billeyler: (face in the sunlight)
We just got a dusting of snow Sunday evening, right as the Oscars were finishing up. I was thinking that it might make the roads treacherous in the morning, but it didn't. The roads were 100% clear in town on Monday morning. What little snow we got was gone by noon.

Not so west Texas. What we got was a bit of wrap around snow, while west Texas around Amarillo was pounded by a major blizzard. The interstate was shut down; as a precaution, I-40 was shut down at Louisiana Blvd here to try to divert truckers to the fairgrounds to park and wait it out. No one got the word, so eastbound I-40 has been an absolute zoo. Later, I understand the city moved the closure to the more logical Tramway Blvd, the easternmost exit on the freeway in ABQland before I-40 enters the canyon.

Two days later, the interstate is STILL closed, which must confuse a lot of people since it's blue skies and dry roads here. The Schooltime performances at the theatre today are cancelled, since the guy can't get his van west of Amarillo. He's absolutely stuck. I don't know the details, but it was a nailbiter until the last minute. MAYBE the 250 mile section of the freeway that's closed will reopen sometime this morning, but won't do us much good. Our marketing/education team is having to contact all the teachers, APS drivers and homeschoolers to somehow keep them from showing up at the theatre, all 4000 of them. Yikes!

All that said, the cold weather appears to be going away. Heading for the 60s all next week (while Danny is in Palm Springs!)
billeyler: (face in the sunlight)
Although I'm sequeing out of the HR liaison role at work (glacially slowly), or at least becoming the oversight team leader for our newly formed group of three that will be handling HR administrivia, I get sucked into the issues that keep on happening in our little custodian group.

It's a doomed situation.

For years, the theatre tagged off the Physical Plant pool of custodians, in which we were charged a flat rate per year, which included all the supplies for the theatre. Back then it was only about $65,000 a year. The custodians (who I never ever met) worked nights, cleaning up after theatre events, occasionally giving the offices a trash emptying, that kind of thing. Decisions were made that since we weren't able to schedule these employees ourselves, we really needed to have our own custodial staff. I was skeptical, as the numbers guy.

That's where the trouble started. This must have been about 2007 when we made the switch.

Every staff custodian we've hired has been an utter failure, with lots of drama involved. We've been through five full time so far, each with a rasher of bizarreness (is that a word?) culminating in their eventually having to leave. None have been fired, but should have. Of course, the pay is abysmally low. $10 per hour plus (theoretical) university benefits. But why can't we hire someone stable?

We add student custodians in the mix, but in general, those have all been quiet hires and not much happens in that group of people.

This past year, we created a Lead Custodian position, paying a couple dollars more per hour, and having supervisor skill sets needed.

Yesterday, I got a call from our admin assistant after I left work, a voice mail actually. Rachel wanted to fill me in on a situation that occurred there yesterday afternoon. I didn't catch the call until about 5:30, but she told me what was up. It wasn't what I thought (there was a developing issue that morning between our operations manager and the assistant tech person I figured has blown up again).

About 4:30, 4 UNM police showed up and asked for Scott Palmer, our lead custodian. The escorted him (with or without handcuffs, I don't know), down to our development officer's work area and grilled him about an issue. From what I understand, he was taking some class or other and a handwriting analysis was involved. His writing sample has some incendiary language in it, referencing his military background from long ago. Whatever it was, freaked his professor out and she filed a complaint.

After that, he was escorted out of the building by two of the UNM police and the others held back to give a small briefing to Rachel. Scott's supervisor, Billy, was called.

So we don't know if we have a lead custodian right now. The 3/4 time custodian we had for two months quit on Feb 7. Two of the student custodians that were hired never even started working; they found other jobs somewhere else. It's a mess.

