The Real Cost of Circumventing
Written by @justdontcallmeeddie
Circumvention: No, it's NOT a tradition practiced on male infants NOR is it a witty name for an adult film convention.
Circumvention [Circumventing] is the act of bypassing your client and going direct to his end-client; and allowing that end-client to hire you directly, thereby "circumventing the individual or company that originally made the connection for you to begin with.
so what does that mean?
When a stagehand is introduced to the employer by a labor company, who then purposefully and deceptively solicits the employer, with the intention of soliciting jobs unknown to the labor company; or
When the employer or hiring company uses contact info provided by the labor company or solicits the stagehand directly, with the purposeful and deceitful intention of offering the stagehand to work as a freelancer without the labor company's knowledge,
We’ve noticed that this trend has grown recently and it actually has a negative impact for all stakeholders involved. We wanted to share a little insight about how and why this behavior has a long term negative influence.
so what's wrong with that?
It's widely accepted as unethical (although some companies see no malpractice). And certainly there are reasons to go around or go direct some times. But those legitimate reasons are specific and do not lend to the negative impact on morale or quality of service that direct circumvention can have - and I'm faced with two cases of it right now.
For the most part, the overall stagehand community, and the companies that hire crew through crewing companies, understand and respect the industry ethics surrounding their relationship with each other and their union brothers. Sadly, sometimes an innocent stagehand can be adversely affected if the hiring company puts pressure on them, while they are trying to be noble. The crewperson may actually run the risk of losing the client either way [thru the labor company and direct].
In short, it’s understood that stagehands are expected to protect the relationship between the end-client [the hiring company known as employers] and the stagehand's actual client [the labor company, labor broker or independent labor coordinator]. The end client is not the stagehands client to begin with.
still don't get it?
Imagine when we were kids, and we're all out on the playground, and you just happen to be an amazing friend that was generous ands selfless in giving. You liked to see your friends happy, so ever day you brought some brand new toy, never been touched, nothing broken off, everything perfect. And there was this one kid that every day, he would take the toy, push you down, and walk away laughing. But you being the amazing you that you are, keep bringing a new toy, every day, believing that he must have learned his lesson by now. He must see the folly of his ways now. This time, maybe he'll bring some of his toys, and we'll build a toy empire...
But every day is much like the last one. The new toy is stripped away, you are pushed to the ground, your friends won't help you out and instead just laugh at you while astonishingly enough, asking if they can play with your toys, but with the other kid. You think this sounds far fetched or not aligned. Well consider, just our company spent thousands on recruiting and double that on marketing last year. All that investment into marketing, the time, the resources, the money - and we earned the right to monetize them. So how fair is it if Jeff started hiring me just long enough for me to put on other hands, in essence, strangling myself. Just another story of a school yard bully.
What to do, not do, pretend to do, expect doing again, and who to blame for doing it.
It's true, like most specialized trades, stagehands and stagecraft professionals have their own unique culture and etiquette associated. We've covered topics about vocabulary, style and even the perspective on the length of a work day. However, when we collect and present all the unique aspects of stagehand life, there is undeniably a code of ethics or general etiquette that we all kind of naturally follow. Those that resist don't seem to last long.
Some of the rules are unspoken and some are clear communicated. But in total, there exists a set of guidelines and principles that stagehands seem hold to. It's worth mentioning that stagehand norms and mores do differ according to geographic location and even age group. But we wanted to pull together a general list of expectations and etiquette for new recruits and even veteran review. Not all these instructions may apply to crews everywhere, but they are group of standards that will set most up for success if understood and practiced. We encourage our readers to comment and add perspective.
Radio Do's & Dont's
DO keep chatter to a minimum. Carrying a radio is already distracting and it becomes annoying when you have to keep shifting your focus from the task in front of you to the comments on your radio.
DO hold (key) your talk button for a full second before you start to speak, otherwise we lose the first part of your sentence, which is usually who you are.
DO NOT change off your assigned channel without notifying your group that you're changing.
DO NOT use you radio to play jokes or have inappropriate conversations.
DO remember to return your radio to its charging station at the end of each day.
DO record the serial number of your assigned radio, in case you lose it or it gets accidentally swapped