Story by Forrest Loomis
I was an executive in the corporate world for years. But I was also running sound for a very large church back in the mid- to late-‘90s, mixing sound for eight, ten, twelve-piece groups. I bought equipment and fooled around at home, for friends and stuff like that. When I retied I started thinking, ‘You know, I’ve got this equipment sitting around… a lot of it! I should put this to use.’
I’ve been a member of Thumbtack for a little over a year. I have five different websites out there pointing to my main site, magicvalleydj.com, but a good 70% of my new business comes from Thumbtack.
One of my favorite Thumbtack stories was a 40th birthday party.
I bid relatively low because it sounded like a simple three-hour thing, but the wife of the birthday boy kept sending requests for fun things they wanted to do, like getting the songs for the music themes for movies for every year for 40 years. I wound up spending about twenty-five extra hours of work on their various song lists before I ever got to the site.
By the time I showed up, I was thinking, ‘Gee, I should have bid higher’ and I was feeling a little grumbly about it. Then I got there and the closest I could park was forty feet from the door and I still had a narrow little staircase to navigate before setting up.
I had to move one speaker at a time and I couldn’t use my hand truck because they had light beige carpeting and it had been raining, so there was no way I was going to run a hand truck across the mud in the yard. What they didn’t know is that I had injured my rotator cuff that week and packing things down the stairs one at a time didn’t look very appealing.
But it was absolutely amazing. When I showed up, the eight people already there didn’t say anything, they just converged on my vehicle and started grabbing equipment and unloading it for me. I never even mentioned my shoulder, but I wound up taking only one bag down the stairs. They insisted, for most of the evening, that I just put the music list on auto play and become one of the guests.
They had a delicious Mexican dinner and they wanted me to eat before the music started. They handed me beverages all night long. When the whole thing was over, the husband and birthday man, announced on one of my microphones, “Don’t forget to help Forrest with his equipment.”
Again, I had people helping me unplug speaker wires and the whole tear-down. They even loaded everything into my vehicle for me. It all took about 20 minutes. It was very, very fast. They were just that kind of a group of people. By the end of the evening, I almost felt guilty about charging them what I did. It was just one of those wonderful, wonderful things where they went out of their way to make me feel at home, and they were paying me.