Scott's hire history with us has been a mess in itself, although he's been a reliable, hard-worker for over two years. Originally, he was hired in as a student. When he dropped a class, putting him below 6 credit hours, we had to scramble and found out he could be hired as a UNM Temp. He was paid that way for 6 months, but you can only temp 6 months before other arrangements have to happen. We rehired him as a student, since he had enough credit hours that semester (the guys is in his 50s, btw), but after two months, student employment suddenly terminated him--when I was on vacation, my sub entered 32.1 hours for one week in his pay time entry, putting him over the maximum a student can work. There was no recourse. We scrambled again and after a time got him back on as a Temp, although there were TWO months where we had to pay him through our Stage Labor contract as an independent contractor. THAT could have been weird.

After that last Temp position was ending, we decided to create the Lead Custodian position to fix the inequity situation that was created when two equal custodial staff hires were on, but one had scheduling duties with no pay difference. Then the shit hit the fan. We found out that Scott had a criminal record that went back years ago. There was a huge hoohaw over getting him hired into the LC position, with another background check. His supervisor Billy insisted that we hire him though. Again, over the nearly three month gap before he was hired as staff, he was paid through the Stage Services contract (which doesn't really have custodial authority).

I just can't wait to go into work to face what's going on in today's staff dramas. We have the Wilson Phillips concert tonight and Mark Twain Tonight! with Hal Holbrook tomorrow night and potentially a patched together custodial crew if Scott has been terminated or put on suspension outside of our control.

Oh, and now our custodial costs all told are over $120,000 a year.
billeyler: (Broadway)
We've been selling the 11-12 season here at the theatre for about two weeks now:

Broadway Package
- South Pacific 5 perf
- My Fair Lady 5 perf
- Young Frankenstein 5 perf
- Mary Poppins (sadly, minus [livejournal.com profile] bearfuz) 7 perf
- The Lion King 32 perf

Broadway add-ons
- Blue Man Group 5 perf
- Rain, A Tribute to the Beatles (returning)1 perf
- Les Misérables (returning for the 3rd time)8 perf

Ovation Series (all one perf, except Peking Acrobats 2)
- Kings of Salsa
- Blast!
- Joan Rivers "My Life in Show Biz: 135 years and counting"
- Charlie Brown Christmas (David Benoit)
- Mariachi Christmas (annual tradition)
- An Irish Homecoming: Cherish the Ladies
- Cab Calloway Orch with Alice Tan Ridley
- Forever Tango (Cheryl Burke)
- Peking Acrobats (return # 3)
- Sleeping Beauty Ballet (Moscow Festival Ballet)
- Masters of Motown
- Tao- Art of the Drum
- Damn Yankees
- One Night of QUEEN
- "Tschaikowski," St Petersburg State Orch (that's the right spelling!)
- Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble
- An Evening with John Waters
- Celtic Tenors
- Macbeth (Aquila Company does one Shakespeare for us annually)
- Tribute to the Blues Brothers
- Manhattan Transfer
- DanceBrazil
- Sweet Honey in the Rock
- Say Goodnight Gracie

Eclectic as always. Fun, fun, fun!
billeyler: (Broadway)
We've been selling the 11-12 season here at the theatre for about two weeks now:

Broadway Package
- South Pacific 5 perf
- My Fair Lady 5 perf
- Young Frankenstein 5 perf
- Mary Poppins (sadly, minus [livejournal.com profile] bearfuz) 7 perf
- The Lion King 32 perf

Broadway add-ons
- Blue Man Group 5 perf
- Rain, A Tribute to the Beatles (returning)1 perf
- Les Misérables (returning for the 3rd time)8 perf

Ovation Series (all one perf, except Peking Acrobats 2)
- Kings of Salsa
- Blast!
- Joan Rivers "My Life in Show Biz: 135 years and counting"
- Charlie Brown Christmas (David Benoit)
- Mariachi Christmas (annual tradition)
- An Irish Homecoming: Cherish the Ladies
- Cab Calloway Orch with Alice Tan Ridley
- Forever Tango (Cheryl Burke)
- Peking Acrobats (return # 3)
- Sleeping Beauty Ballet (Moscow Festival Ballet)
- Masters of Motown
- Tao- Art of the Drum
- Damn Yankees
- One Night of QUEEN
- "Tschaikowski," St Petersburg State Orch (that's the right spelling!)
- Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble
- An Evening with John Waters
- Celtic Tenors
- Macbeth (Aquila Company does one Shakespeare for us annually)
- Tribute to the Blues Brothers
- Manhattan Transfer
- DanceBrazil
- Sweet Honey in the Rock
- Say Goodnight Gracie

