During the last few days virtually the entire Pollstar.com staff has been in Los Angeles for a special concert industry retreat. We say “virtually the entire staff,” because almost all of the 9,481 employees, contract laborers and illegal Canadian immigrants that make up the Pollstar.com workforce were able to make the event. That is, everyone except for us.
Why did we stay behind? The reason is simple. Someone had to maintain the finicky Pollstar.com tour date engines and keep them well-lubed so that they continued to display the show dates for bands like Little Feat and Robert Earl Keen while the rest of the staff rubbed elbows with the crème de le crème of the live music business.
The second reason we stayed behind is because someone was needed to man the front desk and provide office support for our comrades in L.A. That’s where our “problem” with numbers came into play.
For example, when our staff arrived in Hollywood, they realized that they hadn’t packed enough gifts to present to the agents and managers who represent big, important artists like Robin Williams, Nelly Furtado and John Prine. That was on Friday, and it sure made us scurry at the last minute to overnight extra raisins, shotgun shells and rolls of Tijuana latex before that evening’s FedEx deadline. It’s amazing just how much you can jam into one of those envelopes.
On Saturday, we spent most of the day conducting cash wire transfers from our Grand Cayman Island accounts to our executive staff. Again, our inability to properly add and subtract caused a few problems, especially at the end of that afternoon’s poker game when Elton John told our sales manager, that if he didn’t come through with the cash, the legendary piano pounder was going to have to “lay some serious hurt” on him.
Then on Sunday an early morning call came in telling us that our office manager was going to cruise Beverly Hills with Enrique Iglesias and Mercury Rev, and that she needed the location of a hardware store open on Sundays that could sell her 300 cans of spray paint. That took some doing, but wasn’t nearly as difficult as when our vice president of roadie relations called and said he needed the number of a good proctologist who made house calls, no questions asked.
So we spent the weekend making sure that our staff’s time at the concert industry retreat was a success, even though our numerically-challenged math skills resulted in us sending them too many leather harnesses and not nearly enough fur-lined handcuffs. But that’s all in the past, and pretty soon our coworkers will be back in the office, ready to face another week of tour dates for Femi Kuti, Gary Wright and John Hiatt.
But first we have to take care of one more cash problem. It seems that the staff is still stuck in Hollywood, and they need some extra cash, pronto. Lessee, what’s ten percent of $500,000? And just how much should one tip a bail bondsman? After all, we never were very good with numbers.