get used to, period.

Still, as the Thriller has said on several occasions when I complain: I “can’t not do this.” Yep, the double negative totally works in this instance. The two annual shows are so much a part of my life (and, truthfully, the crux of recruitment for my program), it’s very difficult to imagine not doing them.

So, what is it about your job that you both love and hate? As always, I covet your articulate and compendious reflections. Pensioners, please join in; we’ll take your responses in “memory” form. :P

Have a finktastic week, fiends. I’ll check in with you soon.

6 thoughts on “¡Vamos!

  1. Suzanne

    What is the saying, keeping busy keeps the devil away?? :P

    When I was teaching I used to hate Sunday nights. Friday I was all WHOOOHOOO, then off on a great weekend and then came Sunday night. Blah.

    Now I don’t feel that so much. I don’t start work until 11:30 or so and am done, at the latest, 4 hours later. I am no longer tied down to the alarm clock and I pretty much work alone.

    The only time I really hate going to work is when it’s snow and ice out there. Rain isn’t so nice but I can deal with that.

    I hope your rehearsals go well and that you are still able to find time for yourself and the GKids and Remy, of course!

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      I also like your job because you get built-in exercise every day: something standing behind a piano for 6 hours doesn’t provide. I’ll bet you like that!

      Last night went well. I have all the boys tonight…we’ll see how that goes, HA

  2. Katherine

    Wow, 14 Dinner Theatres already! The first was my freshman year and one of my favorite high school memories. I’m glad you still do them! (Afraid I can’t add much to the weekend break discussion, however.)

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Hey, Katherine, great to “see” you here! :-) And yep, it’s the 14th DT. You were in on the ground floor, and I have great memories of those years also!

      I also have memories of being a young mom. Now that I’m old, I wonder how I did it all. You are an inspiration!

  3. David

    From the Pensioner corner I would share this: I have worked for myself for so many decades that the whole “work week” and “weekend” thingy was entirely different for me. Here is what I loved about being my boss…my schedule was for the most part mine to set; I took on only that which could be accomplished within the allotted timeframe, minimizing the stress level as best I could. The hardest part was trying to stay small. In my industry a lot of people want to make the jump from say 1 million in annual gross sales to 4 or 5 million annually. It is not that difficult to do but the headaches, scheduling nightmares, payable/receivable cash flow vs credit…all exponentially grows and that consumes your time. Though I loved what I did and the whole creative, problem solving thing, I worked in order to live and not lived to work. I have never been motivated by $$$…just want to earn enough to pay bills, care for the kids, travel, retire and fish and play golf. Touchdown!!!!!

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Well said about the money thing, friend. I’m with you there (obviously, since I’m a public school teacher). And this is the first time I’ve read something from a business owner who wanted to stay small. Is that an anomaly, or do you know other guys who pulled that off? I’m always reading about “growing your business” and “increasing profits.” It’s refreshing to see someone who made enough scratch to provide for his family and future, then basically called it quits when enough was enough. Good for you!

      I think I’ll be working way past 65, but I hope that when that time comes, I’ll have saved and planned enough to at least cut back and enjoy my second youth. :-D


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