Q&A #2 and 10,000 Channel Views

(Video transcript) Hi. Paul Donovan here from AVTechnician.ca Thanks for watching my channel. This is the channel where we're giving tips and tricks to AV technicians and those who would like to be an AV Technician.

Today I have a couple of things to share with you. One is that as of the posting of this video I have achieved 10,000 views all together on my channel. I thank everyone for watching. It's been a marvelous experience. So see this grow. Considering that I haven't done a lot of marketing on the channel. So thank you for watching and let's see it grow. and grow and grow.

I'd like to spend a few minutes to do some more Q&A, the second Q&A on my channel. Just a couple of quick questions that have come up from people who are asking questions related to becoming an AV Technician. So let's take a look at some questions.

One of the questions that people ask me is should I be self-employed, contractor or employee of an AV company to do this job. It's a little awkward to give you a direct answer because every country has a little bit difference when regards to rules associated with tax laws and so on. I know the rules in Canada, and do not take me as an expert. I believe some of these rules are very much the same USA and a lot of other countries.

The rule or definition according to the Canada tax agency is that you are supposed provide the tools and you are in control of your schedule, and presumably that you would be able to make a profit and/or loss from your work. That is the basic definition of a self-employed person. You also should, by rights, have more than one customer. Sometimes you can still have only one customer and be self-employed.

If you're doing things... one of the things that I find when I'm doing work is that I'm not in control of my schedule. I don't have an opportunity to make a profit. And very rarely do I contribute any of my own equipment. I used to provide my laptop and use that as my criteria. These days I tend not to provide my own equipment when I go out on events. So the definition of self-employment is a bit in the grey zone. If you've got multiple customers. If you do other work where your company has potential to make some profit and/or loss then maybe you can be self-employed.

But then you have to look at the AV company perspective cuz they're always being watching by the revenue office. Here in Canada at least in my case, the AV company I do a lot of work for, a few years ago they decided to put me on payroll. I'm still a contract worker. I still have the rights as a freelancer to be able to say no to jobs. But what I do benefit I got from this is that I have a pay cheque every two weeks, and the regular payroll deductions are done. And as a perk I could claim unemployment insurance when business is down. Never done so, technically I could. So I'm not really sure what the answer is, whether you should be self-employed or whether you should be employed by the company. Personally I have found it works out for me. As an employee, contract employee, has actually worked out to my benefit.

A question, I talk about becoming an AV technician. I talk about very specifically to AV technicians related to meetings, conferences and events. Why don't you talk about the AV Technician work for musical concerts and things like. I don't want to talk about something that I don't know a lot about. Yes, I have been involved and participated in events that have a musical component to it. I tend to avoid them. I certainly don't want to advise about how to become AV technician there. A lot of the talents and techniques that you need to have in doing conferences and event are working exactly the same when you do concerts.

A lot of the differences I have seen in doing concerts is everybody has their own little niche of what they do. There's the mixer board guys. The switcher guys. Camera guy. Camera switcher. Director. Quite often the shows are very strictly regimented. As a freelancer, you do the job and you follow directions, but you have very little interaction with the performers or any of the customers involved. It's a very different world. That's why I stick to the conference and events style of AV technician work.

Somtimes when you arrive at an event with the equipment provided by the company that's giving it to you. You open up the road case. To set things up, there with the team. The road cases come with either missing equipment, or broken equipment, or incompatible equipment. What are you supposed to do? If you are a show technician most likely the whole problem of setup has already been resolved by the setup crew. They've already figured out that something was missing something was broken. Brought in the thing and got it setup.

There've been times when I've arrived and the equipment might have been setup but nobody actually turned it on, or configured it or tested it. Then you find out that a mixing board is screwed up, or a microphone doesn't work. Batteries are defective. What do you do?

As a show technician your job is to work for the client to help the client to relax and not get over tense. One of the things you have to do always is you have to show the good face. Try not to let them know that you are panicked about a broken piece of equipment. Try to find a work around. Try to find a way to work with the equipment. Even if it does have a problem. That's what I do. Sometimes the client has no idea that I have been panicked over a piece of equipment that doesn't work. If I've been able to work around it to make the event happen, without having to trouble the client. The client walks away at the end of the day extremely happy. So that's how I deal with bad equipment arriving from the company.

Sometimes you have the client that I will call the "cheap client". These are the people who order the minimum amount of equipment that they think they get away with. When they arrive they say, "oh where's the projector I ordered?" or "where's the wireless advancer I need for my powerpoint?" Or... or...or. And then they expect that they're not going to pay for it because they said it should have been my quote, I should have had it already provided. There're are different way that you can handle that one. Most companies are quite strict. You don't give stuff away. If you are dedicated hotel provider where you have things on the shelf, sometimes, if the client is doing $10,000 of rentals, you're not going to worry about a $30 rental for a wireless clicker. You might just slip into the AV room, grab the clicker and let them use it. Say to them, no problem, no charge. Don't let your boss hear about that one. Some of the cheap clients will actually intentionally do that and then you got to watch out.

Sometimes I have a question about AV companies that take advantage of you. This is a sensitive topic to discuss, because quite often, the guy I work a lot with might watch this and hear it. We are still governed by labour codes and labour laws within our various jurisdictions. Therefore when an employer tries to take advantage of us we are still bound by the law. It is illegal to do something illegal.

One of the most common problems is when we're asked to work overtime. Work more hours than scheduled or more than the labour code allows. Whether there's a back door methodology. There are things that often happens. In our province, for example if you work past 8 hours in a day, you're supposed to get time and half. If you work more than 12 hours in a day you're supposed to get double time. We have a little loophole in my province, my jurisdiction that allows me to create an averaging agreement. As long as I do not exceed 40 hours in a week, I don't get overtime each day. I still have the 12 hour daily limit, so when I pass 12 hours in a day I get double time. I watch my weekly hours to be sure I don't go beyond 40. If I go beyond 40 in my weekly hours then I do time and half. And each day if I go past 12 hours I charge double time, for every bit. Even if its just a half hour I charge double time. It's the law. Your juridiction may have similar situations. It is illegal to break the law, even if your employer says let's not mention it. If there's ever an audit they are the ones are going to get burnt. Although I have seen it happen where you also get burned cuz the government comes and says the employer failed to pay you correctly, and they also failed to do deductions and you owe us both your deduction and the employer's side. Sometimes you also get bitten by the payroll deduction side. Just don't break the law. Follow the labour code.

Well there you have it. 10,000 views. And Q&A #2. Thank you for watching. Please click LIKE if you like this video. Click subscribe to follow my channel for more tips and tricks for AV technicians. 

This is Paul Donovan from avtechnician.ca Please check out our website at www.avtechnician.ca. Subscribe to this channel to keep up with what's happening in the world of AV technicians. Thank you for watching.

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