An Unhappy Client

cropped-the-intrepid-in-st-augustine.jpgIt was bound to happen sooner or later. I had booked a live session with a client, but unfortunately, the winds were not favorable that day. When the wind is from the north, all is well. When the wind is from the south, there’s an airplane either landing or taking off every minute from the small airport located just a mile from my site. It’s hard to believe that such a small airport could have so much air traffic. But it does.

So I emailed the client, explained the situation, and offered to record some takes on my own, or even just do the session but re-record any noisy sections afterward. She emailed back asking why I didn’t tell her that I would be in my mobile studio next to an airport. I explained that most of the time it wasn’t an issue. And that, in fact, when I had been on the road for 19 months a few years ago, we had done several sessions without a problem. I learned long ago not to tell people certain things because then they’re listening for them. “I have a cold,” for instance. Most of the time, we hear the nasality but our clients don’t. And honestly, even if I were in my home studio, there’s no guarantee that a brush cutting crew wouldn’t show up on the road outside my house and start making a racket. Sometimes there are just things beyond our control.

Still, it bothered me. I pride myself on giving good service and providing exceptional audio, and it pains me when that doesn’t happen. (Fortunately, most of my clients think that what I’m doing is totally cool.)

Also, my new mobile studio isn’t nearly as quiet as I would like it to be. I just picked up some special weather stripping for the studio door and plan to install it today as it’s been raining and the drips from the trees overhead sound like pebbles being tossed on the roof. Sigh. I’ve been recording first thing in the morning and early evening until 9 or 10 or whenever I start to feel worn out (I’m more of a morning person, so working into the evening is hard for me). It’s much quieter and I can get so much more done with so much less frustration.

It’s times like these that I ask myself why I’m doing this. I can’t really explain it. It seems as though I was born to keep moving. I drove cross country (in the first of 3 full size vans that I owned over 20 years) when I was 19. I cycled cross country when I was 32. And I am having fun, even if work is very challenging. My living space is quite small, but when compared to living in my van the first time (which wasn’t customized and therefore had no kitchen or bathroom) or living in a tent when I cycled, this one is fairly luxurious.

I’m also very fortunate to have some friends in the park where I’m staying, and one of them allows me to borrow his minivan when I need motor transportation (such as yesterday when I had to go to Home Depot to pick up the weather stripping – route 1 is scary in a car, never mind a bike….) and today when I wanted to go to yoga but it was cold and rainy. Thanks Bill!

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