Archive for May 26th, 2008

Touch Base With Your Vendors, One Last Time!

Monday, May 26th, 2008

My first Memorial Day job was a 9:30AM visit to Vickery Towers, a local Senior residence. I’ve played there many times before, and thought I knew my around. I thought wrong.

Since my last visit in December, they’ve done a lot of remodeling. The doorway I always used to use to bring in my equipment no longer exists. So – figuring I had a 50/50 chance of being correct – I rolled my gear to the closest opening east of the old entrance.

Naturally, as Horace Greeley could have told me, I should have gone west, old man. I wound up taking a tour of the facility, which would have been very nice – had I not been rolling a few hundred pounds of keyboard and PA with me.

All of this could have been prevented by a single phone call before I ever left the house. Or – if I’d had the common sense to bring their phone number with me – I could have phoned inside, after seeing the changes to the exterior.

As it was, nobody was hurt but me. The program still started on time, and my employers were not inconvenienced in the slightest. The only person who was put to any extra trouble was yours truly – and I deserved it. It can be reasonably argued that – after surviving almost 4 decades in the music business – I should have known better (which is to say: I should have called ahead to double-check on the details.)

Yes – if you wish to be co-dependent with me – you might argue that my contact at the venue (who was aware of the new load-in) should have called me. And sometimes, when details change, venues and/or employers do phone or e-mail to let me know. But saying that it would have been nice to have received a notification for today’s job does not alter the fact that – as a professional – it was my job to stay on top of the details.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is everybody’s duty – and is in everyone’s direct interest – to keep apprised of the minutiae. I suspect that – if we really made a study of it – we would discover that more job specs change (even if it is only something as minor as a slightly earlier start) than stay the same.

So my New Year’s Resolution – okay, make that New Fiscal Year’s Resolution – is to save myself a world of grief, just by checking in one last time. When a simple phone call can prevent a world of confusion, then that is something I need to do.

And frankly, so do you.