Eclectic as always. Fun, fun, fun!
billeyler: (work Popejoy accountant)
Live Theatre isn't just about entertainment )
As for the real entertainment season, the Symphony starts their program in late September and our first shows in our own series are start in October with "Of Mice and Men" and "Cirque Dreams."
billeyler: (work Popejoy accountant)
Live Theatre isn't just about entertainment )
As for the real entertainment season, the Symphony starts their program in late September and our first shows in our own series are start in October with "Of Mice and Men" and "Cirque Dreams."
billeyler: (work Popejoy accountant)
I share an office with two people. One is Linda, the events coordinator. No one confuses me with her.

The other is Billy, the tech director. And I'm Bill E. Many get confused when they're told to come look for Billy.
billeyler: (work Popejoy accountant)
I share an office with two people. One is Linda, the events coordinator. No one confuses me with her.

The other is Billy, the tech director. And I'm Bill E. Many get confused when they're told to come look for Billy.
billeyler: (work Popejoy accountant)
This blip is surprising only in that the former UNM president mentioned below was fired from UNM by the board of regents. His career here was brief. Danny helped him with his computers for his long exit transition.

From UNM President Schmidley's morning morning e-blast:

"We have more congratulations to pass around. It was announced last week that UNM law professor and former president Louis Caldera has been appointed to head up the White House Military Office. As a former Secretary of the Army, Professor Caldera is no stranger to Washington.
We wish him the best in this next stage of his remarkable career."

Yup, remarkable.
billeyler: (work Popejoy accountant)
This blip is surprising only in that the former UNM president mentioned below was fired from UNM by the board of regents. His career here was brief. Danny helped him with his computers for his long exit transition.

From UNM President Schmidley's morning morning e-blast:

"We have more congratulations to pass around. It was announced last week that UNM law professor and former president Louis Caldera has been appointed to head up the White House Military Office. As a former Secretary of the Army, Professor Caldera is no stranger to Washington.
We wish him the best in this next stage of his remarkable career."

Yup, remarkable.
billeyler: (Broadway)
Our director gave us the list of probable shows for the theatre 09-10 season. I'm sure on the strength of a single show, the whole season will sell.

Oct 16-18, 09 Cirque (I'm assuming one of the big ones)
Nov 6-9, 09 Wedding Singer (I thought this one was a dog? We all voted against it)
Feb 4-7, 10 River Dance (SuperBowl Sunday is then, I hear. River Dance has been here several times in the past)
Mar 19-21, 10 Avenue Q (the only one that appeals to me, but might be a tough sell for the ABQ market)
Sept 20-Oct 27 10 Lion King (finally! they must be shrinking the show down for 2nd tier cities. It was slated to be here several years ago, but would have required an $800,000 theatre renovation, something we weren't willing to do.)

Cirque falls exactly on the Albuquerque gay A&C square dance weekend next year. Our bi-annual balloon fiesta flyin happens in the middle of Lion King. I had BETTER have someone else able to handle show settlements by then!

Lion King slops over seasons for us. I'm surprised they're booking it for 40 performances. That may change, depending on advance sales. I know when "The Producers" first toured here, it was dropped from 16 performances to 8.

We'll have 16-20 other 1 or 2 performance touring shows that we book for the rest of the season, but those have to be dropped in later as available. There's not much out there touring these days ladies and gentlemen!
billeyler: (Broadway)
Our director gave us the list of probable shows for the theatre 09-10 season. I'm sure on the strength of a single show, the whole season will sell.

