My kid does 13K in damage to studio equip, we handle it like lunatics.
I’m an audio engineer and score arranger full time in my self-owned business. It’s how I provide for myself, my fiancée (also CF), and my mother. I record, mix, and master for bands, voice-overs for local commercials, and write music for people’s weddings, college films, indie games, etc.. It was my passion since I was a child and every day I ask myself why I get paid to do what I do.
You know, until today.
I had a woman schedule to come in because she wanted me to record her monologue for an acting class. I thought it was going to be easy enough. I set up a mic and a music stand in the sound booth and got my workstation prepped for tracking. She was supposed to show up at 3:30, so when 4:00 came around, I called her to ask her if she was still coming. It was my last contract for the day and I was wanting to get home to my fiancée, dogs, and dinner.
“Oh, sorry sweetie, I’m going to be there soon. I just had to get my son from ex-boyfriend.”
4:12, she showed up with her child.
To preface, I’ve never really wanted kids, and don’t really hate them either. But I’ve been childfree of mind for a decade now in league of several bad child experiences in public.
Anyway, I sat her down at the conference table and tried to talk to her about the contract and billing, etc., and just couldn’t because of the six-years-old pile of ovary droppings next to her.
“Mommy it’s cold in here.” “Mommy, I’m bored.” “Mommy, that guy has girl hair.” “Mommy, I want to play on the phone.”
The incessant whining went on for the entirety of the discussion. She did nothing about it. I had an ache in my stomach that this might be a rough session.
I was right.
I showed her to the sound booth, positioned the mic at face level, told her the basics of mic use, and then she floored me with a question.
“Can my son stay in there with you while I do this?” I insisted that he wait in the conference room (across the hall from the control room) because the control room wasn’t a very kid-friendly place considering the 120K of equipment at arms reach.
“But he’s a little angel.”
I shouldn’t have taken her word for it. I SHOULD NOT have taken her word for it. This kid was ANYTHING but. I let him in, told him to sit in one of the office chairs and don’t touch anything. Needless to say, he touched. I queued the recording arm and signaled her to start. She got three lines into her take before I hear a deafening screech and crash.
That little shit machine had just knocked over a $4,000 Korg into a rack with $9,500 of equipment. Completely shattered the touchscreen on the Korg, busted the dials off of half of the effects, and totaled my distressor that I use for almost all the vocals I track.
All of this, by the way, was the room’s length apart from where I told the crotch goblin to stay.
The kid, because of the loud noise, started full-lung screaming. Not crying. Not yelling. Screaming.
The mother, with no hesitation, ran over to the control room and DEMANDED to know what I did to her child. She cussed at me and accused me of hurting her little snot monster. Threatened to sue and even swung at me. When I told her that her precious angel had just racked up at least twelve grand of damages, she said “good”, spit on me, then stormed out, slamming every door on the way. So I pulled the security camera footage and had filed a police report. Grand total: $13,504.25. I also mailed her the bill for her session for good measure.
Of six years in the studio, this is my only truly terrible experience. Fuck mombies. Fuck having children. Thanks for making my vasectomy decision that much easier on me.