Life isn’t supposed to be perfect. There are supposed to be crises along the way and there are supposed to be rough times designed to teach a lesson in the long run. That does not mean that process is not an absolute pain in the ass sometimes.
I was laid off from a job May 2011. That happened before in December 2009 so this time it was not the emotional rollercoaster initially that the first experience was, plus in this case I was still doing freelance work for Silverback Marketing. Therefore I was not too concerned although the lack of health insurance was a little unsettling. However, as best friend and former coach Brian Metheny once told me …
“WHINING IS THE OFFSPRING OF FUTILITY.”
Therefore, rather than waste time complaining about things the best course of action was to continue to do the freelance work and submit resumes like crazy. We all know what a horrible time in our history it is to be doing that but the longest I had ever been unemployed was four weeks, so I was pretty confident something would happen quickly. I was wrong.
I am not going to waste your time talking about how many resumes I sent out, how many people I spoke with and how many near-misses there were in this process. The layoff gave me time to get back into coaching wrestling for the first time in a couple of years, interview a genuinely good person, friend and a great frontman of a great band, go to some great concerts, write more reviews for Stinkweeds Records, update the SilverPlatter each week, continue to compose posts for Silverback Marketing and contemplate the first 42 years of my life.
Introspection is a powerful word to describe part of that process during the past seven months. Some of you know what a bad-ass I think former State of Alert / Black Flag frontman and current author, spoken word artist and still occasional frontman of the Rollins Band Henry Rollins is. Twenty years ago the Rollins Band released its third album The End of Silence, a brutal metallic charged record that possessed plenty of interesting jazz and punk arrangements as well. The lead track “Low Self Opinion” is in my opinion one of the most stunning anthems of self-empowerment ever put on record. Check out this passage:
“Get yourself a break from self rejection
Try some introspection
And you just might find
It’s not so bad and anyway
At the end of the day
All you have is yourself and your mind”
I have never heard a rock band throw out a term like “introspection” within the framework of a song before and haven’t since. That passage truly hammers home the message of this track. The protagonist in this song may have somewhat of a shitty life (or so he thinks) but as the track moves along he discovers via a second party he has positive things to offer to the world. He also realizes it is up to him to change whatever he believes to be what is wrong inside.
I never went into that low of a state but after a few months of gainful unemployment I could not help but start to wonder what I was doing wrong. That is discouraging but all the time I kept reminding myself that “whining is the offspring of futility.” Moping and not continuing to try was not going to solve anything and just piss me off more. Then on January 3 it finally happened.
Some of you know the story of my being hired by American Express. Rather than go into that here all I will say is that once I got an initial phone call the afternoon of January 3 the whole process of actually landing a job was a whirlwind 48 hours. It is a period of time that I will always look back fondly on because that company reaffirmed to me that I must have something to offer to someone. That was truly inspiring.
I started twenty days later on January 23 and four weeks later can state without question I have not been this happy in eons. Waking up at 4:30am Monday-Friday was not an easy change for this night owl but the rewards have made that transition well worth the effort. I look forward to heading into the office each day, look forward to the continued evolution of the learning process and excited with the possibilities this company has laid before me. Some people may question with my education and experience why customer care would make me feel this way.
Simple. After seven months of only writing content, which I do love doing, I realized human contact and helping people is important to me. Coaching again filled part of that void for me but I sense an opportunity to take that to a new level working where I am at now.
Amazing that working full-time again has elevated the desire to be social once again. Call me, email me via Gmail or Facebook and let’s hook up for coffee or something. It’s not like working at the Lobster though folks, I do not respond to personal messages while working today. Please be patient if you contact me during working hours.
I will end by sharing the video for “Low Self Opinion” with you. My goal is to someday be as cool as Rollins. Or Bob Mould. Cheers!