Fight for Your Right to…

I know this is an author blog, but it must be boring waiting around for someone to write about “writing” or books and never really get anything. I’m beginning to think that this blog is not all about writing. It’s my blog, so my choice, I guess.

On that note, I work at an IT company and I have a big important meeting tomorrow with a great company in Chicago – on a project that could really boost my career and I’m really excited about it. Unfortunately I’ll be going there on the tail end of a sinus infection and pink eye thanks to my five-month old (don’t worry, I totally plan on bringing this up to her later when she’s older), but life is full of pitfalls. One thing I will not compromise on is my breast pumping. I damn well plan on breastfeeding my kid for a year (or until she weens herself) and I’m sticking with it, no matter where I have to go.

It’s been easy to go to work, pump 2-3 times in the spare office, and then do my work and not worry about being somewhere where I *can’t* do my motherly duty. I asked the Project Manager to make sure they talked to our client and ask where I can go to do my thing, and of course his response that they probably didn’t have some place. I try not to get discouraged about this, because I’ve pumped in bathrooms before — really bad, disgusting ones too, and I made it work.

When he called, they DO have a lactation room, and we got the contact number and person and I’m all set! I get excited when this happens. I ADMIRE companies that have designated rooms for mothers. Then, I kind of want to work there, because the room I have to use, I have to put on a sign to stop people from coming in because there is no lock, and as expected, no one reads signs and interrupts me anyway. Hey dudes, your problem not mine if you saw something you didn’t want to see.

I guess the lesson here is don’t get discouraged. Fight for your rights and take a stand on things that make others uncomfortable. You don’t have to settle for “No.” If I have to bring my cover and sit in the break room and pump with people coming and going, I WILL. I hope I won’t have to, but I will. Anything for my daughter.

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She’s the reason I procrastinate on my writing projects.

**

Two short stories are coming soon. I gave myself a deadline for the end of April.  Yes, Mod Fury is one of them. I’ve teased that enough. The cover reveal is coming shortly too. I promise!

I’m going to attempt Camp NaNoWriMo again this April. It’s hit or miss to find time for myself with a baby, trust me. Sometimes I’d just rather cuddle.

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

Hobby Doesn’t Mean Free

Sometimes I am just baffled by people who still don’t think being an artist, photographer, videographer or designer deserves compensation, that the jobs that we get should be for “exposure” because it’s just a “hobby”.

Today our Program Director came up to me (the resident Lead Designer) and asked me if I knew any students/interns in art or photography that would come to our Meetups downtown Chicago and take photos and videos for us.

Me: “Like for internship credit?”

Him: “No, not interns. Students that like to take photos and video. It would be like a hobby. [Our Company] would not pay them.”

Me: “But you’d have to pay them. Even interns get paid these days. And if you want them to come downtown to Chicago, there’s parking expenses, train ride expenses. Plus no one would do it for free.”

He gives me this blank look. “These students wouldn’t even do it because they like it? Because it’s a hobby?”

Me: “Nobody, not a student or anybody, is going to do photography or videography for free. At least an intern should get minimum wage.”

He looked completely baffled that we would pay someone to come to our events in Chicago, whether by train, bus, or car of their own expense, let them take photos and video of our speakers, and not pay them a single thing.

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I’m kind of livid, as an artist, you know? Like it’s unreal.

No, artists do not do things for free. We do not do things for trade. We have these skills, hone them, and use them for money so we can eat, put a roof over our heads, and clothe ourselves and our family.

Don’t let anyone try to persuade you to do things for exposure either. Work = $$$. Bottom line.

Cheers,

HK Rowe