Friday 23 June 2017

A right royal headache

Original picture: Clker-free-Vector-Images, Pixabay
I think TBE (aka The Boss Erratic) has secretly joined the CIA.

She’s joined the CIA and she’s using their unbearably effective tactics on me until I collapse into a broken heap in a dark corner of the Out Of Favour (OOF) shop and promise to tell her whatever she wants to hear……

“Yes (TBE), you are SUCH a brilliant manager! Yes, everyone loves your oh-so-quirky-and-not-annoying-at-all-ways! Yes, it’s such an honour to work for someone as great as you that I would be happy to work for almost nothing!”

Why else would she be torturing me? All day, every day. Constantly. With no respite.

I can’t stand it.

It’s driving me insane. I just can’t take it any longer.

She is torturing me – with whales.

Now I like whales as much as the next person (unless that person is Japanese), but having to listen to them day in, day out is, quite frankly, driving me around the bend.

Am I babbling? Does anyone know what I’m going on about? I’m babbling aren’t I? Oh God, it’s working…she’s turning me into a babbling mess.

OK, so this is the thing: it’s about playing music in public, and the right of the PRS/ PPL* to sue the arse off anyone who doesn’t have a licence to play music in public.

TBE has a licence to play music (so she reckons), but a few months ago she announced she was in dispute with the PRS, and until she, “gets it sorted out”, we could only play royalty free music.

Have you ever listened to royalty free music?

It’s alarming and other-worldly. There are no words, and no discernible rhythms, just random swooshy tones with the odd off-key chime or clang. It’s like music you might hear in a spa, or in an amateur dramatics improv. session where they’re all impersonating George from Rainbow who’s just landed on a strange alien planet. It makes me think of lava lamps. Or the inside of Yoko Ono’s head.

Royalty free music is like this, but in noise. Picture: aitoff, Pixabay

At first it’s oddly calming. Then it becomes irritating. After an hour it feels like a drill is being applied softly but relentlessly to the base of your skull. And I have to listen to this all day.

God knows what the customers think. They mostly look confused.

Little Side Note: You know what? I’ve just looked online to try and find an audio track that illustrates what I’m on about – and every single royalty free track I came across is less shit than the ones TBE makes me listen to. By absolutely frigging miles. Oh why am I surprised? This is probably the nearest I can find.

Anyway, TBE’s special brand of Chinese water torture has been going on for months now, probably because it will cost money to resolve the dispute. And remember, this particular circle of hell is a whole extra level on top of the already insanity inducing CD player that jumps and stutters over every CD. Before long I’ll have to come to work with a block of wood wedged between my teeth to stop me going bonkers and biting the heads off customers.
But…….and this is very hard for me to say:
As much as I want to, I don’t think I can entirely blame TBE. (What? I know, right?!). The whole, ‘public music licence,’ thing is massively complex, and I have a sneaking suspicion TBE, like many shopkeepers, assumed buying one licence (from PRS) would be enough. It’s not; you also have to buy a second licence from PPL, and neither is cheap.
Still, honest mistake or not, I can’t see many wrong-footed shopkeepers taking the preferred TBE approach of metaphorically curling into a foetus-like ball of denial, whilst self-pityingly singing, “La la la, I can’t hear you”.
And I’m convinced the only reason she’s made a half-arsed attempt to, ‘get it sorted out,’ (i.e. make me listen to mind-bendingly awful droning day in, day out) is because she’s heard about the gangs of PRS/PPL heavies that’ve apparently taken to prowling around the local independent shops, roughing up poor hapless shop keepers who’ve innocently fallen foul of their impossible-to-fathom laws.
Actually, I’ve heard they’re really very nice, but that doesn’t fit with the job, does it? – And they do have a policy of targeting small shops. Maybe they model themselves on The Sopranos. If they were in The Sopranos they’d buy you a delicious dinner and then they’d have you shot
(I’ve never seen The Sopranos).

No, I don't know why they're in a boat either. balik, Pixabay

*Performing Right Society; Phonographic Performance Ltd.


  1. It's difficult to get through the PRS and a PPL licence processes, but where there's a will there's a whale

    ok just leaving now..

    1. Haha! Moby TBE needs to wise up and get it sorted!