In the space of our 6 months broadcasting, I think BS might have been present for one full grind from start to finish. Bear in mind that each grind lasted one hour and we did 7 live grinds a week, for 14 weeks (Jan – May 2013). Not wanting to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I was the only team member to be present for all 98 hours of broadcasting. In my opinion this is the kind of commitment to be expected of an owner of a business. However, do remember that I have no technical training and was not well equipped to deal with any tech emergencies (of which there happened to be many).
I can remember one instance where we found ourselves up shit creek without a paddle in the tech department and BS was away in San Francisco. In the space of 6 months, he was skiing TWICE, and in both San Francisco and Mexico for three weeks. There was always a feeling that something had changed whenever you saw BS. This was probably due to the fact that it could have been a number of months since you last saw him (SL).
Notable examples of these changes included: a new shade of just for men in the hair, a beautiful bronze tan that would take at least 2-3 weeks to acquire in Villa Moura (in fairness to BS this could have simply been acquired in 2-3 hours in tanzone.ie), bulging pectorals and biceps, glistening white teeth and pretty much anything else that would suggest that he hadn’t been up to much work. Him simply being alive would suggest that he hadn’t been working that much. A corpse would do much more work than BS (SL).
Anyway, one of the times the shit really hit the fan was when our broadband partners let us down. The feed of broadband was about as consistent as Moana’s heart rate. I was the one who perpetually dealt with the provider. Not BS. This was a combination of wanting to be in control and simply well accustomed to BS at this stage. It was in this 2 week period when the cow pat really hit the fan. There were lots of times when little pieces of dog turd hit the fan. But this time it was a full cow pat.
I’ll never forget one geography grind during this 2 week period where the broadband acted up and the grind simply cut off and never returned. BS was, of course, nowhere to be seen. He was probably on the stage of the gaiety theatre that evening too and had no notion of what was happening. Could you imagine watching a grind that you had paid for, and for the stream to simply cut out half way through the session? Events like this were as commonplace as BS’s absenteeism (SL). Needless to say we lost a lot of customers during this delightful 2 week period.
The software itself was as volatile as BS’s temper. I would conservatively say that it would crash during one in every four grinds broadcast. This did not do my mental health any good (the evidence of which is this blog, says you!). I was sitting on the edge of my seat every evening with no finger nails remaining. The one bit of solace I took was that I could send BS a text message (I couldn’t call him if he was on stage). There is only so much help you can get via the medium of text, however. Rebooting the machine was his usual nugget of savvy tech advice. See text messages:
Of course another issue was that all our grinds would be recorded as well as broadcast live. However, whenever the software crashed, the recording up until the point of the crash did not encode and was rendered unusable. This would mean we would have to get the teacher in again, at our expense of course, to rerecord grinds for the archive.
BS would not accept that this business did not take off as a result of the tech issues. Even the tech issues that were 100% outside of our control he did not accept as reasons for failure, as he didn’t want the word tech to feature anywhere in the list of potential reasons for which the project never took off. That was his department and he would protect it at all costs. Instead, the marketing and advertising department got the blame.