Tuesday, March 4, 2008

FYI : A Long Story About Losing Things (Or, "Remember to Niilo-check")

Sorry I missed a post yesterday. It was quite a retarded day for me.

See, last week I played a club in Los Angeles, and it was a fine show. We were playing one of those late-night midnight slots at a club. And traditionally when we finish a set and we’re the last band of the evening, we don’t strike our gear from the stage right away, we head directly to the merch booth (or maybe outside for a cigarette first) and try and unload as much stuff as we can and shake hands with as many folks as possible.

So the order of events looks something like this :

1. Sell Stuff
2. Load Out
3. Double check to make sure you didn’t forget anything
4. “Niilo-Check” to make sure you didn’t forget anything

The Niilo-Check is named after our old bass player Niilo who mistakenly forgot his bass at a house party, even after we requested that each member of the band do a double-double check. Luckily, he got his bass back the next day in Fresno, as one of the bands we were playing with at the party in Oakland played with us the next day in Fresno.

But we learned that you should always “Niilo-Check” after a gig. If you don’t, you might as well write “hubris” on your head in sharpie marker.

That night in LA, we had just finished loading out, Step 3, and I was starting to do a mental Niilo-Check and then I realized that I had left my ID and Credit Card at the bar, because I had started a tab. I went back inside. Most of the staff was mopping floors and wheeling around big trash cans on wheels -- one of the bouncers saw me and told me that they had locked all the IDs in a safe and that I would have to come back the next day during the day, as only the Day Manager had the key.

I was pissed.

I was pissed, but I realized that no one could really do anything about my problem. So I went home and I emailed the Day Manager the next day and got this reply:

Yes, your ID and CC are safe here at the xxx.
Feel free to call me or email me whenever you would like to pick them up. “

Which was great. I had wanted to see a friend play in LA the following weekend anyway. I emailed the Day Manager back and told him I would be there on Friday at 9pm and that was that. I thought.

The rest of the week comes and goes, meanwhile I can't use the ATM or charge stuff on my card or drive, and then on Friday, I went back to the club and requested my ID and stuff. No one there had the foggiest clue what I was talking about. What ID? What Card? The giant door guys and skinny teenage ticket takers were all defiant and standoff-ish and recommended I come back in the afternoon on Saturday.

Instead, I spent three hours in the club, tracked down the Night Manager, and reminded said manager about the email I sent to the Day Manager and a little lightbulb went off. I could tell. this person was gonna help me. I was told to wait 10 minutes by the bar and that the Night Manager would be back with my ID. I was stoked at this point.

30 minutes later the Night Manager returned and told me that the staff couldn’t locate it and they recommended I come back in the day and talk with the Day Manager. "The Day Manager was the guy who originally emailed me and told me that he had my card and ID," I explained.

At this point I was pretty pissed and I spent another night in LA, next morning I call the Day Manager, and after a few searches and a few minutes on hold, he told me that he was really sorry, but that he couldn’t find my stuff either.

Later, yesterday, I found out that on that Saturday $350 of expenses were charged to my card at a WalMart in Palmdale before the Visa folks shut down the card.

So, card canceled and with no ID, I spent all weekend in LA stressing out. Then all day yesterday in the DMV and at my bank, waiting in line, disputing charges and filling out paperwork. Then I went to work and band practice. So I didn’t blog. Shoot me.

I guess I am thankful this happened now and I’ll get to “learn” from it, and I was also in my home state, so I could go to the DMV ,go to my local bank and get it all taken car of before I hit the road next week. It would have really sucked if this happened in like, North Carolina.

And I don’t think that all the staff in the aforementioned un-named LA nightclub are vindictive, evil thieves, but regardless, people make mistakes and there are vindictive, evil thieves who WILL take advantage of you and STEAL from you. Which someone did along the line somewhere. Which sometimes seems like such a foreign concept to me. I don’t always make good decisions, but I don’t think I’ve STOLE from someone (except candy once when I was 10. and I got caught and cried like a bitch when they told me they were gonna take me to juvie for stealing a snickers).

Oddly enough, the only two times I’ve had anything ripped off like that have happened while I was playing shows. Once in Fresno where someone swiped my favorite Korg Electribe Synth / Sampler ( I miss you baby! ) and the other this last weekend when my ID somehow walked out of the bar. So that’s a bummer.

The point of the story : always Niilo-Check and never leave your card or ID at the bar. If you lose it, you will be so fucked.


edluv said...

that sucks. especially because of the whole, "it's locked in a safe" bullshit.

one of the local bars in fresno has the new deal where they run your card but don't hold onto it. you still got to sign out @ the end of the night. if you don't, they 'close you out.'

i think i may have forgotten to sign out like a week ago, and i'm bracing myself for a fight to argue against some horrendous charge. maybe they'll just get me for what i owed (fingers crossed).

Malcolm Sosa said...

I'm not really out to crack down on the club -- just thought I'd provide my story as a warning. It sucks when things like this happen and I don't think anyone wants this to happen. If either me or the club had just been a little more on it, we could have avoided a huge mess.

Better safe than sorry. I guess.

kumar said...

can you believe i get paid to do that shit now?

Mike Seay said...

Cash is king.

Malcolm Sosa said...

I do believe it, Kumar. It is called "over-compensation".