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Author Topic: Made me giggle...  (Read 5410 times)

Debbie Dunkley

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Made me giggle...
« on: May 09, 2014, 10:37:58 pm »

So today I met with the organizers of 1st Annual USMVF motorcycle rally locally on June 14th. Hubby is standing in playing bass with the band and I get to do the sound (of course duh).... Anyway, it was my chance to make sure the band gets appropriate power ( the usual problem) , protection from the sun ( another typical problem) , alternative arrangement if it rains and so on.
So I asked the Mall office organizer if adequate power will be provided to the band and she said "Yes - 100 watts".
I wasn't sure she knew what I was asking and maybe the mall was supplying some kind of small PA system so I clarified and asked again what amount of mains power would be provided to the band for the equipment on stage and again she said - this time with a huge smile on her face - "You get 100 watts". Sitting in the same room was the owner of the local Harley dealership and his manager, a rep from the Military Veterans Foundation and 3 other organizers - all of whom turned to me and nodded in agreement with her. 
I suggested that the power supplied would be measured in amperage - not watts and she said "Yes - that's right - like I said - 100 watts". 
After a couple of minutes of back and forth and a few eye rolls from her team toward me - like I am the idiot, she finally realized she had it completely wrong and we worked out she meant 5 x 20 amp circuits....5 x 20 = 100 amps.........
I kept quiet after that...
Just thought I'd share....Are people really that ignorant of something so basic???
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Mark Oakley

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2014, 10:52:22 pm »

Are people really that ignorant of something so basic???

I've done small outdoor gigs where I've told the organizers "...I'll need 4 separate 15 amp circuits...". I get there and there's a dollar-store power bar on the end of a 300 ft. orange extension cord: "...here's six circuits..."

-Mark
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Brook Hovland

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2014, 10:58:55 pm »

So today I met with the organizers of 1st Annual USMVF motorcycle rally locally on June 14th. Hubby is standing in playing bass with the band and I get to do the sound (of course duh).... Anyway, it was my chance to make sure the band gets appropriate power ( the usual problem) , protection from the sun ( another typical problem) , alternative arrangement if it rains and so on.
So I asked the Mall office organizer if adequate power will be provided to the band and she said "Yes - 100 watts".
I wasn't sure she knew what I was asking and maybe the mall was supplying some kind of small PA system so I clarified and asked again what amount of mains power would be provided to the band for the equipment on stage and again she said - this time with a huge smile on her face - "You get 100 watts". Sitting in the same room was the owner of the local Harley dealership and his manager, a rep from the Military Veterans Foundation and 3 other organizers - all of whom turned to me and nodded in agreement with her. 
I suggested that the power supplied would be measured in amperage - not watts and she said "Yes - that's right - like I said - 100 watts". 
After a couple of minutes of back and forth and a few eye rolls from her team toward me - like I am the idiot, she finally realized she had it completely wrong and we worked out she meant 5 x 20 amp circuits....5 x 20 = 100 amps.........
I kept quiet after that...
Just thought I'd share....Are people really that ignorant of something so basic???

Yes!
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John Moore

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2014, 12:06:01 am »

yes they are , that is why i show pictures of the power requirements in our contracts, so that there is minimal confusion on their part...i really try to make it simple for them, but when they want to use building power, is does get a bit more complicated in explaining about dedicated circuits, being on separate breakers, etc. and that just because you have two plugs at an outlet , does not mean they are separate circuits...amps, watts, 220, 221, sure we have power...and on it goes.
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paul bell

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2014, 12:36:28 am »

Somebody had to so here goes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6si8Xp8P-M
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David Parker

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2014, 09:41:11 am »

I did a gig several years ago and was assured there would be adequate power. I show up and this guy drives up in an electric company truck. Licensed electrician. Tells me he worked for Showco in the past. He drops one run of 12ga romex with a small breaker box on the end and 4 outlets. One of the outlets doesn't work. I'm thinking, even if this is wired 220v (which would be illegal with 12-3 romex) there still would only be two circuits, and there was 100' of it I could see, so I had no idea how far the run was.
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Robert Piascik

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2014, 11:19:11 am »

If I posted every time I've run into something like that I'd never get anything else done! Yes people are generally ignorant when it comes to power issues so you must make sure that you are not.
Love that Mr. Mom clip and quote it all the time! :)
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Jon C Thomas

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2014, 11:48:58 am »

I had the opposite experience at the hardware store when buying wire, guy asks me how many amps I am running... Looks at me like I am special when I tell him it is a 25ft run with a class D 2000 watt per channel amp, he then tries to sell me some 18 gauge "SPEAKER" cable.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2014, 12:36:54 pm »

If I posted every time I've run into something like that I'd never get anything else done! Yes people are generally ignorant when it comes to power issues so you must make sure that you are not.
Love that Mr. Mom clip and quote it all the time! :)

I think it was more the fact that she was so confident and proud and almost rehearsed in her response to me and also that a table full of people looked at me like I was crazy to even be asking the question - especially the Harley Davidson dealership owner !!!
It would have made more sense if she had asked me to clarify and that she would find out those details for me-which is what usually happens if a venue organizer/owner/manager doesn't know the answer to something like that. Unless of course  I get to check out the place ahead of time and see for myself.
I fully expected one of the Harley dudes to cut in and say something but alas...no....
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Robert Weston

