Sometimes we ask ourselves that question. We wonder if there’s more to life than plugging in dates for Duran Duran or tracking changes in the Pinehurst Kids itinerary, not to mention the beatings that we had to submit to in order to get the dates for Diana Krall and Chantal Kreviazuk. At the end of the day when we add up changes for Cowboy Junkies and Jeff Lorber, while we lick our wounds and pick at old battle-hardened scabs, we can’t help but ask, “Is it all worth it?”

For is it truly necessary to suffer the slings and arrows of routing adversity in order to bring you the dates for Manu Chao and Alpha Yaya Diallo? At times we hear the whispers of those who came before us, their voices drifting down on the breeze from the old graveyard up on the hill. We are reminded that they, too, once sat in these chairs. They punched in dates for Quiet Riot, The Monkees and The Doobie Brothers while booking agents and artist managers drove by and routinely shot out the windows and punctured their tires “just for kicks.” Was it worth it for them?

And what of our children? There are those of us who still hope to have kids, providing that we haven’t become sterile from sitting too close to the itinerary core that powers the tour date engine. Will our descendents appreciate what we went through to compile the schedule for Alanis Morissette? Will they understand why they, too, must work in the processing pits as soon as they turn 12, as provided for in the company medical plan. Will it be worth it for them?

So many questions, so little time. Too many dates for Anne Murray and Bjorn Again and not enough personal moments to contemplate the future. We know there’s a world out there. A world where tour data for Clay Walker and Fishbone pales in comparison to the every day goings on of bail bondsmen, colostomy irrigators and road kill removal engineers. A world where people go about their lives and need not worry about missing a date for Patti Labelle or finding themselves gasping for air after having a “T-shirt moment” with a member of Insane Clown Posse’s entourage. A world where people fall in love, raise families, have the relatives over for Sunday dinner and never, ever ask, “is it worth it?”

But that’s someone else’s world, not ours. For our world is fraught with danger, where every day we deal with tough promoters, brawny artist managers and nerves-like-ice booking agents. A world where perils await around every corner, where threats and the dates for Staind go hand-in-hand. And as we look over our chosen profession, as we suture the gaping wounds left from the last time Elton John beat us to a pulp, we’re still left asking, “is it worth it?”

And the answer? Yeah, sure. We guess so.