Continues from here.
“Where is the guy?” Sarah asked as we walked into the venue which only ninety minutes before was full of cheering punters screaming and yelling for the third encore. We had to rush just a little bit to keep up with her walking pace.
Our crew were still loading the gear out, there was a few gig cases on the stage and men were wandering all over the place picking up things, rolling cables into small neat circles, and generally just cleaning away the signs of a band being on stage.
Adam looked around the room, “He’s over there,” he said pointing to the guy standing at the closed entrance door talking to someone. “Are you sure we should do this?”
“Of course we should,” Sarah said. “The bastard owes us money, he doesn’t deserve to weasel out of it. C’mon lets go!”
Sarah stormed up towards the venue manager, Peter his name was, and although he might have recognized Adam, Dean and myself it was fairly obvious he didn’t recognize Sarah. It was that lack of recognition that I think rattled the guy instantly. We were still a good ten feet away before he stopped talking to whoever it was he was talking too and turned directly to Sarah with his full attention.
“What do you want?”
It seemed Adam’s words about Peter’s chauvinistic attitudes could be right.
“I’m lead to believe that there is some problem with you not paying the agreed amount to the band.” Sarah opened with.
“And you are?” Peter asked pointedly.
“Consider me the band’s manager, you may call me Sarah.”
“You’re not the manager, the manager is a guy.”
“I had a sex change!” Myself and the two boys tried hard not to chuckle at Sarah’s comment and ruin the situation before she continued. “Now onto the more important part, the band’s payment!”
You could just see from the look on Peter’s face that he wanted to continue the discussion about mangers and Sarah not being the manager he’d spoken to when the band arrived. Apart from not wanting to part with the money it was obvious Peter had no intention of discussing band and money matters with someone of the female gender.
“I’m discussing nothing with you!” Peter replied.
“Oh that’s good then. If there is no discussion then there is no reason for you to be holding back any payments or parking our truck in so the boys can’t leave. I’m glad that is settled, will you be settling the debt with cash or EFT? I can watch you put the money into our account!”
“Fuck off little missy!”
Other people might have reacted differently but Sarah was cool, so cool she was nearly ice cold and her reaction to being told where to go had no anger in it al all.
“Maybe later and definitely not with you, so how about we discuss the money?”
“Oh you’re a sassy little one aren’t you? I bet you’re fire cracker in the sack.” Peter came back with.
I felt both Dean and Adam nudge me from behind trying to get past me and honestly I understood their anger but I also knew Sarah and I knew she would not want this turning into something violent just because some venue manager who thought he was better than any female he’d ever met decided to say some stupid words.
Again Sarah was calm and collected she simply grabbed her phone out of her pocket and said. “Again Peter, you wont find that out so instead of talking about my sex life let’s discuss the money you owe the band.” Peter was about to step in with something verbal but Sarah didn’t let it happen. “I guess I can always call the police and we can discuss it with them. I’m sure a bunch of cops hanging around the place will be a good look for you.”
Peter looked at Sarah, then looked at the three of us standing defiantly behind her, he obviously thought her words had some seriousness behind them.
“And what do you think the cops are going to do little lass? A local business owner against some shitty interstate heavy metal band fronted by a fucking woman. The cops wont even ask questions!”
“Okay lets put your theory to the test.” Sarah said.
Suddenly Peter changed his story. “If you just get the guy, whasshis name, Bill, yeah Bill, down here we can sort this out without calling the cops.”
From that point Sarah knew she had him on the back foot and she wasn’t going to let up. Within a few minutes she had Peter convinced that he could deal with the situation without either Bill or the police getting involved. He wasn’t happy but he wasn’t arguing either, well not about that.
Sarah might have got the guy to talk but as he lead us around the club pointing out the damage he claimed we had caused it was easy to see that he wasn’t going to simply fall over and agree to paying us. Each time he pointed out a piece of damage that he claimed was ours Sarah was able to either prove it wasn’t damaged by us or was at least general wear and tear that any venue would have.
Sarah’s job was made easier by the fact that when put on the place to prove the damage Peter started off picking places that the band didn’t even touch. Four spots on the carpeted floor that were pointed out as gaffa tape damage we easily proven to be well away from the path we ran our cables which meant there was no chance our gaffa tape damaged the floor.
Although there was on or two possible places we could have caused damage Peter’s story fell short way too quickly and when Sarah again demanded full payment and Peter refused she pointed out how the police might view such lies. It was at that moment Peter told us he’s had enough and walked off.
“Ill be back in twenty minutes,” was his replied over his shoulder as he went.
Well we didn’t see Peter but twenty minutes later when we were standing against the vacated stage a lady, she wasn’t much older than us, walked up to us with an envelope. Although she was very apologetic about the “misunderstanding”, as she put it there was no excuse as to why Peter didn’t return and no mention of damages but the envelope was full of cash and the exact amount the Bill had agreed on well before the gig happened.