I used to work recording concerts for my school’s conservatory. Basically, students could pay a fee for the conservatory to record their concerts and put it on a CD for them. I had had the job as a work/study since I was a Freshman, and I loved it.
In the second half of my senior year, I received a call from my boss saying that I had messed up a CD and that I needed to meet him in the studio to fix it at 4PM. I thought that was an odd request. Mistakes sometimes happen, but all of the employees knew how to fix it themselves and I was the most experienced worker he had at that point. I asked if I could just fix it earlier and submit it to our office assistant, but he insisted I come in at 4.
I showed up about fifteen minutes before 4 to figure out what had gone wrong. I put the CD in, and immediately could hear that it was a CD of a completely different concert. That was really bizarre, but we have backups of all the audio so I just burned another CD of the correct concert from that.
As the CD was burning, my boss came in and told me that I was fired. He said screwing up a CD that badly was unacceptable. I had never been fired before, this was the longest I had ever had a job, and I was totally blindsided. To this day I have no idea how the wrong concert ended up on that CD. The best I can figure is the office assistant mixed up CD’s or something, but whoever’s fault it was it was a really easy problem to fix. I argued with him for a bit by telling him that I thought he was making a mistake, and this really wasn’t a big deal. But he refused to listen. Just when I had resigned
I wasn’t done, though. I loved that job, and I felt wronged. I was also saving up for a trip to Europe, and didn’t want to have to cancel it. (I already had tickets to Wacken)
Without a job or a girlfriend, I had a lot of time on my hands that last semester. So I decided I would just start my own business recording students’ concerts using my own equipment. I charged a slightly lower fee than my former employer and put up ads online and around the conservatory. I advertised that I was more experienced than anyone working for conservatory audio, and frankly my equipment was better as long as they weren’t playing at one of the bigger venues. Especially for jazz. Also, instead of burning CD’s I offered to just send it to them digitally, which a lot of students preferred because they would get it within an hour or two of the end of the concert rather than several days later.
College students are cheap, and it didn’t take long before I had to hire my own assistant to keep up with all the concerts we were recording. I probably ended up cutting the conservatory audio department’s business by at least 20%. My former boss was livid, and he made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to shut us down.
I earned more money that semester than I probably had in my previous 3.5 years combined of working for someone else. I was just mad at myself for not doing it earlier. The only problem is I don’t feel comfortable putting that job on my resume anymore.