Fallout from a fickle industry

Post length: 930 words, just over 4 minutes.

So Tim lost his job.  Oh well.

Let me explain.  Tim is an animator, he draws stuff.  Currently he works for Rare, a computer game studio owned by Microsoft.  It seems that this industry, like most industries based around the arts, is pretty fickle and unstable.  When there’s work on it’s great, when there isn’t then there’s a whole load of talented people all looking for work doing the same thing.  His contract was only ever short — 3 months I think initially extended to 6 months — working on the little rip-off Wii Mii things Microsoft are releasing as part of their XBox 360 dashboard enhancements this autumn.  He heard today that they wouldn’t be extending his contract simply because they don’t have any work for them to do.

Normally this wouldn’t bother me, but this time it does.  It impacts on me in a number of ways.  Firstly there’s the effect it’ll have on Dana.  Tim is very selfish and when he’s worried about something then nothing else in the world matters (this was illustrated well when we were moving into this flat.  Dana was worried about the move and things surrounding that, Tim was worried about his job.  Every time Dana tried to talk to him about her worries he didn’t seem to care, all that was going on in his mind was his problems.  Forgive me if I’m being naive but I thought relationships were supposed to be two-way.  Sure he was worried about things, but couldn’t he find any time to talk to her about her problems and try to help, or at least give some words of support?  Apparently not.).  This coupled with the fact that Dana is far too nice, far too forgiving, far too understanding, and “In love” means that she’ll constantly be trying to comfort him.  And he won’t listen.  I’m not going to go into what I think he wants from a girlfriend, I’m sure I’ll cover that more in time, but one of the things is just that — someone to comfort him (I’m not saying that’s not what we all want, but that it has to be a two-way street).  And all this will drag her down.  She’ll feel she’s trying to help, but that it’s not working.  She does understand that he doesn’t listen when he’s worried about things, she said that to me today, but that still doesn’t stop you feeling down and, ultimately, frustrated when someone you care about refuses to listen to anyone trying to help.  Secondly it means, unless he finds another job elsewhere, he’ll be coming home and looking for work round here.  While that might take time, and in the meantime he’ll be living with his parents, in the end he’ll find something and there has in the past been talk of he and Dana moving in together.  That would leave me in the lurch a little.  Once again I wouldn’t have anywhere to go.  Once again someone will have chosen someone else over me.  I’d be left with a choice — stay where I am and go back to living by myself again, or pack up and move back closer to home.  Neither of which sound very appealing just at the moment.

Finally it means Tim will come hounding me again about his website.  He needs it to sell himself, but doesn’t know anything about it.  He knows what he wants it to look like, but not how to get there.  His site was originally built by Phil but a few times I’ve helped him out by making some changes.  When I first heard he had lost his job one of the first things I thought was that he would soon be coming asking for more changes.  This would be fine if I got anything from him for doing it, but I don’t.  It’s the reason Phil stopped working on it, it’s the reason another guy stopped working on it.  He wants it all for free because we are his friends.  Again, this would be ok if he wasn’t so picky and demanding.  We all put up with clients like that because we know that, eventually, they will fork over some payment for the work we’ve put in and once they have signed off on the project if they want more changes, they’ll have to pay some more.  But this doesn’t work like this.  He wants his portfolio — the key to him finding work and making money, the shop front employers see before giving him contracts — for nothing.  So this’ll be more work, for nothing, for me.

Earlier I put “In love” in inverted commas.  I thought quite long and hard about that.  I don’t know if she is.  If she is then she’s misguided.  I’m certain he’s not.  I’m certain that to him, if she left, he’d not be too upset.  Yeah, I don’t see them together much and maybe I’m totally wrong, but I don’t see it, at least returned.  Does she love him?  I don’t know.  I think she thinks she does.  I think she thinks she should.  I think he’s the kind of person she sees in the street and quite fancies and so she thinks she has hit gold with this one.  I don’t think she really does, deep down.  And I wish she would see that, but I think she is too trusting and forgiving to realise that the strange second thoughts she gets from time are grounded in some kind of truth and that sooner or later are really going to cause a problem.

Posted on Monday 6th October, 2008 at 9:31 pm in Home, People.
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