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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This day just keeps getting worse

WARNING - Rampant whining content follows this warning!

Yes I'm going to whine and whinge in this post. There may also be a Star Wars related rant in the middle of it.  Just remember that you were warned.

Today was supposed to be my day off. I have to work Saturday and Sunday on shows this week which means I can basically choose which other days I need off.  This week, the most convenient days happened to be today and next Monday.

Over the weekend I got emails at work that informed me of the need to setup a PA with a radio mic and a lapel mic on Tuesday, had a client coming in for a meeting Tuesday afternoon (That I never booked and the front office never confirmed with me), and had to pull a radio receiver out of the musical rig that is set up currently as it was faulty and needed to go back to the hire company at lunchtime on....that's right.....TUESDAY!

Fair enough, I figured. It's all part of the job and at least I will get a sleep in and can have a late start.


At 8am my mobile phone chirped it's little chirp to indicate a message had arrived.  I heard it, looked at the clock and decided to go back to sleep.  Unfortunately, my mobile phone is an insistent little shit of a thing that likes to remind you every five minutes that it has a message/missed call with the loudest single beep ever heard from a small electronic device. This beep, even though it is in a completely different room of the house, is sufficient to jar me back from the pre-sleep doze that takes approximately 5 minutes to achieve.

So, I got up, walked into the lounge room, picked up the phone and discovered a message from the girl from this post. Knowing that we had a date tonight I was somewhat surprised to get a message from her. I opened the message and discovered that she had to cancel for tonight. Strike 1 for the day so far. I was really looking forward to dinner with her. I'd even bought a new shirt and was planning on making reservations at a nice little restaurant in Paddington that serves healthy Asian cuisine. So I went back to bed to try and recover from the late night of computer gaming I had.

I couldn't get back into a decent sleep as the day was starting to warm up and become uncomfortable. A few days ago I purchased Star Wars Episode 4 - 6 with the digitally remastered version and the original theatrical version of the movies, and so I figured I would watch Empire Strikes Back. (Warning - here comes the rant)

I had watched the original cut of Star Wars the day before and was ecstatic to watch Han Solo fire first with Greedo and all the other little Lucas retouches gone from sight.  This morning I chose the remastered version of Empire. I know, I know. Thousands upon thousands of Star Wars fans are now screaming at their monitors (I'm predicting that just adding references to Star Wars will send my blog readership through the roof) that I should have avoided the remaster and stuck with the originals but I was curious.  All was going well until they got to the Cloud City. So far any retouching was subtle, and, as I wasn't really paying attention (I was reading blogs and checking email etc), I didn't notice anything blatant.  Then Boba Fett spoke.  He spoke in the original also. That's not the problem. The problem is that the menacing bounty hunter voice that inspired fear in me at the age of 10 is gone, replaced instead by a New Zealand accent so that it fits with young Boba from Episode 2. 

I'm Australian! I do not find menace and callousness in the accents of our neighbours across the sea. I know too many of them, and they are all nice people. At church they sing Hmms instead of Hymns, their engineers use splut puns instead of split pins, and when they go out for seafood in medium sized groups they order "fush and chups for sex"! It totally destroys the illusion all for the sake of two lines of dialogue maintaining continuity across twenty years.  Surely they could have just found an actor with an accent similar to the original Boba Fett and made him the young Boba in Episode 2?  DAMN YOU GEORGE LUCAS!! You irritated me at the start of an annoying day, and for that you are going up on my list of people to berate if I ever see them in person. (Oh and I'm watching the remastered Jedi right now, and the Sarlac looks like the damn flower from Little Shop of Horrors!!!)

With my Star Wars enjoyment destroyed for the day, I start getting phone calls on the work mobile. These aren't calls direct to my mobile because I never give the number out except to the office staff. These are calls being transferred from the office to me, while I am not at work, which they know because my roster is on the wall in the office, clearly stating that I will not be at work until 12pm. The calls aren't even urgent, just menial questions about events that are weeks away.  This really starts to piss me off after the 4th or 5th call in an hour.

At 11:30 I headed in to work. I knew that someone from the hire company would be there to pick up their radio receiver at 12pm on the dot, so I wanted to get it out of the rack and ready for them. I walked into the office to grab the keys for backstage lights etc and said hi to everyone in the office. They had nothing to tell me so I headed backstage to get the radio gear together. At 12 o'clock, one of the girls from the office tells me that the lady from the hire company is out in the foyer and has been waiting for 15 minutes. Meaning, that she was there when I arrived and nobody felt the need to tell me. Sometimes I think they just don't get the concept of "Reception"!

Radio gear handed to the appropriate person I checked my emails and then headed to set up the PA equipment. It's not in the conference room that I thought it would be in. Not the large room that requires a PA system, but instead it's in the small room. No more than 30 feet to the back wall, about the size of a standard classroom. I look at the room setup. There are 3 rows of tables, with 6 chairs to a row.  18 PEOPLE! FOR 18 PEOPLE I AM HERE ON MY DAY OFF SETTING UP A RADIO MIC AND A LAPEL MIC!!

Pissed off royally now, I grabbed the old VHF Radio receivers and take them down to set them up. The lapel mic works but is stupidly quiet and sounds like ass.  The handheld radio mic shows signal on the receiver but no audio at all. FUCK! I needed that mic for tomorrow on an external job. Now I have to hire in a radio mic. I decided to swap out the cheap old receivers for the new, high quality ones in the musical rig. I grab our old 8 channel mixer and take it down as well. It's old and doesn't sound great but for these jobs it works. Once everything is plugged in I put new batteries in the mic and tossed the old ones on the desk as a spare. When the batteries hit the desk from a height of no more than 2 inches, it began to emit an horrific honking sound through the speakers. GREAT! Now the small portable desk we use for little gigs is broken. Even tapping on it with my finger would create new and bizarre sounds.

So, I lugged it back up to the store room and brought down the 16 channel Yamaha desk. It worked fine, thankfully. And now it was time for my meeting.

What meeting? It seemed that both the meetings that I had been emailed about on Friday, had been rescheduled on Monday to tomorrow and Thursday respectively. Did I get a phone call from the office to tell me about it? No, I got an email, on my work email, that I couldn't check on Monday because I was not at work on Monday, which they knew!

Thankfully it meant that instead of working for five hours I only had to do one and a half, and I'll charge three at double time for working on a day off.

To make my day a little better, I hit the shops, bought some vegetables and a really nice, thick, juicy steak. Since I moved in to my new house two weeks ago I haven't cooked a meal. I've either been living off pizza, takeaways or eating at work before shows. Steak, beans, carrots and mashed potato is the order of the evening.

So, I guess my day can get a little better, although I would still rather be sitting in a restaurant tonight, across the table from a gorgeous girl, sipping red wine and enjoying good conversation. Maybe I'll get to the party at her house on Friday night. After the show that finishes at 11:30pm. And hopefully the party will still be rocking and I can see my friends for a few hours before I have to drive home for a show the next day.

Tomorrow had better go smoothly. Karma has to catch up eventually.

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