Over a year since I’ve done anything with this blog. That is a long time. I don’t even think Brian Vowles went that long between updates for ROBOT ATTACK.
I know that I missed the self imposed deadline/release date for EXTRACTION. I had even thought that I’d just push it to a similar date this year — 7-7-17 or 7-17-17. Now, I’m just going to get it finished. When I’m done, I’ll probably hold onto it for a couple of weeks to make sure certain people have seen it and then I’ll release it into the world for everyone.
While I want to explain what happened last year (LIFE!), before I do, I want to take a moment and go over something that has shaken me and made me realize that I need to focus on getting my animated stories/work done.
I’ve been depressed because I haven’t been able to find any freelance work and putting in applications for numerous jobs that never call me for an interview can wear on ones patience. And while I was trying to work on EXTRACTION and trying to find work, one of my main supporters of this project passed away.
My friend, co-artist and supporter, Richard Willimot aka Pengy passed away on March 22, 2017. He was only 48.
Richard had some health issues and had a lung collapse on him a few years ago. He never really recovered from that collapsed lung. However, since I’ll be 44 this year, it has put some things in perspective for me.
Thus, the renewed push to get EXTRACTION finished. Since Richard’s passing, I have decided on a few things.
• I’m going to use the original version of the script, not the extended version that was 8 pages long. The original version of the script was only 3½ pages long, but it was the only version that Richard had ever read, and the one he pushed me to work on.
• The extended version will be dissected and the parts that are not of the original script, shall be turned into a sequel script, like I had intended way back when.
I’m not going to fuss with how things look or are animated. It’s going to look like crap, and I know that. But I need to finish it and hopefully get started on something new before I end up passing away as well.
So, let’s discuss what (LIFE!) happened last year, shall we….
I was working part time at a discount retailer to help bring in some extra money. Right around the beginning of March, they asked if I wanted to become an Assistant Manager. I said sure. I was sent to another store to help out in the Assistant Manager role. That, was a nightmare!
After being at the other store for about 2 weeks, the one Assistant in my “home” store, quit. And thus I was pulled from the nightmare store and returned to my safe haven, with the Assistant title still intact.
Now, while being promoted was nice (more hours and more money!), it wasn’t long until my store’s Manager decided to take over a store closer to his home. The Assistant right above me, became my store’s Manager after a 3 (?) week training period. It was at this time that everything started going downhill for EXTRACTION.
As soon as the old store Manager was gone and the new store Manager was in place, I saw my hours greatly increase! I was working 40+ a week. I’d come home and would be expected to do all of my Husband/Father chores/duties/etc. That left pretty much no time for EXTRACTION, other than day dreaming!
And it stayed like this until around September 2016. That was when the store Manager that had been promoted back in April, decided that she could no longer deal with it and the day after coming back from vacation, she quit. Right in the middle of her shift. No one called me about it. I found out when I saw a Facebook post from her about it.
I sent her a text message to confirm she had quit, and she had. I had the next 2 days off, which the District Manager told me to take and that he would talk to me on my next scheduled day of work. With the Store Manager quitting, that left myself, the other Assistant Manager (who had been hired 2 weeks prior), and a Cashier to run the store.
On my next day of work, I went in, opened the store and called the District Manager. He asked if I was willing to hold the store until they could either get another Manager in there, or until they decided to promote me to the position. I told him I was willing. Then he pulled one giant slap in the face. He told me that he was not giving me the title of Holding Manager (yes, that’s a thing!) and that he was not increasing my wage. He was however, allowing me to work up to 60 hours a week in the store and that the over time would make up for any difference in pay.
Yeah, I knew it was bull$#!t too.
Shortly after accepting the unofficial Holding Manager position (like 3 days after), my wife and I were in a car accident. It totalled my 2000 Pontiac Grand Am and while I walked away with some minor scratches, my wife wasn’t so lucky. He eye got scratched from the air bag. She’s okay, but it took a few weeks for the eye to heal to a point where she could use it again correctly.
Anyways, I started working 60 hours a week. The first week was kind of a pain, because I was tasked with trying to finish all the projects that the store Manager had started, which I didn’t know how to do, but learned fast. During that first week, I was finding it difficult to get everything done that the company and District Manager wanted done in the 60 hours I was being allotted.
At the end of the first week, the District Manager came in and we discussed what needed to be done. I explained how 60 hours wasn’t enough, especially when the last Manager was in a salaried position. He said that I could use as many hours as I needed, but to try and keep it below 70.
It was at that point, that I decided to look for another job. I applied for a position with another company, got an interview, to which they told me it could be 1-2 weeks for my background check to come back. They called me the next day and offered me a position. I informed them that I would need to give my 2 weeks notice, but that I could start in late October. We agreed on a day and I got off the phone with them to call the District Manager and give him my 2 weeks notice. He was less than thrilled.
I spent the next 2 weeks working over 70 hours a week. It wasn’t until 4 days before I was supposed to leave that they brought in a proper Holding Manager. I had only ever met her once before at the other store I had been sent to back in March and she wasn’t happy that I was leaving.
My last day, was only a half day. I was planning on turning in my keys, coming home and working on EXTRACTION for the rest of the evening. It didn’t work out like I had planned. My wife ended up working late at her job and I had to deal with kids and dinner that night.
The next day, I started orientation at my new job. Orientation was 3 days and then I spent the next week on the computer taking quizzes and reading about the company. When I was finally off the computers, I started the gruelling 4am or 5am start times. The plus side was that I was off by 1pm or 2pm. The downside was that my wife wanted me to stop by her work before going home, and I’d end up spending a couple of hours at her store before going home and having to start dinner. So the getting off early to come home and work on EXTRACTION, didn’t work out.
I was at the new job for about 1½ months, before I was laid off. Wasn’t given a really good reason, just that they needed to let some people go. That was right before Christmas 2016.
Since then, I’ve been working on tightening up the script and deciding on styles and details I want to include in EXTRACTION. I’ve also been trying to get some clients and get some freelance work going again. That hasn’t been happening at all.
So, I need to be less depressed and get some creative stuff done!!!!
Hopefully I’ll have a new VODCAST later this week!
‘Till next time!