Friday, January 14, 2011

Hell Week

On Monday, I started a new role at work as executive producer of the morning show. Now that I have the first week under my belt, my survival story of Sunrise Boot Camp can be told.

The first step was adjusting from 2nd shift to 3rd shift. Not easy. I only slept 5 to 6 hours a day at the most. The dogs were confused and wondered why I was at home but not in the living room with them. I started drinking coffee and used sleep aids at times. I even bought some melatonin for future naps.

The second step was learning how the show currently operates. I have produced a 1/2 hour show, and at times 2 separate 1/2 hour shows, for the past 7 years. Sunrise is a 2 and 1/2 hour show. It's a totally different dynamic, a whole new crew of people and a lot of content responsibility compared to the evening shows.

The third step was adapting my way of producing to the show. I'm sharing duties with another producer for the first time. I use different elements and tools than what the crew is used to incorporating. The director and I are in the process of coming to an understanding in terms of what I expect and what he can do. In fact, he's teaching me things I didn't know we could do.

The fourth step was moving the show into a new direction. A series of meetings took place in the latter half of the week that introduced new elements, strategies and goals into my brain. At this point, I had a breakdown. I think it was Wednesday. I woke up from a nap, came into the kitchen and just started crying on Pmo's shoulder. The whole week was one big roller coaster of emotions. There were times when I wondered why the hell I decided to do this, and could I really do what upper management was asking of me? There were times when I had ideas of how to make the show better. Too many ideas that clouded my mind and made it difficult to close my eyes when I needed to sleep. There were times when I just missed my former life I left behind less than a week ago. 11 hours of overtime didn't help either.

I think my biggest problem, besides the poor sleep and eating habits, was the chaos of clutter. I don't deal well with being unorganized. I am not usually scatterbrained. I've been taking notes all week which are randomly placed on loose pieces of paper, in a notebook, in emails and in my mind. I need to cohesively bring all that together in one place in a specific order or I'll go insane. I need to decide what to tackle first and how to execute it. It's like coming home to a dirty house. I can't relax or settle in until I've put all the dishes away, cleared the countertops, made the bed and filled the dog bowls.

I'm calling it boot camp/hell week in the hopes that the worst is behind me. It can only get better from here, right? I was thrown into the fire, to the wolves, what have you, right from the get go and I'm coming out the other side. I have to retrain my brain and change my mentality. I think of it like building a truck on an assembly line. For years, you've done it the same way with the same parts and the same people. And you were pretty confident and comfortable in your abilities. But then the boss moves you to an SUV. You not only have to learn how to build this particular SUV, but build it like it has never been built before using new tools and parts. And make it bigger. Much, much bigger.

Kudos to my husband who has beared with me and been my rock through this first week. He's made dinner, packed my midnight snacks, cleared snow off my car, kept the dogs quiet while I slept, washed the dishes, made me coffee, sent me articles on staying healthy on night shift... the list never ends. God bless you, St. Pmo :)


Amy said...

Once you get used to everything, I'm sure it will be much better! change is always frightening- and I don't know a single person who hasn't started a new job, or a new position, and had that day where they think 'OMG! What have I DONE?' You'll quickly get organized, and settle into the routine, and you will ROCK!

Rachel said...

I remember this feeling very well. My first two months in the job I have now were just like this. I felt like I was always under water, another thing was always popping up on my list. But then, it all clicked. I know for a fact that will happen for you because you are smart, witty and a very good producer. It's good to get out of your ocmfort zone and rember that you've got what it takes. It will empower you.

That being said, this week sucked, let get a drink!

super jane said...

I am still so very proud of you. Give it another few weeks and you'll be rolling through things without a glitch. I love you!