Yup, I absolutely, have to write this.Sometimes you just have to speak
out and besides it's been swirling around in my head all night, woke me
up at 6:37am even though I went to bed after 2. So the other
night I received a terribly rude email to end my day but yesterday MORE
than made up for it! It was quite a nice Sunday...eerily perfect
actually! Spent the morning with my nephew and my niece (the older one
was off winning more soccer games in Manteca). We spent a blissful
Sunday morning, watching my new DVD the Princess and the Frog, sharing a
new bacon and cheese frittata with the girl, planning our Easter menu,
planning the boy's birthday outing and when the older nephew returned
home victorius, just hung out and chatted while the 3 of them played
harmoniously on the Wii!After I came home, I worked for a few
hours and then was invited to a party just a few blocks away. I needed a
break and I walked over. It was there I saw a few of my dear dear
lovely girlfriends that I hadn't seen in months and it was there that I
learned that another one of my friends was recently unemployed. And that's
where the sour notes of the evening started.A lot of
people have lost their jobs in this economy, it's no secret, we all know
that. Some are just hanging on by the skin of their teeth. I get that
BUT in this case, it was the WAY that it was done. So allow me, my
moment please. I simply have to vent. My dear friend just got
fired from her job of 21 years! She was the behind-the-scenes wardrobe
person for a certain facially-altered-lost-his-luster-&-appeal local
musician (we'll leave it at that). After 21 years she received, a phone
call from management that she was being replaced by someone else,
someone new. That someone is younger and is willing to get paid less than she was. No warning, no
meeting, no thank you for all the years of dedicated service.
No severance package, no notice, not even
a frikkin' THANK YOU from the _ _ _hole musician himself. THAT WAS IT! A
10 minute call.She is so kind and apparently a
better person than I am because says she "That's how the music
business is, isn't it Carmen?". With all due respect to my friend, I
have to disagree wholeheartedly! Says
I, "That is NOT how the music business is....that's how some JACKHOLES
in the music business are. They CHOOSE to be jack_ _ _ _ _! That's their CHOICE!" Before, the debate
and string of comments sure to follow, I'd like to say this. From a
business standpoint, and yes, folks and fellow artists, music is a
business and just like every other business there is a product/brand or
service that is sold to make a profit to continue in business based on
today's economy or perhaps it's as simple as it is time for a change. I
GET THAT. Business is a practical application of the best policies to
stay profitable and sometimes cutbacks and layoffs are inevitable.
People more often than not use the rational that "business is business".
Well, I disagree. Business is about PEOPLE doing business with
one another to get the end results they desire. It is always about being
"human" first and how we treat other people in the process of doing
business is what is important to me. I know about making changes for the
good of the company, I know about representing the company first, I
know about budget cuts and strategies not only from my years in
management in the corporate world but also the entrepreneurial world,
educational field and yes, the music business.I know about
"firing" people (and yes being fired too) and for me, at the end of the
day, it is also about the manner in which you are treated or treat your
fellow colleague . It should be with respect and dignity and with
empathy and compassion and at the very least a "thank you".Let's
face it, sometimes the employee or contractor are not a good fit.
Period. Just as a musician may not be the best band member for the job.
In my personal experiences on every level, I have always tried to
clearly communicate my expectations, define them and clarify them when
needed and have an open dialog about what works and doesn't work and
when all of that fails, then yes, it might be time to part ways or
"fire" someone.I actually have been criticized in the music
world that I am "too corporate". I have been told that I communicate too
much. But frankly, when I no longer work with someone, it is because I
feel I have exhausted every possibility to make the business
relationship or partnership work. And I end it with a sincere effort to
acknowledge their work, explain my reasons, try to maintain everyone's
dignity and hopefully remain friends.For example, such is the
case with the last 2 musicians I am no longer working with. After a less
than satisfactory gig on many many levels, I was not pleased, not
pleased at all. I let them know the things that were bothering me,
clearly and without pointing any fingers and that I was taking a two
week hiatus (In actuality, for me it was the "last straw" and I know I
needed a cooling off period so that I could address the situation with a
calm demeanor). At the end of those two weeks (a vacation of sorts,
that I had fully earned both emotionally and physically) I suggested
that they contact me so we could meet and discuss any further issues
should they care to do so. Neither one of them called or contacted me. In
this case that told me one of two things either they were too busy to
talk to me or they didn't care...and either way, that was another of the
reasons why I could no longer work with them. In the end after only one
year and a handful of gigs, they both knew my reasons why I was moving
on to continue on my musical journey without them. They were both given
an opportunity to have further discussion and they chose not to do so. But
in my friend's case. After 21 years to not even receive a simple THANK
YOU from the artist himself???!!! I find that type of "business
practice" appalling! Atrociously appalling! And yes, of course
there are always two sides to every story. I only know the one side.
Maybe after all these years, she actually told the 50+ year old that he
looks totally ridiculous & like a "payaso" in that disco suit and
that's why she was let go...I really don't know. (For the record, she
would never say this but I have because it's true...you remember The
Emperor's New Clothes right?)Anyway, all I know is karma is a
bitch and she has quite the long memory! I feel awful for my friend to
have been treated like this by these "people" in the music business. I
know she's in shock as we all are but in the long run, she is so
phenomenally talented, so well-connected, so strong, beautiful
experienced and above all dedicated that I am certain she will land
solidly on her feet and we in business that love and cherish her will be
luckier for it!
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It's good to talk.