As posted by David North, ETC Technical Service Manager, at Light Minds Think Alike : The Seasons of Service. The Seasons of Service It's the silly season in Technical Services. Summer time is when electrical contractors are let loose to install lighting systems in municipal buildings and since we are near the end of summer we are also facing crunch time in support. Oh, and so you know what I mean by municipal buildings, that is generally going to cover schools, convention centers, board rooms, meeting halls and other facilities like jails and courtrooms. So now as the contractors are trying to finish the jobs up and get paid right before school starts, we're doing a lot of new system turn ons, we're getting calls to answer technical questions, replacing a bad part here and there, and offering support to all the Authorized Service Center contractors out there that do a bulk of the heavy lifting. The techs are twisting wires, writing Unison configurations, training on consoles, filling out field service reports and getting to the next job to do it again for another customer. Next comes Fall. In late September and most of October we expect to get more than the usual share of calls from Drama Teachers. The request is simple and goes something like, "My student that knew all my tech stuff and did the lighting graduated last year. I have a show next week and need to get the lights on. How do I do that?" We help them through some basics over the phone and suggest they choose another couple of tech students to take class time to learn the lighting system. Let's face it, just about any kid these days can pick up any electronic device and know it inside and out in no time. In November and early December we get the calls from different worship centers needing to run their installed system to the limits for one of two times a year (Easter being the other time) or have rental gear and need help getting through a few details. Late December through about February we hit the municipal cycle again as ECs have been let in do installations during the holiday break. We switch our brains back over to console and equipment instruction instead of installation technician support. March, April and May hit with the Spring school musical cycle shortly followed by year-end dance recitals. Questions on how to record effects and cue stacks come in. Well, then we're back to summer aren't we. In May and June we get to work with folks getting ready for summer festival and outdoor theatre productions. This is right before we get to the summer installation push again. There you have it. The service cycle through ETC as it were. Maybe you're asking what's going on with all the professional shows. To be honest, we work with them pretty much year round as they don't seem to take many breaks in the year. After reading the above, I noticed it closely parallels the questions on Control Booth. I just thought that was interesting, and a good topic for discussion.