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A bad day in Post is better than...
Old 19th May 2011
  #1
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Sonsey@mac.com's Avatar
 

A bad day in Post is better than...

OK, just because I've been through one of those weeks that just take the [email protected] out of ya, and I needed a little perspective...

What was your WORST job BEFORE you got into this field... you know the one where your WORST day here was better than pretty much any day there?

Mine... I spent 3 years working at (and managing) a "major" cheque cashing outlet here in Canada. Almost destroyed what little faith I had in humanity!
Old 19th May 2011
  #2
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Henchman's Avatar
Let's see, where to begin.
Worked on the assembly line of a n airline factory when I was 18 for 2 years.
Worked on the assembly line for Skil Power tools.
Worked in a warehouse.
Worked for a company that cleaned industrial boilers, that involved climbing inside boilers.
Worked nightshift for a shipping company, sorting packages.

All of them paid much less, and I had to work much harder


Yep, I don't consider mixing post, work.
It's a privilege as far as I'm concerned.
Old 19th May 2011
  #3
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I still do production sound too. Days where we are outside in the rain, in the wind, on a beach, w/ lotsa gear, w/ crapulous actors, w/uncaringly ambitious and/or attitudinal producers and director and DP, w/ emotional cripples in grip and electric....those days working in my studio on a post job sounds pretty damn good.

phil p
Old 19th May 2011
  #4
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BIGBANGBUZZ's Avatar
 

My worst Gig was picking Apples when I was 20.. The Apple trees were huge, so I was up and down a ladder all day. It wasn't an hourly pay rate, you got paid by the amount of apples you picked.. I worked 10 hours+ and was lucky to make $50 a day.. at the end the day my body was so soar from carrying these massive bags of apples up and down the ladder I needed to soak on the bath for an hour at least.

**** jobs can pay well.. an Editor I work with just quit his job to work building A desalination plant for around 2.5K a week.
Old 19th May 2011
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Putting empty bottles on a production line.. watching them get filled up... then taking them off a putting them into box.... repeat..

Pro Tools can crash, clients can pay 6 months late etc etc it's all about the magic moments when you see/hear your work in the cinema or the client turns round to you with a massive smile on their face...
Old 19th May 2011
  #6
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Fred Story's Avatar
 

Driving tomato stakes by hand at a commercial farming operation. It's done by machines now, but years ago it was two guys to a row. One holds, one hammers - with a 30 pound cylindrical piece of steel with handles on each side. The guy hammering wears a hard hat so that when the arm muscles inevitably fail, the hammer doesn't give him a concussion as he tries to remove it from the stake. Then guy #2 hammers while guy #1 holds and lets his arms recover. After a summer of that, I was in the best shape of my life. And I swore I'd never do it again.

The worst client on a bad day pales in comparison.
Old 19th May 2011
  #7
Gear Addict
 

i used to wash dishes at the Souper Salad. Came home reeking of salad dressing every night. One day we had no cold water. Scalded hands all night.

i also used to work the night shift at the CCU unit of a hospital. Hanging out with morbidly obese/clinically depressed nurses and watching old people wither and die. Also there's the steady crazy that sets in when you don't see the sun for a week.

got me through audio school though!

Yesterday I mixed a short film and got a very happy director on the phone. Then I went to the restaurant with the wifey and ate pho. I'm constantly appreciative of the role I've come into in life.
Old 19th May 2011
  #8
Gear Head
 

A bad day in Post is better than...

Working at a collection agency for medical bills. Everyday was awful. I had the bad news of advising legal action, garnish wages, do lexis searches. It's amazing how insurance companies weasel out of stuff.
Old 19th May 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Early on in my career I split my workdays between a part time job at an audio post house and a part time job as a bank teller, until I could get the facility owner to take me on full time.

For a while I thought it would be kind of nice to "dress for work" at the bank....you know, shirt & tie, look professional, all that. That thrill didn't last long.

I was so incompetent as a bank teller I almost got arrested....seriously. Thankfully, the day I was deemed innocent of any suspected wrongdoing at the bank, I was offered the full time job at the post house and high-tailed it away from the cash drawer. Timing is everything.
Old 19th May 2011
  #10
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Jesse Peterson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Yep, I don't consider mixing post, work.
It's a privilege as far as I'm concerned.

I couldn't agree more with this. Everyday I get up and walk down the hall to my dream job, where I make my own hours, set my own rates, mess around with gadets and toys all day and generally live in a fantasy world for the majority of the time

before this, I did a lot of food service stuff, and the end all be all worst job was a two year stretch where I tediously created online animated shopping catalogs. It took me six months of effort to finally get them to fire me.
Old 19th May 2011
  #11
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Sonsey@mac.com's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Yep, I don't consider mixing post, work.
It's a privilege as far as I'm concerned.
As I always say, I don't HAVE to go to work... I GET to go to work!

