But we’re still picking up after the little “episode” involving our new employees, which took place at our data processing facility over the weekend.

How did it start? How do any of these incidents start? Whenever you have 1,537 people researching, qualifying and entering tour dates for acts like Cher and Neil Diamond, you’re bound to encounter some friction. What’s more, when you throw some newbies into the mix, fireworks are sure to erupt.

Best we can figure is that it all started while Operator #519 was updating the schedule for Ted Nugent. That’s when one of the new workers, Operator #1,534, walked up to Operator #519, looked over her shoulder, and mentioned that he didn’t think she spelled “Chicago” correctly. Well, he picked the wrong data person on the wrong day at the wrong time, for Operator #519 had been clocking some serious overtime, pulling down double-shifts so she could afford to take her family to Austria see Sting on the day after Thanksgiving, and being a life-long Cubs fan, she wasn’t going to let anyone tell her how to spell “Chicago.” Especially someone fresh off the bus from one of our regional induction centers.

So she decked him. Fed-Exed a knuckle sandwich straight to the kisser. Dropped him right where he stood.

You can guess what happened next.

The Pollstar.com workforce is comprised of some of the toughest, meanest, ex-longshoremen and former Teamsters ever assembled to compile tour itineraries, and that little “incident” soon grew into a full-fledged rumble. Operator #591 picked up the tray containing the fonts he had been arranging to spell out The Derek Trucks Band routing, and threw it in the face of another new employee, Operator #1,531. Then Operator #208, her hands callused and the muscles in her arms bulging from years of typing date, city, state and venue for major artists such as the Eagles and Duran Duran, grabbed rookie employee #1,528 by the neck, and proceeded to pile-drive him into the Guinness machine. Oh, the humanity!

Of course, the sales department had to get involved. At first they stood by the sidelines watching the action, but as soon as the sales manager grabbed the cattle prod he had just used to “negotiate” free tickets from the local promoter to see Avril Lavigne, and started laying some serious hurt on our new employees, the rest of the sales department thought they were having one of their weekly meetings, and the melee erupted into a full-scale riot. Listings for Destiny’s Child were scattered across the room, as were the show schedules for Diana Krall and Gregg Allman & Friends. There were teeth, blood and GWAR dates everywhere!

Eventually the stress sensors embedded in the walls of the data processing pits reacted to the sudden spike in hormonal levels and flooded the compound with Yanni gas, that special mix of crystals and Starbucks latte vapors that we were inspired to install after Axl Rose paid us a visit. Soon, everyone had returned to his or her own cubicles, where they sat down, and went back to their daily tasks entering dates for Josh Groban and Hilary Duff, as well as researching the anomaly known as the tour. They were smiling! They were laughing! Everything was back to normal!

What went wrong? Obviously, as often is the case, the new people were at fault. And once again we were reminded that, try as you might, you just can’t trust new workers. Especially if they’re taller than you. So we pinked-slipped the lot of them, and kicked them out into the street, where, we understand, they went back to their old place of employment and begged their former boss to give them their old jobs back.

Yeah, right. As if the NBA doesn’t have enough problems.