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Dealing with complete A-holes?

Discussion in 'Safety' started by Anonymous067, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    This COULD be a very long story, but I'm just going to bite my tongue and keep it short.

    Last weekend at our church we had a third-party skit team come in, completely unrelated to our church. Just doing a "show".

    I was the "head honcho" for the night, along with two others. It was not my choice to have them come in.

    First of all, they came a half hour late. This was significant when they were only going to have an hour to set up to begin with (due to our schedule, hour set up, Mass/service, half hour break, performance).

    Well, without even getting a hello, their main guy walks in, and just starts barking orders at ME, and my co-honchos for the night. We all kinda glanced at each other like...umm....yeah....

    They brought in their own sound board, and had their own wireless (which was good, cuz I didn't feel like hauling out ours), and he DEMANDED a channel on my console.

    Their "tech guy" was supposedly this great perfect hot shot. He was terrible. Amateur mistakes, etc etc.

    When I asked how long it was that I needed to record, their main dude said, "you can't, because we're royalty". I'm like...you gotta be kiddin me.

    AND, at one point, he actually told ME to LEAVE. Something tells me this isn't exactly right. Nor did he help pick up any of the large tables I PERSONALLY carried in for HIM at HIS request....
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  2. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    They're all that great and their guy didn't even advance the show?

    As I understand it, you're the house TD. He's in your venue. Unless it's in their contract, I don't believe there's any reason you couldn't power down the rig, lock it out, and go home.

    But from the other guy's perspective, perhaps it was a bad day. Perhaps they ran into traffic or had a flat on the way, and were in a time crunch. Perhaps somebody on your end told them that you're all there to do whatever they want. Just giving them the benefit of the doubt.

    But the way it sounds, this guy needs to be put in his place, and he needs it badly. "Sir, you must ask me for a channel on my console, and because of your unprofessional behavior tonight, no, you may not have one" would be my answer to the demand for a channel, especially in the heat of battle.

    Advice: remember these guys. Document what happened and report it to whoever it reports to. If the group come through again, insist that the contract be worded to protect you from being mistreated like you (documentedly) were.

    I've been on both ends in church and small theatre production. When I'm the house guy, I make an effort to advance with the road guy, and to treat him like I'd like to be treated when I'm the road guy. When I'm the road guy, I respect the house guy. In either case, I try to advance the gig as best I can.
     
  3. Sony

    Sony Active Member

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    You got a lot more patience then me bro! I commend you, if it was really as bad as you make it out to be.

    If it were me at MVPAC I would have told him not to boss me around in MY venue. Then if he didn't change his tune I would have told him to p*** off and get out and canceled his contract right then and there and kept the deposit.

    I have no patience for people who think they are better then everyone else....I don't care if you're Queen Elizabeth II, you treat people with respect otherwise you don't get to do your show.
     
  4. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    Especially in an industry like this one where word of mouth and reputation gets you work.
     
  5. jerekb

    jerekb Member

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    At my school we had this keynote speaker a couple of years ago he came in barking orders asking for tedious stuff to be done. Me and my crew were like looking at each other like who does this guy think he is and then he was all cocky telling us how he was going to capture the kids respect and all. Well it started and about half way through I was in aw. This guy was unbelievable just amazing and we were just blown away. well anyways we ended up asking him to sign the wall in the booth. We felt kinda stupid. Not exactly the same situation but just be warned that some performers ar cocky for a reason i.e. there really good and they know it.
     
  6. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Trust me, it was WORSE than I make it out to be. When I got home this night, I typed a six page email to my buddy (who also knows sound) about how horrible it was. Sadly, we did put him in his place two different times. He demanded something that was in the ground rules of the "contract" that wasn't going to get done if it meant his life....

    I had a serious talk with the lady who booked him, and I also had a surveillance camera running when the performance was off to document all activities.

    Now, I never said the skit we saw was BAD. It was actually quiet entertaining. That doesn't give anybody who's "good" to be arrogant or rude to others. Period.
     
  7. mbandgeek

    mbandgeek Active Member

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    I have been in one of those situations before with a touring dance company. I was a member of the lighting crew and i was focusing the lights as the house ME/TD was programming the show. We had a couple new guys also helping out for the show and we were intending on rotating out on the focus. The LD decided started out really trying to teach the new guys how to focus the lights but eventually got frustrated, and i was the one to focus all of the lights.

    As the day went on, she got more and more demanding. I was focusing the lights for a long time, and i was focusing as fast as i could and she still wasn't happy.

    I put her in her place by refusing to bend one of the gel frames. I told her that if she wanted to climb the ladder and bend it, she could go right ahead. I won that argument and she very sarcastically handed me a cardboard frame.

    I did make one mistake be not locking down a lighting instrument before saying locked, which we don't lock down our instruments in the same manner as it was a one-off. She made a comment that she didn't hear my wrench hitting metal, i looked at the house TD and he gave me one of those "oh my god is she serious?" looks.

    That night, while i was talking to the house TD, he told me that i should have thrown my wrench AT her. This is also when i told him about how she wanted me to bend the gel frames. That did not make the TD happy.

