My story of how I left one job just before my boss was about to favor me with his guidance hit a nerve; at least the story provoked a response. That was a job in the normal world. Here’s one from the abnormal world (AKA radio).
If you are what the broadcasting industry calls talent and you lose your job, you have to move, sell cars or insurance, or go into advertising or public relations until you can find another on-the-air job in the market where you live. Sometimes the people at the unemployment office understand and sometimes not. In one market where I was fired, there were 13 radio stations including the two that just fired me. Assuming the people who canned me meant it, there were 11 other stations where I could seek employment and since some owners had more than one station, there were fewer than 11 companies eligible to engage my services. Some of those were places where I wouldn’t work and some probably wouldn’t hire me.
To get another on-air job, I moved six hours away from where I’d lived before. It didn’t go well. One reason was that I was young and full of myself. There were probably others. My employer may even have caused some of them. I’m not in favor of burning bridges behind me, but when I was in my early 20’s and hot headed (I’m neither now), I had no objection to throwing what arson investigators call an accelerant on a bridge that was already on fire and this situation was already hopeless.
My boss and I agreed on only one thing. We each thought the other was a pig-headed idiot. I was right and now that I’m more mature, I’m willing to allow that he may have been right too. One day, I had a huge argument with him; I don’t remember why. I called him another part of another animal’s anatomy. I called him a horse’s ass, if you must know. It was not a nice thing to say about horses. I’m sorry now, but I wasn’t sorry then.
My boss tattled to his boss. His boss told me, in front of my boss, that I had to apologize. You already know what’s coming, don’t you? That’s right! In front of both of them, I said, “Okay, I’m sorry you’re a horse’s ass.”
Two or three years ago, I was at a conference in Albany, NY. At dinner on the closing night, the organizers hired a comedian. I wish I remembered his name. He was funny. Most of his act was about how he was fired from all the jobs he had before he became a comedian. After the show, I told him I enjoyed his act and that I could empathize because I was once fired for apologizing to my boss. Then I told him the story I just told you. Another reason I wish I could remember the comedian’s name is to find out whether he incorporated my story into his act.