It was Thursday, April 2, 1987. And I hadn’t slept at all.
I tossed and rolled about most of the night, pondering the imponderable.
Why did this keep happening to me?
Hadn’t I done my best?
Why wasn’t I good enough?
Why was this happening?
Maybe if I tried really hard to make things right…?
Screw it. I’m better than that. I’ll bounce back, and fast.
God. God god god god god god. Why? Didn’t I work hard enough at it?
Shit. Shit shit shit shit shit. How was I going to get by?
I was so close. I had – well, not everything I wanted in the world, but bits and pieces of it, and the potential for so much more. Why?
Screw it. I’m going to show them.
What am I going to do?
You know. Sort of the same tossing and turning and cold-sweating and wandering wondering you do when you go through a big breakup. Which was kind of what it was like for me.
Although I didn’t really know that for a few years.
Word finally leaked down from Corporate. They were basically going to whack all but one of the producers, all but one of the news people, all but one of the sports people, and consolidate a bunch of the station’s support staff (scheduling, etc) in the corporate office.
They were going to replace the producers with a bunch of newbies just out of Brown Institute (the local DJ factory, which still exists, and is still in the business of convincing kids that they can be the next Dave Ryan) – kids who’d be happy to work for their first “big break” at $4.25 an hour, as opposed to the $6-8 an hour that most of us were getting at the time.
Of course, nobody was saying anything official.
On the Charles show that afternoon, depression reigned supreme. I sat in the studio during a commercial break with mid-morning producer John Barnier and Dave Elvin – my senior in terms of time at KSTP, but only on his first radio job (KSTP was #4 for me) grumped about what a crappy deal it was, getting whacked – especially by someone as stupid as Pervy LeDouchebag [*].
I smiled. “Hell, Dave – until you’ve gotten gassed at least once, you’re not even a member of the fraternity!”.
John had been diced a couple of times; this was my third go-around. We grinned a grim grin.
Which was one grin more than I had in me at the moment, but you gotta hang on to something.
[*] Not his real name. But it should have been.