Jump to content

Stepping down from role.


Recommended Posts

I'm a full time hours Physics technician in a school (32years come September). Students and teachers  are just back from Easter break (I have been "in" most of the holiday).

For a fair few years I've also been "Head of Lighting" working with students on the technical side of theater. Working weekends and evenings as needed.

School have now decided that they can rent out the theater space to dance groups and ADS groups without regard to who is operating the equipment, what scenery is already on the stage... or how close to school productions they are. I have pointed out how crazy this is, and..... been told I can get overtime for working with outsiders.. No thank you.

I feel the role has expanded beyond what hours I can add on to my full time job, my hearing is deteriorating so I'm stepping down and running for the fire exits...

Ive shown two chaps around, who I'm told will be operating sound and light for the external groups, No-one has been appointed to replace me or continue working with the students.

We have a School show coming up.... end of June.... Drama teacher doesn't know who to approach re microphone/lighting hire, sound/lighting design, technician rehearsal availability etc.

Is it wrong to sit back and say "I told you so"? 

It feels like I'm letting the students down!

Grrr. Grrr. Grrr.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not your problem. 


How will the school work out if the hirer complies with local H&S requirements?

Your not letting anyone down. You're justified to point out that it would be sensible to do an inventory of what is rigged before and after a private hire. and do safety checks.

It may be that the hire revenue doesn't cover the cost of those checks.

You should also point out that any stuff coming in must be PAT compliant 

Presumably ably the after school work is voluntary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tony, it's possible the students are being let down, but not by you.
Draw your own 'line in the sand' and stick to it.
However, it may help to feel you've done everything you practically can to help this process, so I would document (and photograph) everything you can, suggest any checks that should be made pre and post external hires and detail a suggested risk assessment procedure. Pass that on and walk away, otherwise you'll drive yourself bonkers.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

If they want to go down this daft route it's time to go back to your core job and wait for the inevitable disaster. Managers like this will simply not be told, if you've had a go and it wasn't listened to don 't waste any more breath.

I agree with the previous post. Document things as they are the last time you touch them and keep the records safely. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Folks.

I've put together a fairly comprehensive (electronic and hard copy)document for our stage, but I'm sure there is lots of info I've overlooked.

Inevitably it will be a disaster, though probably not until after our current Headmaster leaves.

The powers that be don't realise that every show/event is different and the odd hour I spent after hours setting up a preset on the desk,  changing a lamp or shifting a fixture is now going to cost them an arm and a leg for an outsider to sort.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, tonytech said:

School have now decided that they can rent out the theater space to dance groups and ADS groups without regard to who is operating the equipment, what scenery is already on the stage... or how close to school productions they are. I have pointed out how crazy this is,

A local authority near me decided to offer their school facilities for outside rentals. It is all handled centrally, and the people in that office didn't always communicate bookings to the schools themselves. 

Cue me turning up with a vanload of kit. "What booking?" say the school when I arrive. Quick phone call to my customer to check I've got the right place. Turns out I do, but the central booking office hadn't told the school that their assembly hall would be getting used every evening that week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Difficult to disagree with most of the advice here although I would take a different approach assuming most of the extra hours are voluntary. I would talk to the drama teacher and offer to go though the next show with them side by side so that they at least get a chance to learn what is required. If you get rebuffed, so be it, but suspect you are more likely to get your offer snapped up. 

Make sure you point out that you are only doing it for the kids, you will have nothing to do with external hires, and you need at least a clear week or whatever before the show with no external hires that need the equipment. 

That way you can sit back and either enjoy the show with a completely clear conscience, or, should the show fail or get cancelled, that you have done all you can.

Sadly if it comes to it "I told you so" will give you zero personal satisfaction. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In therapy and AA they teach the relatives of people in recovery to "detach with love". You can love the students just as much from far away as you can from near and you don't get your toes stepped on. If you have told the authorities what you fear might happen, that the safety of hirers and subsequently students could be at risk and they still want to go ahead then you have to walk away. If you don't you will be enabling that risk. 

By "operating" I am presuming that means rigging, cabling, focusing and all the safety and competence critical areas of theatre technology and as Jivemaster says, your own safety is not worth risking. Who knows what these "external crews" might be like? They could well be brilliant. Equally they could be lethal. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.