020 – School of Rock Faux Pas

by | Feb 6, 2024 | Podcast

Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do? How did you respond to the situation?

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David recounts a time when things went a little awry with a summer School of Rock program, he was a part of.

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Highlights:

00:17 – Teaching guitar in Airdrie
01:10 – Paycheck catastrophe
03:06 – Moral of the story

Transcript:

There’s a memory I was reflecting on today and I was just marveling at the complete absurdity and oddity of it.

I was teaching guitar in Airdrie many years ago and they had something, I’m pretty sure it was called the School of Rock program, like a summer program for kids who wanted to continue to improve on their instruments through the summer.

And as I recall, I was teaching guitar to one of the kids, and of course I also attended the final event where the band came together and performed a song. And in this case, I think it might have been a few songs, or there may have been a few bands, but one of the songs was for sure “Seven Nation Army.”

So, I played a small part in preparing the kids for this event. I wasn’t the only teacher, and I certainly wasn’t the only organizer in the whole thing.

And then after the fact, I’m given a check. And it is made out to me. Now, it wasn’t an absurd amount of money, okay? It was probably, maybe in the higher hundreds, maybe $1,200 at most.

But I’m thinking, “Okay, that was a pretty decent payday. I should do this every year.” It’s not like it’s going to pay the bills or anything, but it’s certainly better than earning nothing. And sometimes earning as a teacher through the summer months isn’t all that great.

So, the check is made out to me. I don’t think anything of it and I go and deposit it like a normal person would.

And then, I think it was probably the next day, I get a phone call from one of the main guys working the front counter and he tells me “Uh, you know, we gave you too much money.” And I don’t know how he even did this but somehow he made it out to be my fault.

Let’s keep in mind that check was made out to me for the amount that it was made out to.

So, he kind of made it my fault. He was sitting there going, “Yeah, we can’t pay you that amount. That was like what we earned for all the School of Rock program. Your pay is like a quarter of that,” which I guess kind of made sense.

I was thinking, “Yeah, okay. For that amount of work, that’s probably about right.” And they were owing me a few hundred dollars, not like 900 or 1,200 or whatever it was.

And I was trying to reassure the guy, right? I’m like, “Okay, small mix up, things happen. Let me get the rest of the money back to you, whatever I’m owing, and then everything will be sorted out, right?”

But he kind of kept going on and on about, “Yeah, we can’t pay you that, and why would you go and deposit that? And I’m like, “It was a check with my name written on it. Why would there be any reason for me to be skeptical of that?”

Moral of the story? Well, I think there are a few things you could take away from that.

One is there comes a time for people to speak up. You may not be the outspoken type. But someone might try to smear your perfectly good name. And those are not situations where you can stay silent. You must speak up and say, “This is not my fault. It didn’t happen because of something I did.”

There was a mistake made on your end or someone else who was writing the checks or whatever it may be, but ultimately it wasn’t my fault. I’m not responsible for it. I’m responsible for getting the difference back to you, but that’s my only responsibility in this.

Another message could certainly be beware of scammers. We’re in a weird world, right?

Like, kids are told “Don’t talk to strangers” but if you grow up believing that and become an adult believing that you should never talk to any strangers, you’re going to have a lot of problems later.

You’re not going to be able to get a date, or you’re not going to be able to network, or you’re not going to be able to get the contacts that are going to make a difference in your music career.

We live in this world of paradox, but anybody that texts you randomly out of the blue are generally not to be trusted. I kind of learned that the hard way.

I mean, I’ve been around a long time. I probably could have been scammed hundreds of times. I think I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve only ever been scammed once and nearly scammed on another occasion, but they’re getting smarter and smarter.

Trust me when I say this – you must beware of complete strangers for sure.

Those are a couple of morals that come to mind, but I’m curious to hear what you hear in this event and how you view it.