LOAD520 Day 17 Natalie Schmidt – A Hard Day’s Night


Natalie Schmidt

6 thoughts on “LOAD520 Day 17 Natalie Schmidt – A Hard Day’s Night”

  1. Natalie Schmidt

    I’m very glad that this prompt came up on a weekend when I had the time to do it justice! I’ve been wanting to capture how Kyle’s been faring during working hours. It’s been lovely to have him at home to have breakfast and lunch with (we’d already have dinner together pre-pandemic) but working has definitely been hard for him since mid-March. Not because of his location, but because of its content and direction, leading to his sense of discontent. I simply couldn’t change these photos to black and white – their colouration remains the hope during such a bleak time.

    Journalling reads: Kyle’s worked away from the office many times – in fact, he’s had the tools & technology since 2007 to do that. He’s also quite used to working away from his home base office – since we’ve returned to Canada, but his job remained stationed in the UK/France he travels quite a lot from his Ajax office. Working from home has also become more of a thing since returning home to Canada. For a while, it became a Friday practice to save him fighting with the Friday/Weekend Cottage-goer commuters. So, all in all, Kyle doesn’t mind working from home, with the doors closing him into his library, being surrounded by his books, & being able to look over to see his piano & guitar in the adjacent music conservatory. Kyle’s a hard worker with a fabulous work ethic & quite the initiative for self-starting. He’s not someone the bosses need to worry about slacking off because he’s off-site & out of sight. He knows he has a job to do & he gets it done! He still wakes up at 6:30 AM, showers & dresses, ready to take on another day of duty & loyally executing orders while providing his unique tri-national experience to ensure that all players understand the game rules within all of the company’s countries/team sites. His daily tasks & responsibilities have changed a lot in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. His number of meetings has increased. In fact, he spends most of his time in meetings talking about the same topics over and over; this frustrates him so much, as it ends up with very little movement forward or being resolved. He’s needed to make some tough choices & to have some hard conversations with his colleagues. While the budget has always been a detested cyclical/annual topic, the pandemic has forced it to become an almost daily one. Being in such a cyclically-successful business based mainly upon the purchasing & using of airplanes in a time when air travel has been halted worldwide for the foreseeable future is excruciating on the ‘tough’ scale, & leaves us with even more uncertainty over whether Kyle will have a job at the end of the year. At the beginning, everyone who could work from home was asked to do so immediately. Contract employees were laid-ff on a global basis. Hours for full-time employees were cut across the board. Originally, the Canadian Engineering employees were down to 60% of their regular hours & pay, but on account of the Canadian Government stepping in to help companies stay afloat in these unprecedented times, they were upped to 75% after a few weeks. In order to make ends meet, more budget cuts were required – this time at home. Kyle has been so stressed by seemingly having incessantly bad news being followed by even worse! He’s struggled having to let go of his people, but has done so out of necessity, & has delivered the heartbreaking news with compassion & honesty. He’s had to alert people who had, after weeks of not working at all, return to the office to work 40% for only a couple days, that they needed to return back to 20%. He’s not enjoying work at all. He hates feeling helpless & useless to the company, not currently being able to use his expertise & the perspective of his multi-national experiences to help him accomplish the work for which he was hired. I’ve made certain that whenever we have the chance, we’re watching &/or listening to something humorous & giving him ample opportunity to vent during our (almost) daily walks. Mental health is just as important as physical health, & I’m looking forward to the day when he’s able to get back to solving technical challenges & problems & dealing with less of the day-to-day managerial bullshit. I want to hear him whistling while he works once more.

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