Oct 16-18, 09 Cirque (I'm assuming one of the big ones)
Nov 6-9, 09 Wedding Singer (I thought this one was a dog? We all voted against it)
Feb 4-7, 10 River Dance (SuperBowl Sunday is then, I hear. River Dance has been here several times in the past)
Mar 19-21, 10 Avenue Q (the only one that appeals to me, but might be a tough sell for the ABQ market)
Sept 20-Oct 27 10 Lion King (finally! they must be shrinking the show down for 2nd tier cities. It was slated to be here several years ago, but would have required an $800,000 theatre renovation, something we weren't willing to do.)

Cirque falls exactly on the Albuquerque gay A&C square dance weekend next year. Our bi-annual balloon fiesta flyin happens in the middle of Lion King. I had BETTER have someone else able to handle show settlements by then!

Lion King slops over seasons for us. I'm surprised they're booking it for 40 performances. That may change, depending on advance sales. I know when "The Producers" first toured here, it was dropped from 16 performances to 8.

We'll have 16-20 other 1 or 2 performance touring shows that we book for the rest of the season, but those have to be dropped in later as available. There's not much out there touring these days ladies and gentlemen!
billeyler: (work Popejoy accountant)
Yesterday was that morning emergency meeting with the ISS team of directors with the VP extorting about hiring "pauses," project cutting, and operating expense slashing, with decreased funding coming down the pike (for those that depend on it to function).

Today's front page in the Albuquerque Journal was a nearly full page article on the $60,000,000 (yes, that's SIXTY million) facelift the university basketball stadium will be getting starting in April.

I tend to get reactionary with this type of thing. Right now, I'd rather be working anywhere else than here.
billeyler: (work Popejoy accountant)
Yesterday was that morning emergency meeting with the ISS team of directors with the VP extorting about hiring "pauses," project cutting, and operating expense slashing, with decreased funding coming down the pike (for those that depend on it to function).

Today's front page in the Albuquerque Journal was a nearly full page article on the $60,000,000 (yes, that's SIXTY million) facelift the university basketball stadium will be getting starting in April.

I tend to get reactionary with this type of thing. Right now, I'd rather be working anywhere else than here.
billeyler: (work Popejoy accountant)
Barack Obama is making yet another rally appearance in ABQ tomorrow night.

It's FUBARed up the parking situation for any event here at the University, since he's speaking at Johnson Field, just east of our theatre. After emergency planning meetings, there are 9+ volunteers and several staff on the phone now calling all the patrons for the NM Symphony performance tomorrow night to let them know they'll have to park WAY off campus at the G Lot (with free shuttles). Hopefully, we'll be able to contact the bulk of the 1500 expected patrons.

I like the note on the website for the Obama visit that "doors open at 7pm" --  that should be quite interesting, since it's a huge open area of grass.

I made a dozen calls myself this morning before the volunteers all arrived. HOPEFULLY, crisis averted. They're expecting upwards of 20,000 people on the fields for the 9pm rally. I know Danny's planning on going; I might, if I feel up to it. Danny needs a break from all the demo at the house.

On that front, two of the hot water valves (kitchen and guest bathroom, original to the house in 1960) are frozen shut, per calls to me from Danny. He's stalled on removing the kitchen sink, dishwasher, and bathroom sink until either he can WD40 the valves free or get a plumber over. First significant roadblock in the timeline.

[Edit:  The NM/Obama website has a comments section.  I was reading through it and saw that someone had posted there are free shuttles from the G lot, so anyone wanting to get to the rally can get there that way.  WRONG!  Only people with tickets to the NMSO at the theatre will be allowed on the bus.  Should be quite a riot, if people think they'll get there that way.  Just take a city bus for $1.00!]
billeyler: (work Popejoy accountant)
Barack Obama is making yet another rally appearance in ABQ tomorrow night.

