Thursday, December 29, 2011

"Welcome To The Family" He Says

Yes, that's what he said.  I played as a duo with a guy who has a green face - the envy shade of green (a whole 'nother subject).  It's summertime, and we're playing out on the patio of a nice restaurant - "local style" food from Hawaii.  This place does very well, good location, good food, nice atmosphere - especially on the patio.  After playing there for a few weeks, I ask the owner what will happen when things slow down when it gets colder.  He says, "Oh, we put a tent up out here, and it's business as usual, your jobs are fine, don't worry about it".  So, the kid with the rifle arm and the goofy smile (that's my little league baseball reference) thinks everything is fine.  Well, as I excpected, things slowed down some when it got cold.  Keep in mind there are two other rooms inside, people are mostly settling in there, even though there's a nice tent on the patio - a few less people in the place, but nobody's hurting by any means.  About two weeks into the slowing down time, the other owner calls me, one hour before starting time - as I'm arriving at the place, to tell me "It's slow today, we don't need music".  So, I turn around and go home.  Next work day, same thing, this goes on for a couple of weeks before I call the other owner to ask if he's ok with this.  His answer, "We don't want to burn money, we're trying to save some cash here".  Now, I don't have such an entitlement attitude that I think businesses owe it to us to support us, to keep us working - especially if it means keeping me will drive them out of business, or even into the poorhouse.  But damn, "Welcome to the family", "...your jobs are fine, don't worry about it", and now that their profits aren't quite $2000 a day, they want to cut corners at my expense - typical of business owners.  And, this is smack in the middle of the Christmas season.  All through the 80s and 90s, I had full bands - not once did I consider calling the other guitar player and saying, "Oh, this place we play tonight, they're not paying us much, I don't want to burn money, I need to save some cash here, how 'bout you stay home tonight".  That's not to mention, I didn't have the cushion of millions (literally) in my bank account, and nice daily profits to sit on, I was right down there in the dirt with the rest of 'em.  Yeah I know, "business is business", and all that happy horse shit that the greedy and the inhumane like to hide behind.  I could have used clever cliches such as that to pad my wallet many times in my own life, but some of us are just not capable of doing such things.  So, once again, I sit here in disbelief, wondering how the human race arrived at this.  I also wonder how, with all of our technology, all of the (phony) preachings, and pretentious rantings, how humanity is getting worse, not better.

Well, I go on, continuing to work towards getting to a place where I won't depend on greedy business owners and not have to be in situations with the ever pathetic "Everybody look at me" guys for my living.  I had that once, and it went away.  It's a nice feeling to know that you don't have to put up with people's B.S., maybe someday I'll have that again.  In the meantime...

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