Whew! The Video’s Finally Done, and I Have a New Target for My Ire

Friday night saw the premiere of the video project I’ve been slaving away on for the past couple of weeks. Overall, I’d say the reception was very positive, but there were a few notable problems. Most significantly, there were no microphones for the live-action portions of the show (except for the emcees) — which means that as far as the rapidly-becoming-intoxicated “audience members” to the rear of the room were concerned, the mock “commercial breaks” were real breaks. See, the whole theme was “The Academy Awards,” with live-performance commercials performed between awards presentations; for my part, we had produced no fewer than nineteen short “film clips,” not to mention producing audio content, graphic animation, and DVD and CD mastering. but when the live part started, the chatter level rose to the point where the skits were completely inaudible to anyone.

Added to the problems were the size of the group, and the resultant decision to make the event standing-room-only; no chairs anywhere. And since the “stage” area wasn’t elevated, if you weren’t right in front, you couldn’t see anything either. Once you realize that most of the folks can neither see nor hear the event, it’s no wonder that they kept talking — it is a party.

Of course, the whole “no chairs” thing led to something that almost ruined the evening for me. A couple of people — my boss included — were physically incapable of standing for the whole event. There were a couple of armchairs just outside the main room, but they wouldn’t be able to see the show. And in the case of my boss, anyway, that was the main reason she’d come at all. She asked me if I’d be able to scrounge up a couple of unobtrusive chairs that we could put off to the side of the main room. Easy enough, right? You’d think.

And then I ran into a pissant little big-fish-in-a-little-pond asshole who screamed at me that there would be no chairs whatsoever permitted in the main room. His original contract for setting up the event had specified no chairs, and there would be no exceptions short or rewriting the contract. When I explained the situation, he suggested wheelchairs. Awkward, but fair enough. When I asked him if they had wheelchairs, he said yes, but again, they’d have to alter the contract to allow them.

One thing I did discover after dealing with Palm, Dish Network, and AT&T Wireless, not to mention a year’s worth of ranting here (topped off with two weeks of hanging around with marketers): I’ve become much more adept at playing “bad cop” than I ever was at being a nice guy. Even as recently as a year ago, I probably would have just acquiesced to this boor’s arrogant attitude, but now, I felt no hesitation in letting this petty tyrant know that his actions would be remembered. And so they are.

If you — or anyone you know — is ever considering hosting an event at the Hotel Monaco, cancel it. Run like hell and never look back. The place ain’t all that, and with an expectation of this level of disservice, they sure as hell don’t deserve your money. I may not be the final decision-maker as to where we will host next year’s party, but I sure as hell have the ear of the folks who are.

Incidentally, once we were through with this self-important son of a bitch (my boss can get pretty damned assertive herself), they put out not only the two chairs we requested, but six. And the guy was all apologies. Too little, too late, jerkwad. I’ll be sure your bosses are also made aware of the evening’s events. Once I’m through with you, you won’t be able to get a job scrubbing toilets for that hotel.

The moral of the story? Don’t fuck with me. I bite.


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