How do you deal with a deadbeat?

Eventually, every band finds itself in this position. If you are the pipe major, this is where you earn your salary.

The best answer is to deal with the problem just like you would in a business setting. Start out with a clear explanation of what's wrong or lacking. This may require that you first get it straight in your head what you expect. Propose solutions to have the person rectify the problem within a reasonable time frame. Provide documentation for each discussion. If the relationship has to end, don't drag it out. End it crisply.

In some cases, there may be strong support for immediate suspension of the individual due to some grossly offensive action. If so, use your judgment as to the severity and impact on the band, take a vote as might be allowed in your by-laws and remove the person.

Some people try to "pussyfoot" around problems or ignore them and hope for improvement. Don't take this route as it doesn't resolve the issue.

Copyright S.K. MacLeod 1996-2016