•9:50 PM
LANA:

Now that DH is out of the film catering gig and received his last paycheck, I can finally spill the goods! I already said he wanted to leave the job because of the insane hours and relatively low food quality. But there was a whole lot more to it.

I guess you hear it all the time - the film industry is hard and cold. But if you're like me, you were probably thinking of it from the talent's point of view. Constant rejection and criticism, the casting couch, things like that. I was surprised, maybe more than I should have been, that it's hard and cold all the way down to the ground level behind the scenes.

It's a 100% fear-driven work environment. They do not want you to feel comfortable or secure about your position on the crew. I didn't mention it before because our mortgage lender would not have liked to hear this at all, but DH's company signed a contract with the production company every single night to be hired for the next day and the next day only. The upper echelon on set (the producers and execs) are rich, powerful and moody because they can be, and because it works to keep your performance on its toes. They know what you are being paid and they know 200 people would jump into your place in a dead second.

There is no loyalty to speak of, even within the catering crew. It truly is every man for himself. Mysterious 'complaints' run rampant on the set, and any one of these could be grounds for your termination, whether or not they are true, or even important (for example, if one person out of 120 thinks the table seating is too tight - and she happens to be dating one of the producers). DH was expressly warned not to do any special favors outside of what they were under contract for without speaking to his boss first, because today's kind gesture could become expected as an entitlement tomorrow and if you refuse to do it again, you may find yourself out of a job depending on whom you've ticked off.

Frenchy, DH's boss, has been in the business for over 20 years and seems comfortable playing any game that needs to be played to cover his own back. Sadly, it was hard to respect him in the end. It was interesting to me that his longest term employee has been there only three years (and he's on the verge of leaving as well). Despite the money to be made and stars to meet and the parties to go to, no one can do it for long. It's too demeaning, and too lonely.

The heavy paycheck was great, of course, but it came with many strings and ugly feelings, and the uncomfortable knowledge that it could end at any moment for any trivial reason at all. It's no way to live.

For us, anyway.
•8:54 PM
LANA:

Ah...heh. Yep!

So it sure is good that God prepared us for the decision we made this week. Had He not, would we have been able to make the decision we did? Would the decision have even been on the table? You know what, I don't think so. We would have never been where we are now, physically and spiritually, if He hadn't brought us through so many storms. And now the financial waters may get kind of rough again, but our souls are soothed, and even assured that this is the right road.

DH decided to accept the job at the restaurant, at a rather crippling pay cut. If we had not gone through Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and rid ourselves of debt, saved a bundle and learned how to limit our living expenses, it is pretty much a given that we would not have been able to afford to take it. But I trust my husband's relationship with God as much as my own, and he feels strongly this job opportunity was a clear answer to his prayers. There certainly were many 'coincidences' of timing and events that made it very easy for him to nab the position. Almost like he was being prodded and pushed along towards it through doors opened by invisible hands.

Apart from the initial wage issue, DH is going to absolutely love the work ahead of him. The kitchen has its own gardens on site to grow produce, and close relationships with local farmers for pork and beef. The executive chef who hand-picked DH for the position previously worked under Thomas Keller at the French Laundry, which is pretty much any chef's nirvana. DH will finally be able to grow as a chef again, and have a good chance to advance up through the ranks (he's going in at the bottom). We have absolutely not given up on Paris, either. We're getting closer, in a roundabout sort of way. :)

I prayed that the wage would be 'enough', and even though, yes, in all honesty a few indignant tears may have squeezed their way out (how many times should one man be asked to 'start over' in the only field he's worked in for 14 years??), they have dried up now and I trust that it is indeed enough, simply because that's what we will be given for now. I am so, so glad that we learned that money cannot be our comfort and safety - only God can be that, and His arms are so much wider and loving than the hard, unfeeling god that money makes - counting on that god just stresses me out!

So DH has just two more days on the set. I do not know what this is going to do to my chances of going to the wrap parties! But it's cool. I'm going to get my husband back from the land of 17-hour shifts, and he's going to be inspired in his work again. He's even going to take a week break in between the end of this job and the start of the next. A whole week to rest and spend time with the boys and I, maybe take a drive down to CA to see the redwoods and hit 'Ripley's Believe It or Not' museum along the way.

To make it even better, DH's dad  'happens' to be stopping in for a visit one of those days! It'll be the first time his dad has ever met Theo in person. DH would not have been able to be off work from the set that day if everything didn't happen when it did, and he would have missed what is definitely going to be a rare and special time for our continentally-divided family. Life is good.

Thank God for change, and for new adventures! Let's get this show on the road!