So, it's been damn near 60 days since my last post. It wasn't out of laziness. I needed to spend some time listening to what is going on out in the real world. I have to tell you, the more I listen to the real world, the more I am glad I am not a real part of it... (whatever that might mean).
The incredible string of bad luck I have endured since February 25th seems to have come to a close, thankfully. Things are certainly looking up. Everywhere I have been, I have been asked a ton of questions. So, what I have decided to do here was to sit down with a trusted friend and have him ask me some questions, for you. Enjoy!
What in the hell happened to that radio station you used to work for?
Good question. (laughs) Honestly, I haven't listened to it since I left. I have heard stories, complaints, anecdotes, theories, all of that. I did read a pile of Facebook postings regarding the situation and to be honest, I did take a certain pride in knowing what John and I did was considered pretty decent in comparison. Remember, they let me go for whatever reason they deemed necessary and as a result, I am no longer in the loop. Like they are going to ask my opinion. (laughs)
And if they did, what would tell them?
I'm in no position to offer advice to them. They are in control of their own thing there. That's their business. They let me go. I didn't quit. What they choose to do is strictly up to them. If they wanted to put poetry readings and sausage recipes on, that's their prerogative. I'm out and I don't need to be telling them what to do. They don't need me apparently, so knock yourselves out. I honestly hope they get what they want.
Are you angry or bitter about what happened?
I was for awhile. Who wouldn't be? You devote that much time and effort to something and to a group of individuals whom you think are behind you and then a series of events happen, out of your control and the next thing you know, your ass is on the street. The powers that be made their decision for whatever reason they wanted. I'm okay with that now. I can and do honestly wish them the best of luck. You can only be angry for so long and then you have to let it go. Sure, I could find something to gripe about, a lot of people already have. But in reality it does no good to bitch about something that is not of your control. The way I see it, this is nothing more than the universe telling me to move along and find something else.
Seriously, what do you think?
Seriously, I can't elaborate. It's not that I legally can't, per se. It's just not nice to say bad things about a place or the people who are there since so many great things came from my experience there. 14 years is a long time. During which, I took from there 50 years of experiences. I got the opportunity to spend some time with some great people and develop some relationships with those people I will always cherish. I like to think I gave them their money's worth. And I also like to think they still are getting their money's worth.
Aren't there bastards there?
(laughs) There are bastards everywhere.
Did they hold you to some sort of non-compete?
Yes. That is the nature of the business. I can tell you that I tried to weasel out of it, but that is a long story best told through my attorney. The short of it is that I have to stay off the air until the end of July. So, as I understand it, I am free and clear by August 1. There again, you never know when you are dealing with a corporate machine. We shall see what happens when that date rolls around.
In the meantime, have you been offered any jobs back on the radio?
I have. Once again, I can't really go into detail here. What I can say is that they came from some rather unlikely sources in that I would have never considered in the past. One of which is something that may come to pass in that they are willing to wait for my non-compete to expire. Once again, we shall see what transpires at that time. Timing is everything, you know? On the flip side of this, one guy I talked to said that his best advice to me was to leave the market. Considering the source and the competitive nature of this industry, I must be thought of as a threat to their well-being. I rather like that. I took that as a compliment.
How about outside of the radio business?
Seriously, what am I going to do? Look at me for Christ sake. I'm pathetic. The only thing I know how to do I was already doing. I have been in this crazy business for so long that I wound up shooting myself in the foot as far as a career change is concerned. Honestly, I don't think I would be happy doing anything else anyway. Granted, with the current economy, things aren't looking great for anybody. Nevertheless, my options are always open. Just as long as there is a decent health plan with dental.
So, what are you doing now?
Not much. I don't get out that often and when I do, it is a quiet moment with my wife and friends. It's funny, when I was working, I felt the ever present ticking of the clock which kept me thinking I was about to miss something. The clock still ticks, but now it's ticking off time until I can get back to doing what I want to do. You know what I mean? It seems to tick louder and slower. I'm learning patience, not very well mind you, but it is a learning process I'm trying to enjoy.
You mentioned earlier that you were told to leave Memphis. Would you actually consider that?
Not at this point. There is no reason for it. Things are bad all over. I was told a long time ago by a friend in this business that you have to make your own breaks. It's so true. That's how I got this last gig. Sure, it would be easy to pull up stakes and leave here. But, look at what all I would be walking away from. I have been here a long time. It's hard to just get up and go to another city where no one knows who you are and you are trying to start over in place you don't know. Sure, it happens and it used to happen a lot more. But these days are different, the business is different, people are different. It's good to have some familiarity with the community you live in and work for. Memphis, despite it's troubles is a good place. There is a lot here. Besides, why build a new audience when there are a few people here who already know me?
Since February 25th; you lost your job, one of your best friends passes away, you had a death in the family and your house was damaged in a storm. How did you keep your sanity through all of that?
Who says I did? I lost a lot. My source of income went away along with the sole reason for getting up at 4:30 in the morning. John's passing was tough, I was by his side at the hospital when the last rites were given. My sister's husband Allen, he died of Alzheimer's at the age of 55. It was expected but still quite sad. I was unable to attend the funeral and I still feel bad about that. Then came the storm. That was pretty scary since I was just sitting in my office at home. I went to look out the front door and not 30 seconds later, this giant tree limb came crashing through the back wall of my office. Had I been in there... well, who knows? Yeah, I had a ticket on the old shit train. I took the ride and hopefully all the bad stuff is behind me now. The house is back together, my family continues to heal and I have enough memories with John to write a book. As for the job. Another one will come along. In fact, I can see it coming over the next hill. I'll be back on the air soon enough. I hate to sound like someone's grandmother, but the old saying about "this too shall pass" is very true. I'm glad I went through it. Now I've rediscovered my sense of humor. After all this, all I can do is laugh now. God, maybe I did lose all my marbles! (laughs)