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The Rest of the Week

Is it October already? Good Lord.

Monday and Tuesday are kind of running together in my mind. Work was very slow. I did what I could on inventory and listing instruments and books. Kristy was back which was nice, Dirk (ed rep) was coming and going, and Eric was there doing repairs, so at times there were four of us in the store. It seemed excessive but there's still a lot to get done. Matt had meetings early in the week so he wasn't around either day.

Here are Kristy and Eric working on some instruments. The young man to Kristy's left is job shadowing in preparation for beginning his repair tech education at Red Wing. I think it's really cool that they allow people to shadow here, that's valuable knowledge.

After both days I stayed late to practice. It gets darker so much earlier now.

On Wednesday Matt was in the shop with us for a little while, catching up on various things. Near the end of the day we had a student come in to try out a euphonium we'd gotten into the shop the week before. He brought his teacher, and that was very cool. I always find it difficult when someone comes in to consider a new instrument, and they want feedback on how they sound. First of all 90% of these forget to bring a mouthpiece that they're comfortable on. Secondly, it's very hard to get useful feedback from someone who has never heard you play before! I thought this kid was very smart to bring his teacher along. I stood off to the side and listened as the teacher and student took turns trying the instrument and giving feedback to each other. A few times I jumped into the conversation when it seemed relevant, but overall I let the teacher hold the floor. There's no way I'm contradicting a professional euphonium guy.

At the end of the day it seemed pretty apparent that the kid wanted the euphonium bad. And he would be paying for it himself. Made me feel all heart-warmed and fuzzy...I remember my first professional instrument, which I also paid for by myself (and against my parents' wishes). So when the mom expressed concern over the cost of the instrument and whether it was "worth it", I was quick to try and ease her fears. I pointed to a corner of the room, where my Bach 42 trombone was sitting in its case. "That's my first professional instrument," I told her. "I bought it in 2005. It's here in the store because I practice it daily. If your son is serious about playing the euphonium, it is worth the money spent." And with that we had mom's consent.

I was seriously touched by the look of pride and excitement on this guy's face as he proudly paid for his euphonium. I really hope he enjoys it for a long time to come!

If retail were like that even 50% of the time, I sure would enjoy it a lot more.

After work I chose not to practice because I needed a few groceries and also had to move some things around at home as they're supposed to be spraying bug repellent on Thursday.

Thursday, I turned on my home security camera hoping to catch the pesticide service spraying my apartment down. I was sadly disappointed. The did come to spray, but it was in the early afternoon, and it just so happened that I was at the factory making a delivery of unused rental instruments. The service is bad in the factory so by the time I got the notification the servicemen had left. Oh well! I dropped off the instruments, mostly 3/4 violins that had been exchanged for full size violins during the course of rental season. Then I took a few pictures, because with only about a month left in Kansas City I don't know if I'll ever get to come back here. Everyone was out to lunch...it was very still.

Friday, I managed to complete most of a project I've been working on since rental season started: inventory of every instrument in the shop. Serial numbers, condition, date of manufacture, consignee, model number, quantity, eCommerce listings...all of this I've entered into the point of sale, and also into a spreadsheet available to everyone in the company. In addition, Matt told us that rentals were up more than 30% over last year. It feels good to contribute, even if I didn't turn out to be a lifer here at BAC. After work I went home and cleaned my apartment so I wouldn't have to do it over the weekend.

Saturday was a short day at work. It was just Kristy and I. She brought in most of the money for the day by processing repairs. I continued inventory and rang up some accessories for customers. After work I practiced a bit, then came home to enjoy the lovely 78 degree sunny weather. I was surprised to see a large clump of bees on my hummingbird feeder...it seems they're trying to store some energy for either fall migration or hibernation. Well I'm glad to help :)

I spent the rest of the night relaxing, and finalizing my moving plans. No, I do not have a job lined up yet. I'm trying to be optimistic. I'm just glad that Jameson will be waiting for me at the other end. Somehow things will work out. I am very grateful for my time with the circus, which allowed me to save some money for times like these. I am grateful for the time I'm getting to spend in this spacious, sunny apartment.

In other news, it seems someone else has also thought of finding out what Ringling folks are up to these days. This article by  covers several star performers and what they're up to. (Click HERE to read)

I haven't heard any updates on the transformation of Car 38, but here are some before and after pictures from a gentleman who is working on our neighbor, car 39. The wrecking crew was surprised to find another layer of tile underneath the visible one that we'd been using. Pieces of another life.