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Productivity Feels...Weird



I've had a love-hate relationship with the word, 'productivity.' With my occupation, it is highly encouraged to be as productive as possible, but it feels strange to see myself being the only one performing. My shift ended several hours ago, but I still can't shake my distaste for how few cares my fellow coworkers give. Seeing how the pandemic is still going on, and a lot of people are finally understanding the lasting power it can hold on human life, workers are feeling fatigued. My fellow stock crew are of no exception to this. 

Throw in a couple of icy nights and an incoming snow storm, and the remaining cares have been tossed in the rushing winds. Warehouse employees were scarce several days ago, so our truck size dwindled, only to come back up in monstrous quantity last night. My aisle called for eleven man hours. A singular aisle in a grocery store demanded my full and undivided attention, plus another's partial. The aisle was stocked in seven hours' time, and I was whisked away to bail out another coworker. This disgruntled me as I checked the summarized times for the aisles. I was being sent to continue stocking for an aisle that called for five hours worth of stocking time. 

While I understand that not everyone can be as productive as others, I do expect for said others to meet company standards. Our standards are a wee bit harsh, but they are manageable. The company asks for the stockers to perform at an average of 55 cases of product per hour, or working a case every 55 seconds.  From picking up the box, to breaking the cardboard down, this is manageable. What I saw was inefficiency, and I will not stand for it. Why make your life harder? The answer can not be, "I get paid by the hour." I watched this worker walk ten steps from his pallet of product to his cardboard cart, just to place a box in it, and repeat the process for his aisle's stocking. 

In a hindsight of how I value productivity:  I use my laziness to my advantage. Everything I need is within an arm's reach. My pallet, cart, stocking destination, boxcutter, and water bottle. I'm even starting to memorize how to open certain boxes of product in a particular way, just to cut down mere seconds. I don't have time to waste, because I don't want to be in that store any longer than I have to be. So if I can use my productivity to be lazy, and vice versa, so be it.

Productivity is coming at me in my writing as well. I've never been one to have multiple tabs open on my browser, but I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. As I type this, I have three different Gay Authors tabs open:  one for my most recent chapter of Cernunnos (using it as a footnote since I'm writing the next chapter), one for the Last Post Wins game in the forums, and one writing this blog. Along with those tabs, I have my Google Drive tab, my documents tab holding Chapter 11 of Cernunnos, and a Google Search tab for anything I may need. Before my writing adventure, I have never had more than two tabs open on a single browser. I am feeling like a computer mastermind with all these tabs running!

I feel as I am getting somewhere in writing, but I also get the sense of holding myself back. I'm not looking for money as a product of my writing. I'm searching for an escape from being productive at my job. I don't feel appreciated for busting my butt there. Here...I'm thanked, and that feels weird to me. Every job I've had, I have thoughtlessly outperformed my fellow man, and I don't get thanked a lot. With every chapter I post, I get told, "Great job," or, "I love this," or, "Thank you for this chapter!"

This has caused the term 'productivity' to have a warped definition to me. In one half of my life, I find it to be troublesome to be productive, while the other praises me. My thoughts are at war, and I don't know how to combat that. I've never been one to articulate my emotions before, but writing has opened that door for me. It is only cracked open, but the drafting winds are appealing to me. With words, I think I can finally begin to understand some of my mental issues and speak out about them. I don't know what they are, and for the time being, I'd rather them remain nameless. 

So, for now, I'll just relate my issues to Bo Burnham's Left Brain, Right Brain song. I've always found solace in the song, but I could only find reason in the fact that I love comedy. Expanding my thoughts, the song is much more relatable. My job and hobby are at war, and, just as the song states, "my creativity and analysis are at war." Productivity is a hellish word in my job, while it is welcome in my hobby. Productivity...is just forkin' weird.

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I can relate to this. Back in the days when I used to work in projection, we had to be self-motivated to a certain extent. You knew that films needed to be checked and made up before they were due to play, along with all the other daily tasks of keeping eight screens running, but no one was standing over you and forcing you to do it. Yet when some people were on duty, they'd happily ignore a print sitting in the film dump for days then if no one else did, would do it at the last minute. Most times, someone else did make it up. 
It's great to get feedback. I have to admit, whenever I post a new chapter or short story I can’t wait to read all the comments. It really does make all the writing time feel worthwhile, not necessarily because everyone likes it, but because they are at least reading and thus sharing in your created world.

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I also relate to the concept of ignoring part of the job. When stocking groceries, once all the stock is up, we have to 'condition' the aisle, pulling a few rows of every product in the store forward. The goal is to make the store look grand opening ready, but it's only that:  an appearance. By the end of it all, the store looks, in one of my favorite terms, 'purty.' Personally, I don't see much of a point in it, as it will all be ruined by the first hour or two of shoppers. I see it as building a pyramid of playing cards, only to have your cat dart through it and sending cards flying through the air. 

Going further in my stock crew's productivity problem, our company is union-based, and some of the crew members have the 'I'm doing the best I can,' mentality. I refuse to adopt that mentality since I see that a job needs to be done. As menial as my job is, I take pride in putting food on a shelf for people to bring home to their families. 

I love feedback! The only thing I wish for on this site is just a little bit more 'rough around the edges' feedback. I'm not asking for a head slap and to tell me I'm an idiot, but I'd like for some of my common mistakes to be vocalized. I can't see them, because I'm making them. I had to get an editor to tell me to quit starting a sentence with the word, 'And.' I'm hilariously visualizing a 'flipside' button for the site. The site is blue:  nice, fun, happy! Flip the switch, and it turns red:  flaws, errors, constructive feedback! 

The feedback I've received has been fantastic, and it is truly one of the only reasons I'm sticking with writing as a hobby. I'm being told that my work is good, so I'll create more! Any time I see a new comment, I must read it, and I must respond!

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I think a lot of the readers try to be kind. Also, I guess if there's something about your writing style they find hard to connect with, or if it doesn't flow, they just stop reading rather than commenting on it. I have actually had some constructive criticism in my comments (people picking up on a time-related error I hadn't spotted) which was very useful. I cross-posted my Dragonriders fanfic on 2 other sites (which are dedicated to fan fiction) and didn't get anywhere near the number of views or comments as here on GA

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The number of total views and comments was one of my main decisions to start on this site. I starting to create an account somewhere else, but the site looked very dated, despite being somewhat popular. I have gotten several PM's for some errors I've made, and even a suggestion or two, but I will settle for near constant happy feedback and receiving criticism from my editor.

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Oh gosh... I've got about 15 tabs open on my computer :rofl:  

I totally understand what you mean about 'productivity'.  It's been a buzzword in my profession for a while now, and not in a good way.  Where I work (when I'm not furloughed), they put a lot of pressure on clinicians to get our 'numbers'... meaning there's an expectation of how many people to see in a day.  And they don't care about why we weren't able to see a particular person.  Excuses 🙄 So in my line of work, productivity can mean demands which straddle the line of our code of ethics, in the area of providing appropriate services.  I refuse to cross that line, which sometimes means my numbers may be down, but that doesn't mean I'm lazy or unmotivated... I'm using that time to write reports, catch up on case notes, or provide staff training.  

One area I wish I were more productive lately is with my writing.  Especially with being furloughed, I feel I should be writing more, but just don't have the mental fortitude for it at the moment.  :(  

If you're looking for constructive feedback, I'll send you a PM later about "Cernnunos" and some of my observations.  :) 

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I would love some feedback! I know with the chapters being smaller than my other stories, I'm probably making more mistakes in terms of grammatical and punctuation, but I'm having a blast writing it. As a new writer, I'll gladly take advice and feedback whenever I can get it!

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