January 20th….An Important Day In Big Noodle Lou History!
Indeed, January 20th is an important day for Americans, because every four years, we have a President that is sworn into office. Such was the case Today, when Donald J. Trump was officially sworn in as The 45th President Of The United States. However, this blog has very little to do with that. For me, Today is a day that forever changed the course of my life 8 Years Ago. You see, 8 years ago, when Barrack Obama was being sworn into office as the 44th President Of The United States, I was finding myself without a job for the first time in 18 years. I was a casualty in what Radio Circles refer to as "The 2009 Clear Channel Inauguration Day Massacre". I was laid off, or as they politely called it, "a reduction of workforce", along with 1,849 other of my fellow colleagues, (roughly 9% of the workforce).
Now, losing a radio gig, isn't uncommon. In fact, it's part of the nature of the beast, and it happens to everyone. And 18 years of working for the same organization is a RARITY in the radio industry, (I had already beaten the odds right there!) But even when it's expected, losing a gig is not an easy pill to swallow. Especially when you've had a lot of success at your job, like I was blessed enough to have achieved at my former employer. In addition, I have to admit that it's a little embarrassing when you lose your job, and it makes The 5:00 & 10:00 O'clock Television News in BOTH Tuscaloosa & Birmingham, and The FRONT PAGE of The Tuscaloosa News! Now, EVERYBODY in town knows that you're unemployed! "What the hell am I supposed to do next?" was the question I kept asking myself over and over again. And as I'm asking myself THAT question repeatedly, I'm hit with EVERY emotion that you can imagine: Fear...Optimism...Uncertainty...Happiness...Sadness...& Relief. However, through it all, I maintained the belief in myself, that everything was going to be OK.
Luckily for me, my old employer paid me a year to sit home, "This 'aint so bad!", I told myself, as the Severance Checks started coming in. So, for a year, I got to take an "extended vacation", and do things that I really hadn't had the time to do, in my 25 years in radio at that point. I traveled a bit, took a Real Estate Class and got my Real Estate Salesperson's License, stayed busy with my DJ Service, did some Freelance Radio Work, got a Government Day Job, and played PLENTY of Guitar! (which always puts me in my Happy Place):-) I didn't realize it at the time, but losing my job 8 years ago to this day, turned out to be a BLESSING IN DISGUISE, because it forced me to push myself in different directions, get out of my comfort zone, learn different skill sets, and gain a newfound confidence in myself. Today, 8 years later, I'm a much Happier, Humble, & Stronger Person! (Please watch the video below, for additional impact of the paragraph I just wrote). :-)
This is WHY "January 20th", will always have historic significance for me. And that is not the BEST part of this story. The BEST part of this story, is that 8 years later after being laid off, I ironically find myself working "across the street", AGAINST the company which laid me off, with some truly wonderful & talented people, completely IN LOVE with Radio again! My old company? Well, they're 20.5 Billion Dollars in debt, and are facing inevitable Bankruptcy.
The Laws Of The Universe Work In Mysterious Ways, Don't They? :-)