The official, "Your services are no longer required" thread

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Matt Bo Eder

Guest
It is with a bit of sadness that I make the official announcement that a certain famous rodent and I have now parted ways. I announced to my friends on Facebook and thought maybe I can work out some therapy on the subject here.

I wish I had an exciting story about how the end came about, but there isn't one. The Company has decided that if you serve in two roles, you really should be where you spend most of your time. And in my case, being an audio technician is more steady, and more important to them than my work as a drummer, so the decision was made for all employees doing dual-roles to stay in one area. So apparently, this not only affected me, it affected a few others who were also musicians (and in the AFM Union) and crossing into work as a variety artist (AGVA Union).

I suppose I could understand the company's position - if you're already full time doing one position, then are you getting paid OT whenever you do the other role on a part-time basis? The law says yes, you should be, and the company probably says "no - we're not going to pay that". So I won't pretend to understand what was going on there, only to say that, for now, I will no longer be performing the role of the famous drumming rodent.

Like I said, I wish I had a more exciting story.

That said, it still feels like I was fired. And part of me wants to demand that the situation be made to work out. Make it fair (to me). Although I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin, whenever you're told you can no longer do something you kind of base your identity off of, you feel like someone is telling you that you're not the drummer you say you are - and after all these years of working as a musician, it still kinda' stings.

In the last 48 hours, the thought of giving up playing crossed my mind too (most unlikely, but that's how hard it hit me). I though about my age, and how long I've been at this, and there have been some days when I just didn't want to load the drums in the truck again and schlep them out for some faceless gig. Some of my musical friends I've grown up with no longer play at our age because they never made it to the next level where gigging was a way of life - and every time we see each other it's "How long are you gonna keep doing this?" kind of conversation, and sometimes I let that get to me. Being let go from a position amplified that thought.

I'm probably reading too much into this. On a positive note, it does free-up some 'mind time' to devote to other projects. So maybe this is a good thing.

It'd be interesting to hear what some of you think about getting fired from a gig, and what you do to soldier on.

I had a crazy thought of getting myself a raccoon costume and playing all my gigs that way.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Just keep playing, it really doesn't matter where you play. Some of my best best solos went unheard by anyone but i know they mattered. play on..
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
You need a damn good slap. It's obvious that any decision was via a mechanism utterly devoid of personal / professional judgement on your ability to fulfil the role. The fact that you've been doing this for so long says much about your ability, & how others judged you on the performance.

On the upside, you point out you now will have some mental energy space to put into something creative. Concentrate on that. The rodent gig didn't define you (unless you want it to of course), & it certainly didn't leave much room for creativity, so take this as an opportunity for a change of emphasis.

You're a good player, you know that (or at least, you should), & so long as you value yourself, other opportunities will present themselves.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I'm sorry to hear, man.

It's not about your musicianship. It's a corporate decision based on economics. You're an excellent musician. I know it's easier said than done, but it shouldn't damper your enthusiasm for music at all. Let it give you an excuse to play music more for yourself and less because it's a job. Be selfish about it, take gigs you enjoy just for the music you're making, without concern for how much they pay.

I've never made my living on playing music (and I have a lot of respect for the fact that you've done this). But I have seen very high highs and very low lows in the corporate world at my day job. I know what it feels like to go from being a respected superstar to being viewed with contempt, from hero to interchangeable part. But here's the thing: It's all bullsh**. I know in my case, I didn't change; the person making the decisions did. That's the thing about a job; no matter how much you bring to the table, if you work for the wrong person, or the winds of change blow the wrong way, someone decides you're expendable. It's hard not to internalize it, but you shouldn't.

Keep on swingin', man. You're too good at this not to. We got your back.
 

no talent

Senior Member
and every time we see each other it's "How long are you gonna keep doing this?"
wow, who wouldn't want to keep doing it for a living? Im not greedy, if I could make the same pay I make now at my day job by playing the drums, I would do it in a heart beat!
 

rustyfingers

Senior Member
I think I'll just quote yourself on this one. Some applies and some doesn't but it's the summation that should bring it home.

"I think there's something wrong with you.

I think Hollywood Jim is right - for whatever reason, you've wasted your time on musical instruments. Go do something else. I woulda' thought by 54 you'd have figured it out. What would've happened if you lived around Los Angeles where people living under rocks are incredible? The stamp collecting probably would've started sooner?

Either get on the instrument to enjoy the journey, or find something else. I think you've made up your mind.
__________________
Bo"
 

TTNW

Pioneer Member
That's too bad Bo.

Take a break for a little while and then go get yourself another gig.

You know that playing music (especially with other musicians) is important to you. You're a really smart guy. You'll land on your feet, instead of the big rodent kind ;-)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Bo you has my sympathies. Losing a long time gig like that would shake anyone.

This was meant to happen because it took place, it actually came to pass. I believe this is an example of what I call "future positioning".