    It turns out that this was the first tour for a LD that was fresh out of college, and i have heard since that she was fired after the tour. That made everyone on the lighting crew happy.
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Member

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    One of my hats around my theater is Production Supervisor for Booked in Events, and this story brings so many experiences to mind. There are always going to be groups or individuals that know more about your job than you do, as well as know more about your inventory and more about your theatre, church, school, etc. I've actually been pushed to the point where I have refused followspot operators access to the catwalk, forced board ops to be replaced, and given no lighting other than a generic default cue all for behaving similarly to that. Granted, the opposite is true as well but we never seem to talk about them as much...
     
  9. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Okay....that's a bit confusing.
    Are you saying that this gentleman had a right to come in my space and push me around? And saying that he actually did know more about the system I work with on a daily basis, as opposed to him, where he hasn't ever been in there before?
     
  10. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    I think he was saying that part tongue-in-cheek.

    Some guys think they know everything about everything: your space, your inventory, your job (and of course your job is to so whatever they want you to).
     
  11. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    In a sense, yes, he does have the right to come in and tell you what to do. Yes, he could've been nicer about it, but as the de-facto "headliner," his needs get met first. I've had plenty of long days just like you described with such prima donnas, but that's just the nature of this industry. He also has the right to tell you to stop recording. I never record a show I'm working on for this very reason. Most of the time it's in the contract that recording/photography/videotaping the event is prohibited.

    Since you were the provider for this one, it's still your system. You could pull the plug if you want, but it might also kill your career (that's not to say you can't drag your feet a bit and make it harder for him :twisted:) You just have to learn patience. I believe soundlight posted this wonderful bit of wisdom on here for situations like this.

    1. Picture yourself lying on your belly on a warm rock that hangs out over a crystal clear stream.
    2. You can feel your hands dangling in the cool running water.
    3. Birds are singing in the wonderful mountain air.
    4. No one but you knows your secret place.
    5. You're in total seclusion from that rat race called "The World."
    6. The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.
    7. The water is so crystal clear that you can easily make out the face of the person you're holding underwater.
     
  12. zuixro

    zuixro Active Member

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    Wow that sounds like a pretty sucky day...

    I was doing fog for a show last summer, and I had someone who claimed to be the stage manager, but was actually more of a dresser, order me to allow her children to press the buttons on the fog machine. I told her that I had it covered, two of the remotes were in one spot, and the other one was only used once in the show. She told me that I had to let her children do it, and that I couldn't leave anyone out. I kind of just ignored her.
     
  13. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I assume this group was being paid to be there, so they had to put on the best show possible. I have both seen and done the same thing that guy did. I have seen road crews go as far as telling the local crew to go sit in the house, they'll take it from here. This guy was trying to get his show up, its your job to also make it happen.

    As far as the recording thing goes, he was not saying he is Royalty, he was saying this show HAS royalties.
    Royalties - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Don't ever play the "I am locking up and going home" routine. That makes you sound like your six. '

    I would also like to know how he "Demanded" the channel. Odds are he said here, hook this up to your console, I need an input, send it to your ____.

    Some people are harder to work with then others. You also have to put yourself in his shoes. This guy is going to different venues all the time. If he is in the church circuit he is usually working with volunteers with very little experience. He probably has the "the crew knows nothing until they change my mind" attitude.

    Its your job to make sure that the road crew is happy. I know it can be hard, but its your job to help them out.

    Someone higher up then you wanted this show to come in, you don't want to be the person that stands in their way, do you?
     
  14. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Myself and the other two leads were standing in a circle talking, and his tech walked up, and the main guy said "Where is your board? I NEED to patch into your board right now!"

    Thats pretty demanding in my book.
     
  15. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Not really, sounds standard to me. Perhaps he had an urgent appointment with the water closet that he was late for?;)
     
  16. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Sounds to me you should not have been standing around talking and been by the console or helping the guy setup. Whenever I see a group of people standing around talking when I am doing actual work I make it my personal goal to find those people something to do. No one should be standing around until everyone is standing around.
     
  17. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Wait, hold on a minute. Especially if the emphasis on "need" is yours and not his, I agree, that sounds pretty normal to me too.

    I grow increasingly confused, and less convinced that this guy stepped as far over the line as it sounded at first. It doesn't help that many "church sound people" only know how to make a microphone for talking turn on, so he's used to nobody knowing the difference between an XLR and an NL8.

    Putting the rubber band on the other claw, you didn't advance with them either?

    Addition, echoing Footer's comment: standing in a circle talking? If you're taking up space and not doing anything productive, you're in the way of someone who is.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  18. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    One easy solution for the future is to write a document/technical rider that outside groups need to sign prior to rentals/performances. I used to have problems like this at the school, and haven't had nearly this sort of attitude now that people have to sign a document admitting they know I am in charge and specifying in advance what equipment I will provide and what equipment they will be bringing in, including equipment hookups. Keep it short enough to email and fax, and require it in advance.

    Were you paid for the gig? When it's all said and done, even the most annoying rental gets myself and my crew paid, and there are worse jobs than standing around for half an hour doing nothing. Often I just bite my tongue and take notes for things to add to my rider.
     
  19. TOG

    TOG Member

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    Ever watch the Cesar Milan? I think you got yourself Dog Whispered. ;)
     
  20. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    As we were talking (with the main guy regarding schedule for the night), their tech guy walked in for the first time. He asked who the tech person was, and I raised my hand and immediately led him to the board, and during the walk, he DEMANDED his channel. He also "demanded" as he walked up, like I said, he had not yet entered the building at that point.
     

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