It's FUBARed up the parking situation for any event here at the University, since he's speaking at Johnson Field, just east of our theatre. After emergency planning meetings, there are 9+ volunteers and several staff on the phone now calling all the patrons for the NM Symphony performance tomorrow night to let them know they'll have to park WAY off campus at the G Lot (with free shuttles). Hopefully, we'll be able to contact the bulk of the 1500 expected patrons.

I like the note on the website for the Obama visit that "doors open at 7pm" --  that should be quite interesting, since it's a huge open area of grass.

I made a dozen calls myself this morning before the volunteers all arrived. HOPEFULLY, crisis averted. They're expecting upwards of 20,000 people on the fields for the 9pm rally. I know Danny's planning on going; I might, if I feel up to it. Danny needs a break from all the demo at the house.

On that front, two of the hot water valves (kitchen and guest bathroom, original to the house in 1960) are frozen shut, per calls to me from Danny. He's stalled on removing the kitchen sink, dishwasher, and bathroom sink until either he can WD40 the valves free or get a plumber over. First significant roadblock in the timeline.

[Edit:  The NM/Obama website has a comments section.  I was reading through it and saw that someone had posted there are free shuttles from the G lot, so anyone wanting to get to the rally can get there that way.  WRONG!  Only people with tickets to the NMSO at the theatre will be allowed on the bus.  Should be quite a riot, if people think they'll get there that way.  Just take a city bus for $1.00!]
billeyler: (Richmond house)
Yesterday, after the monthly financial meeting with da boss's boss, I headed back to my office to start the packing process for my move back to the theatre.  Stopped for a haircut at the SUB, getting an update from the woman barber about her daughter's battle with cancer.  Betty also moonlights as a full-time custodian at the theatre, so it's all a big family there.  It's not looking good for her 18 year old daughter, in spite of all the chemo treatments.  Betty's virtually raising her three year old (oops) grand daughter.

Spent most of the afternoon shifting all my work stuff over to my old office across the street, finally setting up my laptop and docking station about 3:40, with happy success.  Barely saw my two officemates.  In fact, didn't see Karen at all, since she was working at KNME for the day.   Isaac appeared after his 2 hour lunch and helped me with the last few things that I didn't move myself.  I may stop by today to say, 'ta ta' to Karen.  We'll still be in touch, since she's the oversight lead accountant for all the auxiliaries.  Gave my security badge for the bookstore over to Tony, the bookstore office manager, and sauntered home for the 4pm meeting with yet more contractors.  No fan fare at all, since I didn't mention to most of the staff there I was leaving.

Jim and Doug were already waiting at the house for us when Danny got there (a bit early).  Danny's having last minute crises at work with the knowledge system, so had a hard time tearing him self away yet again to run home for a meeting.  I got there right at 4 and they were all yakking away in the kitchen when I arrived.  Having contractors arrive not only on-time, but early, for meetings is a good sign to me.

They had arranged for an electrician and a plumber to come over for a once-over as part of the renov.  Brian, the electrician, got there shortly after 4 and we laid out the basics with him for upgrading all the kitchen electrics, outlet  placement and a preliminary for the new recessed ceiling light.  It's going to look pretty grand.  Brian was very enthusiastic; in fact, all the guys are very pleasant and jovial without being fat cat contractors.  The plumber was delayed about 45 minutes due to construction on the freeway, but eventually Robert showed and went over the relocation of the sink to under the window and the running of gas lines to the kitchen.  All the contractors were excited to find that we had an accessible attic to run more gas and electric lines through, cutting the cost down appreciably.  (Danny's determined not to have electric cookers).

While they were all outside looking at the gas meter, I called the prior owner of the house.  Col. Algermissen and his family had raised six kids in the house 1968-1991, having done some significant remodels inside before he retired and moved into a retirement community.  Although he's in his 80s now, he and his (very Catholic) wife seem to be in great health.  I asked him if he remembered if there was by any chance a gas line run in the kitchen that they found when the remodeled it in 1988.  Unfortunately, he says the kitchen was all electric when he bought the house.  I invited him and his wife to stop by in the new year after we're done so they could see the place.  They both golf at Puerto del Sol golf course just south of us, and drive by from time to time to see what foolishness we've done.  They've noticed the carport conversion to a garage, the new high efficency windows, the removal of the awnings and the new stucco.  He was pleased that the ill pine tree in front of the house that was bug infested when he sold the house is still alive (but barely).