An example. The house I'm living in now, originally I used to rent.
While renting, we had a house fire. Worst 2 months of my life. Bad news right? Well if it wasn't for that fire, I wouldn't have gotten money from an insurance policy on my marital home. (a different house)
Long story short, if that fire never happened, I wouldn't have got a lump of money. I used it to buy the house that caught fire, and have been living in it happily ever after, and I LOVE it here.

So I think that your journey is nowhere near over. I think that there's other things in store for you. This sudden unexpected change in your life happened because it's necessary for your continued path. If something happened, it was meant to be and one can only accept the notion that there are other things in store for you. This was not of your doing, it happened to you. It was forced upon you through no fault of your own. I really have to believe that everything will be OK. Better than OK actually, this is a necessary positioning move made by the entities that are moving the chess pieces upstairs.
 

Mikeyboyeee

Senior Member
Sorry to hear that - sucks, but it's just a corporate 're-org' essentially... it's not like you were let go for anything to do with your skills (or lack thereof) as a drummer. You got caught up in the cogs of a giant machine doing what giant machines do.

Open yourself up to other musical possibilities - something that might be even more enticing to your sensibilities...

How far away is Knotts Berry Farm??? ;-)

Best of luck to you Sir - you might just find you're better off!
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Probably for the best. I assume it was uncomfortable siting on the throne with the cape & tights & everything.

Oh, that's Mighty Mouse...
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
Sorry to hear that. This was totally a case of "penny wise and pound foolish".

Corporate always swoops in and messes up things that work. It's all about micro-management. If the department is doing the job (providing A/V services as well as providing performers for the shows) and they are doing it on time and under budget, then who cares if some people are getting overtime?? It sounds like some bean counter saw "Overtime!! That's against policy!!" and put the hammer down. You'd think money men would realize "hmmm, we're getting twice the work but only paying 1.25 times the salary...and everyone is happy with that?...sounds like a deal!".
 

Notbob

Senior Member
Never confuse who you are with what you do for a living. We define ourselves. Do what you enjoy and make no apologies for it, regardless of what other people think or corporations demand. Like Zappa said "Do you love it? Do you hate it? There it is, the way you made it!"

As far as being too old, look at this way. Say you're 50. In ten years you'll be 60. It won't matter if you're playing or not playing, either way you'll be 60, so why not be 60 doing what you like instead of being 60 and concerned about how you imagine someone else might think about you doing what you like?
 

double_G

Silver Member
hmmm, sorry to hear. don't forget that many times it is just bad organization / finance / band leading. 2 years ago, i was in (2) diff bands led by the same ADD bandleader...i got "replaced" in the first band, then "replaced" in the 2nd. found out later the leader was going thru a divorce. then months later, he starts calling me for more (pretty lame) gigs??? i did a few then bailed to recover my dignity. also found out later he had burned bridges w/ many of my drums buds all over town.
 

drummer-russ

Gold Member
It never feels good to be asked to stop doing something. Feels like you are not valued. But in all my years my biggest improvements in life have come from dark moments. You will come out of it fine and likely better. Still stings at the moment. You've come to a great place to let that evolution process play out.
 

ncc

Silver Member
That was a horrible thing for them to do. However, you are (I assume) a non-exempt employee and thus overtime comes into play, and if they had a lot of crossover that probably was a huge hit for them.

There may be a solution though. If the playing gig does not interfere with your normal work week *and* they want to keep you playing *and* the decision was done purely for financial reasons, you may be able to talk to <company> about doing the playing gig as an 'on-call' independent contractor (contractors are considered exempt employees so no overtime involved), much the same as you would any other playing gig. It is not like they are going to remove the position, so they may like the idea. I'm not sure if you would need to get set up as an independent contractor, as an AFM contract may be enough. I know a lot of folks who work in the high-tech field as independent contractors who say it it easy to set up.

Food for thought.
 

geezer

Senior Member
I'm with Larry on this one re: the "future positioning" outlook - a few years ago I lost a job that I thought was stable/secure and I was absolutely gutted, to the point of having thoughts of complete career change, never wanting to work in that field again. I stayed in the field though and in actual fact it was the BEST thing that ever happened to me - so many opportunities came up for me as a result, ones that wouldn't likely have occurred if I'd still been in the other job.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
Now you can focus your drumming on music that you honestly care about, without the need for monetary compensation. Just find some like-minded musos and get a regular thing going on the side. Practice. Write. Record. Do a gig or two when the opportunity strikes. Be happy you still have a job.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Sometimes a seemingly bad thing is merely an opportunity in disguise. I really get that feeling here, because it was just dumped on you out of the blue. This whole thing sounds like it comes complete with a loss of money too. Which could be construed as a surplus of time. I just can't help but think that in say 3 years down the road, you'll look back and say....see if I never lost the Mouse gig, I would have never known about....whatever it is you're doing at that time.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
One door closes, and another one opens. I'm sure you'll find another gig and/or music situation to replace the "rodent".​
 
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