Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Don't Do Something You Like, Do Something OTHERS Like

My work hours are 4:30a-12p. Some call that brutal. I think it's perfect. No rush hours to deal with, and my afternoons are free for whatever appointments come up. Or I can do something as simple as going out for a drink.

Last Friday was the 1st round (screw the play-in games) of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, so with the rare chance of seeing some live sports that actually mattered during lunch time, I found myself at a place stumbling distance from my house (just in case I was over-served). Surprisingly, I was the only customer. Being the only customer in a bar can be like being the only shopper in a high class boutique. The employee won't leave you alone. Back when I was tending bar, my boss always told me "when they come in alone, they want to be left alone. Serve 'em and shut up".  If only today's over the counter retail beverage consultants heeded such words.

The bartender was James, and since the tourney was on we started talking hoops, brackets and general March Madness- related topics. Then he hits me with the biggie, something I never have a good answer for:

"So what do you do?"

I really need some sort of "employment rolodex" in my head, where I can make up a phantom job on the fly. I just can't come up with one that, if he starts asking followup questions, I'll be able to talk my way through. It has to be something dull, but not interestingly so. Any suggestions would be helpful. I decided to answer honestly and told him that I worked for a group of radio stations. He didn't ask the normal next set of questions, (What station? Have you ever met Jack White? Can you get me free tickets?) instead choosing to swing for the fences,

"Why does radio suck so much?"

Even those who aren't in the business know that radio sucks. It sucks today, it'll suck tomorrow, and the long range forecast is Mostly Sucky. Radio used to be cool. I got in when it was still cool to say you worked in radio, not before it became the entertainment world's equivalent of gum on a shoe. What I've witnessed over the last 20 years has been Exhibit A for how to run not just a business, but an entire industry into the ground. Ah, it's been a blast

Why does it suck? Stay tuned. Trust me, it'll still suck by the next post.

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