We've got full drawings of all the cabinetry and new island in the kitchen, the major expense of all the work.  One of the fun features is the Hafele Lemans Blind Cabinet shelving. something I think is pretty cool.

We're leaving all this behind on Saturday morning, as we start out on our 4 state tour.  Wish it were all done when we get back! 

Target start date for demo:  October 13.
billeyler: (Richmond house)
Yesterday, after the monthly financial meeting with da boss's boss, I headed back to my office to start the packing process for my move back to the theatre.  Stopped for a haircut at the SUB, getting an update from the woman barber about her daughter's battle with cancer.  Betty also moonlights as a full-time custodian at the theatre, so it's all a big family there.  It's not looking good for her 18 year old daughter, in spite of all the chemo treatments.  Betty's virtually raising her three year old (oops) grand daughter.

Spent most of the afternoon shifting all my work stuff over to my old office across the street, finally setting up my laptop and docking station about 3:40, with happy success.  Barely saw my two officemates.  In fact, didn't see Karen at all, since she was working at KNME for the day.   Isaac appeared after his 2 hour lunch and helped me with the last few things that I didn't move myself.  I may stop by today to say, 'ta ta' to Karen.  We'll still be in touch, since she's the oversight lead accountant for all the auxiliaries.  Gave my security badge for the bookstore over to Tony, the bookstore office manager, and sauntered home for the 4pm meeting with yet more contractors.  No fan fare at all, since I didn't mention to most of the staff there I was leaving.

Jim and Doug were already waiting at the house for us when Danny got there (a bit early).  Danny's having last minute crises at work with the knowledge system, so had a hard time tearing him self away yet again to run home for a meeting.  I got there right at 4 and they were all yakking away in the kitchen when I arrived.  Having contractors arrive not only on-time, but early, for meetings is a good sign to me.

They had arranged for an electrician and a plumber to come over for a once-over as part of the renov.  Brian, the electrician, got there shortly after 4 and we laid out the basics with him for upgrading all the kitchen electrics, outlet  placement and a preliminary for the new recessed ceiling light.  It's going to look pretty grand.  Brian was very enthusiastic; in fact, all the guys are very pleasant and jovial without being fat cat contractors.  The plumber was delayed about 45 minutes due to construction on the freeway, but eventually Robert showed and went over the relocation of the sink to under the window and the running of gas lines to the kitchen.  All the contractors were excited to find that we had an accessible attic to run more gas and electric lines through, cutting the cost down appreciably.  (Danny's determined not to have electric cookers).

While they were all outside looking at the gas meter, I called the prior owner of the house.  Col. Algermissen and his family had raised six kids in the house 1968-1991, having done some significant remodels inside before he retired and moved into a retirement community.  Although he's in his 80s now, he and his (very Catholic) wife seem to be in great health.  I asked him if he remembered if there was by any chance a gas line run in the kitchen that they found when the remodeled it in 1988.  Unfortunately, he says the kitchen was all electric when he bought the house.  I invited him and his wife to stop by in the new year after we're done so they could see the place.  They both golf at Puerto del Sol golf course just south of us, and drive by from time to time to see what foolishness we've done.  They've noticed the carport conversion to a garage, the new high efficency windows, the removal of the awnings and the new stucco.  He was pleased that the ill pine tree in front of the house that was bug infested when he sold the house is still alive (but barely).

We've got full drawings of all the cabinetry and new island in the kitchen, the major expense of all the work.  One of the fun features is the Hafele Lemans Blind Cabinet shelving. something I think is pretty cool.

We're leaving all this behind on Saturday morning, as we start out on our 4 state tour.  Wish it were all done when we get back! 

Target start date for demo:  October 13.

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