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2014, 01:48:09 pm »

So today I met with the organizers of 1st Annual USMVF motorcycle rally locally on June 14th. Hubby is standing in playing bass with the band and I get to do the sound (of course duh).... Anyway, it was my chance to make sure the band gets appropriate power ( the usual problem) , protection from the sun ( another typical problem) , alternative arrangement if it rains and so on.
So I asked the Mall office organizer if adequate power will be provided to the band and she said "Yes - 100 watts".
I wasn't sure she knew what I was asking and maybe the mall was supplying some kind of small PA system so I clarified and asked again what amount of mains power would be provided to the band for the equipment on stage and again she said - this time with a huge smile on her face - "You get 100 watts". Sitting in the same room was the owner of the local Harley dealership and his manager, a rep from the Military Veterans Foundation and 3 other organizers - all of whom turned to me and nodded in agreement with her. 
I suggested that the power supplied would be measured in amperage - not watts and she said "Yes - that's right - like I said - 100 watts". 
After a couple of minutes of back and forth and a few eye rolls from her team toward me - like I am the idiot, she finally realized she had it completely wrong and we worked out she meant 5 x 20 amp circuits....5 x 20 = 100 amps.........
I kept quiet after that...
Just thought I'd share....Are people really that ignorant of something so basic???

This sounds completely normal and is usually expected (when working first time with a customer/client).

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Steve Oldridge

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2014, 09:24:32 pm »

Are people really that ignorant of something so basic???

Absolutely.. even those who supposedly "know" don't often get it. Did an outdoor gig a few yrs ago where I fronted with the organizers and they had union electricians runs 2 8-gauge drops (right off main breaker box) with 4 x 20 amp outlets on each out to us. I figured they know what they were doing so hooked the band and PA up. 3rd song in we tripped breakers. Turns out they had wired BOTH of them into 15 amp circuits on the breaker boards.   
A 2nd set came out and dropped us 2 more lines, basically asking who had run the initial lines  !!
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 09:37:57 pm by Steve.Oldridge »
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Bob Cap

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2014, 09:48:52 am »

I had an outdoor show we did last summer that this reminds me of.

I told the promoter and had it in the contract I needed 200 amps three phase and the side of the stage.

No problem...he has an electrician providing the power...

The day before the show I get a call from the electrician asking what I needed.

When I told him he said the promoter told him three 20 amp circuits...:)

At least the electrician called. He told me the venue had no three phase power to the whole place. And he would see what he could do. I told him it sounded like genni time...

Fortunately for me we have an LED lighting rig now so we can get along with a lot less power than with the old PAR64 rig.

But you know there are times when you really want to make a promoter squirm...

We show up the night before the really big show. The stage was built. About 1/4 of the size they promised. No power to the stage at all. I talked to the promoter. He assured me the electricians were taking care of it. I then collected the remainder of the money in cash like we agreed in the contract and promptly went to the motel to sleep.

The next morning we get to the gig and the electricians are burying cable to the stage...

We ended up with 50 Amps @ 220VAC.

Not what we asked for. We left 3/4 of the PA in the truck. Brought out one amp rack, a few LED strips and proceeded to do the show. The bands were very happy and it came off OK.

The promoter was bummed because his big festival only had about 150-200 people show up for. Oh, did I mention he did very little advertising...a web page.

Needless to say he changed the weekend of his festival for this year, and oh so sorry, we have another booking.

There must be a 100 stories like this I can tell.

They can wait for the book my wife tells me I should write.

God I love this business! Been in it since 1971...

Bob Cap
Advanced Audio Inc.
Gilbert, MN
 
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Glen Kelley

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2014, 12:06:37 pm »

Not exactly the same thing, but I remember a discussion with a quite knowledgeable gentlemen about three-phase power, the distance from the stage, where the panel was, 100A for sound, 200A for lights, stage power is already run, who will tie in, etc. etc. A very normal conversation when you roll up to a venue for the first time. Except.....

The man was wearing a baseball cap and tennis shoes. And by that I mean ONLY a baseball cap and tennis shoes!!  ;D One of those "this is such a strange experience, but I'll act like it's perfectly normal and just get on with it!" kind of days.

At least the power was adequate and the electrician was on time, if a little under-dressed.
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2014, 03:48:16 pm »

...
The man was wearing a baseball cap and tennis shoes. And by that I mean ONLY a baseball cap and tennis shoes!!  ;D One of those "this is such a strange experience, but I'll act like it's perfectly normal and just get on with it!" kind of days.

At least the power was adequate and the electrician was on time, if a little under-dressed.

At least he had rubber soled shoes.  And little chance of getting his clothing caught on something. Sounds safe to me.
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frank kayser

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2014, 09:04:18 pm »

<snip>

The man was wearing a baseball cap and tennis shoes. And by that I mean ONLY a baseball cap and tennis shoes!!  ;D 
<snip>


Kinda tough to keep one-hand-in-a-pocket working on electric...
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Tim Padrick

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Re: Made me giggle...
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2014, 12:47:47 am »

You can play pool without the pocket.
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