It's good sometimes to put things in perspective when things are "rough" by remembering how good we do have it.
Old 19th May 2011
  #12
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Mister_T's Avatar
 

A bad day in Post is better than...

The year before I moved to LA I was working as a farm hand as well as surgery cleanup in a large animal hospital. During the day it was gore and bile, evening/weekends I tended horses and drove a tractor to help out my landlord (and get a discount on rent). Probably the dirtiest jobs I ever had as I would be covered in either guts or dirt all day.

Great thing about those jobs- I was already used to dealing with things that are full of sh**.
Old 19th May 2011
  #13
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Jfriah's Avatar
 

Just to finish your quote, Howard.
The saying here is:



A bad day in Post is better than...

...being a roofer.

Howard will get it; those that don't, look up Saskatchewan and historical weather and wind chill factors.


Jeff
Old 19th May 2011
  #14
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dualflip's Avatar
 

I've had the opportunity to do almost there is when it comes to audio, im not saying Im an expert on every branch but ive at least been on almost every branch. Honestly to me, post is one of the worst, however it depends a lot on what kind of post you are doing, for instance ive mixed complete major movies on THX rooms, and that is post, yet I like it a lot, but theres like "editing" post or stuff like that which can suck really hard.

To me the absolute worst is probably publicity & jingles, with live sound being in a close second. Publicity and jingles just make me want to shoot myself, the few times ive done jingles or institutional audio i end up feeling so vane, like a musical prostitute.

However i think that no matter which branch of audio you do, no matter how crappy it is, it doesnt compare with a crappy day job, for instance i always thought about the guys who work at telemarketing, you know the ones who call you at home and want to sell you something no matter what, THAT is crappy job....
Old 19th May 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Detasseling corn and stacking hay bales in the lofts of barns in a Kansas summer is not a lot of fun. Short order cook at a turnpike Howard Johnsons where the owner wanted me to cook some rancid bacon because "the customers would be half a state away before it hits them and they never come back anyway" (the only time I've actually said $#!% off and walked out of a job).

Those are the sort of jobs that inspire you to find a way to make a living that you enjoy.
Old 19th May 2011
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

I'm surprised at all these post guys who don't have ambivalent memories of being on the road with bands! I remember driving hours to get to a high school gig way up north where I had to hook up the lights before the show and nearly electrocuted myself on the 220. After the show our roadie was driving home, and we luckily noticed a sudden acceleration which turned out meant he had fallen asleep at the wheel at 70mph. It was exciting, yes, but I'd still rather explain broadcast compression to a client than wake up in a rathole with a non-working shower for $100 a week.

Sonny Keyes
Ricochet Audio
Toronto
Old 19th May 2011
  #17
I get to work post

As many I consider myself lucky to get to do my dream job. It is certainly better than any of the days I had to clean a local gym. I had to ride my bike to work. So I was basically sweaty all day except for the few hours at night. Nothing like getting to see old man butt in the locker room every day of the week.
Old 19th May 2011
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Working in a fish shop whilst in college, needless to say it was tricky holding down a girlfriend for 7 years due to the smell at the end of a day (which I became immune to I must say) - if I was smart I should have brought shares in shampoo and shower gel. Looking back it was pretty good practice for post mind you, except now time is my nemesis
Old 19th May 2011
  #19
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Jfriah's Avatar
 

Mine:

I'll try to make this as concise as possible because it is a real winner of a story. And 100% true. So you need a few of the details.

I'm a small town kid. Our class was the first to be socially responsible (not that high school kids drink before drinking age) and have a 'Dry Grad'. The following year was a group of friends' grad so I may have gone a little 'harder than normal'. Got home 2 hours before starting my summer job.

Dad woke me up at 8:30, saying "aren't you starting your new job at 8?!?! Go!"

I was caretaker of the local recreation centre and hosting a ball tournament (teens) all day, and also in charge of the kitchen and cooking the burgers. . . greasy 'rink burgers'. . .

I remember asking 'do you want onions?' and then 'excuse me...I'll be right back'... off to the washroom for about the third round of vomitus extremus. And the rec centre is made of concrete, polished floors and the washrooms have the usual open doorway that then goes around a concrete cinderblock wall into a larger room with 6 stalls and 6 urinals. So: echo chamber.

Back to my post, doing my best job. More visits to the washroom.

Yes, sure, all self-imposed. But still 'a very bad day at the office'.

But it doesn't end there. No. No. End of the long day, I'm the caretaker right, so get to clean up and lock up. Including washroom cleaning. Women's first. It is what it is.

Now who was mentioning losing faith in humanity? Who said something about smell? Enter, men's washroom.

Well. Suffice to say there is proof God hates me. Or instant karma.

How to say nicely... imagine noticing a bit of a smell and then noticing there are two, TWO stalls that have 'plugged toilets'. And by 'plugged', I mean people kept using them and must have had to stand on the seats because the meniscus on one was convex OVER the seat.

Yeah.

