Friday, January 11, 2008

Shock, Denial, etc etc

One of the things that I'm firmly convinced of is this: The unemployment rate (5%) is currently so low in this country because of the steaming pile of dung that is called "Daytime TV". Being exposed to it long enough must- MUST- make people flee their relative comforts of home straight into the workaday world, drudgery be damned. I knew this before I was let go, but a month on the bench has confirmed it, in spades. Newton Minnow described television as "a vast wasteland", and did so in the 50's, an era TV historians (what a great job that has to be) refer to as "The Golden Age". If Minnow wasn't already dead, the television he'd view these days would most certainly make him wish that he was.

Unemployment exposes you to many things- one of which is that you learn exactly how much people hate working. I know that I should be saving money right now, but I go out to lunch every day. It makes me happy, cheers me up. Why? Besides occasionally getting too much change back, I listen to how people talk about their jobs. To a person, they hate them. They hate the job, hate the boss, hate the commute, hate the co-workers. Lunch is the high point of their day, one hour of precious freedom. Funny how I've had people tell me how envious they are of my new situation, yet are terrified at the same time of facing such a fate.

Work sucks, and it's simple why. You don't work FOR YOU. You work FOR THEM. Stop that. Work for you and see how it goes. And don't think for a minute that you're a valued employee. I worked 12 years at the same place (KWNR, in case you didn't read the first post), and was tossed out like yesterday's trash. Funny thing is, I wasn't surprised by it.

There had been some moves in the 60 days or so prior to 12/3 that created giant red flags. Segments I did were going to be eliminated. Others on the show were to step more into the spotlight, while at the same time, I stepped back. My wife (from here forward referred to as Pumpkin) wanted to plan a vacation for '08 and I told her to let's make sure I still had a gig. This helped soften the blow for her when the hammer did fall. Sure it was a shock, but not a surprise.

Why was I let go? "Too newsy". "Too black and white". Apparently, from these reasons, it would've worked out for me if I could describe my style as "hopelessly vague". Ratings were good. The show was number one (English language) in morning drive for the final full month that I worked there. You're not supposed to be punished for success. Just resented for it.

The most successful personalities out there, be it media, business, whatever- are black and white. They have convictions and beliefs and stick to them religiously.

(getting a soda. hang on.....)

Being "black and white" is a GOOD THING. It's been proven time after time after time. "Stick to your convictions and you'll be rewarded for them." My reward was my walking papers, so that explains the small period of confusion I'm going through right now.

Shock, Denial, Anger, Acceptance. The Four Stages of Grief. They're applied most often to deaths of loved ones, but can also be applied to job loss. I think I'm on the outskirts of Anger right now. Leaving Anger, not arriving. I listened to the KWNR morning show this morning and it was shockingly bad. "Accident scene" bad. As I listened to break after break land with a thud, I couldn't help but think of what I would've said, what I would have done. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, couldn't believe that I was let go in preference of....that (that'd be denial talking).

It was so bad........I expect to see it on Daytime TV soon.

2 comments:

David said...

Mitchy-
I share a similar fate, but mine was by choice, in search of the bigger and better. I agree wholeheartedly with what you're saying, as I often have. Where do I even begin to explain in another layman's terms the lack of brilliance behind modern radio? I left because I saw the boat sinking. (Note that I don't say ship, because the KOOL boat wasn't that big by the end.) They let you go, Marty Thompson go, and let other talent like Mark Thomas and Dr. Dave Maxwell walk away. Mediocrity always has a place because success is scary I suppose. To them, it's easier to sell Right Now than What Works. I don't know why. It escapes my talented mind. Thought processes like that fly below my radar. You are missed because I miss you and the airwaves are worse because of it. And maybe they're worse because of Alicia Keys. I just never thought she had talent. Then again, what do I know? I'm not selling radio.

-DIH

mitchy said...

Great, now I have to write thinking that someone may actually be reading this. You've really put me under the gun. Hope things are good in Chicago, where the only things bigger than the shoulders are the bellies. Oh, the wit.