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Monday, 14 January 2008

Request for Advice

I am a little stuck, and I would appreciate counsel from any of my 3 1/2, or 4 readers, most of whom, I imagine, are church musicians like myself.
I am not on salary, am paid per service, but am full time, for all intents and purposes.
I need to speak to my boss/pastor about a situation that has come up.
Feel free to criticize, or suggest better wording, or whatever, but this is more or less what I intend to call him and say tomorrow:

I received a call from [the school music teacher] yesterday looking for information about our copyright license and she mentioned to me that she didn't think she was going to be able to play for any of the 1st Communion Masses, but she didn't know yet about 1st Reconciliation.

I didn't really know what she was talking about but that evening when I went over to get ready for cantor rehearsal I found a note from [the Director of Religious Ed] in my mailbox, telling me when various rites and sacraments were occurring and who would be playing for the weekend Masses in which they were administered.

The note also said that [the music teacher] was going on vacation or something one weekend, so that I WOULD be needed for those Masses...

I didn't realize that my work schedule and therefore my income was at the [DRE's] discretion, or that my services might only be required at some of my regular Masses if the school music teacher wasn't available to take them.

Is that they way it is?

Whddya think? to the point enough without being too snarky?

I figure I WON'T go into this song-and-dance, though it's fun to imagine it:
I have had a sub in for exactly three Masses in the past 2 years, not three weekends, but three Masses.
If I go on a vacation should I tell the DRE so she can find someone to program and prepare and play the Masses?
Or should I wait to hear from her specifically if my services are needed, and assume I'm at leisure if I don't hear from her?


lvschant said...

It sounds like the DRE is a bit heavy-handed (not unusual in my experience with DRE's -- but that is another story). How does the pastor play into all this? And why aren't you on salary if you play all the time? I think you should be getting the benefits of an employee of the diocese!!! Perhaps it should be worked out with the pastor, rather than getting into any sort of discussion with the DRE -- it doesn't sound like it would be either fruitful or fun. With a discussion with the pastor, at least you'll know more clearly where you stand. janet.

lvschant said...

of course that is what you intended... sorry for not reading more carefully before posting. I definitely agree that this should be straightened out with the pastor... don't what sort of personality yours has... if the DRE has him under her thumb, and you ARE to be at her mercy in the future, at least you'll know it! j.

Sir Monocle said...

As you might have guessed, I am the last person to give advice on this. My first reaction would be to want to tell the DRE that I'm not available, period. That's probably not wise.

The pastor may know about all of this - but may not want to be the bad guy, here. Still, I aggree with Ivschant - you don't want to set a precedent to where you allow yourself subserviant to the DRE. You'll need to speak with the pastor on this one. You may also take a look at your contract (assuming you have one) says on matters such as these. It may possibly need ammending.

Good luck on this one. If you should need to speak with my wife, do let me know.

Scelata said...

An update:
I called Father this morning.
He had asked the DRE to speak with me, make out a schedule and then submit it to HIM.
Instead, she just typed it up and dropped it off as a fait accompli.
She is an unusually high-handed person (well, not unusually high-handed, I guess, unusually high-handed for someone as ignorant and incompetent as she is....)