And now I'm a post editor/mixer. And hate it at times, until I remember I only deal with the public on client days. And I'm still really adept at shovelling.........................
Old 19th May 2011
  #20
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Jfriah's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
Let's see, where to begin.
Worked on the assembly line of a n airline factory when I was 18 for 2 years.
Worked on the assembly line for Skil Power tools.
Worked in a warehouse.
Worked for a company that cleaned industrial boilers, that involved climbing inside boilers.
Worked nightshift for a shipping company, sorting packages.

All of them paid much less, and I had to work much harder


Yep, I don't consider mixing post, work.
It's a privilege as far as I'm concerned.
You wore proper OSHA hearing protection at all those industrial jobs though... so you're good!
heh

Jeff
Old 20th May 2011
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

A bad day in Post is better than...
  • Breaking up concrete with a pickaxe -- one of my temp summer jobs in high school.
  • Standing in front of a spaghetti extruder tearing off 12" portions 8 hours a day -- I made enough spaghetti to get to the moon and back that summer .
  • Getting turned down for a job walking around a mall in a pickle costume handing out flyers-- seriously? How could I not be qualified to do that?
  • Being in a meeting.

I love my job. Even the days that it kills me there is still nothing else I'd rather do.

-Richard
Old 20th May 2011
  #22
Here for the gear
 

I worked with the Government of BC for three years. It trained me really well for accomplishing nothing while sitting in cramped quarters with people I didn't particularly like all the while thinking "You can't kill them. They're the money."

And even that was better than being a produce picker in the Interior.
Old 20th May 2011
  #23
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Pebble Mill's Avatar
 

Working nightshifts in Subway. Serving intoxicated post-nightclub revellers was a real low point but I have to say the worst had to be working in a fragrance factory on a starting salary of £1.81 an hour.

Hmm... that's $2.95 an hour I do believe. I was there for 5 years and remained in the same position of butt monkey throughout, although minimum wage brought in by the government prevented dysentery.
Old 20th May 2011
  #24
Lives for gear
Highway department. "Patch gang".

Shoveling gravel, 8 hours a day. I remember being about 20 minutes into my first day and thinking "I've made a huge mistake". The first couple days were rough, but I got used to it.

But daaaaamn was I buff and tan.
Old 20th May 2011
  #25
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Henchman's Avatar
I forgot my truly wonderful job in had when I was 16.
It was at a big plant that ground down minerals and packaged them in 50 pound bags.

Yes, 8 hours a day was spent filling 50 pound bags, and lifting them off of the filling machine onto pallets.
One particularly fun filled day, we had to hand empty a compete container filled with 50 pound bags of graphite powder.


I could have passed for African American at the end of that day.

so sitting in an air-conditioned room,Breuer ing knobs, isn't so bad.
Old 20th May 2011
  #26
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Jfriah's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pebble Mill View Post
... that's $2.95 an hour I do believe.
That's about the same as my first salary in post when I worked it out hourly over the first 3 months in the game.
heh

Jeff
Old 21st May 2011
  #27
Here for the gear
 

Thanks!

Just wanted to thank everyone for these great stories. I'm 26, have a BA in political science, wait tables, and in the absence of a "real job," took up recording with a buddy of mine who's in the same boat. Over the last two years we've been able to stir up a pretty respectable workload and with every happy client, one or two more pop up!

Working forty hours a week on my feet, another forty on the production of local artists, and whatever is left on research and practice. No health care. Questionable transportation. It's... exciting.

Anyhow, your stories were very encouraging and will motivate me to keep trucking along. Thanks!
Old 21st May 2011
  #28
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kk@jamsync.com's Avatar
 

Temp job as Mrs. Santa Claus when I was 18. I had a curmudgeonly boss who would come by every hour and bitch at me because I was giving away too much candy to the kids. It was just wrong!
Old 22nd May 2011
  #29
Lives for gear
My worst job was working as floor staff for a very well known fast-food chain. The moment that hurts the most is when a customer told me I was stupid. I mean flat-out stupid, someone who doesn't have 2 brain cells to rub together. He had no reason to call me stupid except for being an employee in this particular restaurant. I was 16. (Now I'm 26 and no more mature ) But I wouldn't give up working in audio for anything right now.

A couple of days ago I had to wake up at stupid o' clock, to go to the top (or near enough anyways) of the tallest building in the world, on my own, to record some sounds for a client (and enjoy the view while I'm at it). The whole experience was great. The people I've been dealing with for this have been great, friendly, professional and I've made some awesome contacts.

I also enjoy doing production sound (occasionally) - I love to travel, so am a sucker for going out on location from time-to-time. :3

I love being treated and being able to put out work as a professional. I love having clients who trust me and respect me for doing what I enjoy doing. I am especially glad when I hear what I have worked on playing on the TV, Radio, Cinema, Internet, anywhere!
Old 22nd May 2011
  #30
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eightyeightkeys's Avatar
I think I'll read this thread anytime I feel down about this crazy bizness.
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