Tag Archives: work

I Moved! Literally and Digitally!

To all my followers on WordPress.com (all 38 of you which doesn’t include my mother. And by not including my mother I don’t mean 38 of you plus my mother. I mean my mother doesn’t even follow me because, and I quote: “I have to listen to your shit, why would I read it?” Touche mom, touche.)…

I have changed platforms to a self-hosted WordPress.org site entitled:

http://shortbitteritalian.com.  Yes, http://shortbitteritalian.com

Please stay tuned as there is plenty in the works ranging from:

Family fights, a car accident, witnessing a mass shut down of traffic because of said accident, being immersed in the “The Lifestyles of the Rich and Pretentious”, and yes, my triumphant return to the world of online dating.  Plus a few other things, but those are the ones I have drafts of currently.

I’m actually working on a piece for social media page devoted to those in the entertainment industry called Stage32.com, and a series on the subjects of suicide and depression.

I ask you be patient as I’m trying to find my talent which instantly disappeared as soon as I decided to leave my career to, you know, harness and grow said talent.

And yes, I’ve moved from Vermont to New York, back to Vermont and now reside in the great state of Georgia.  I’ll be sure to go into detail about my experiences of Southern Fried Racism I’ve already born witness to. But, there has been love and hospitality graciously given to me in ways I’ve never experienced in all my years on this planet. (No, not incestual either!)

HOWEVER,

There was also this staring me in the face as I did my Bulgarian split squat jumps at the local Anytime Fitness…

With that…

To Be Continued, and remember…

http://shortbitteritalian.com

Thanks for playing everyone!

-k

 

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The Pursuit of Inevitable Failure: Chapter Two. Heard and Not Seen. A Decade in the Radio Industry.

When you walk in, the first thing and only thing you hear is a Cha-Chunk of an obese security door shutting.

Then, an eerie silence.

Eerie especially when it’s a business whose fundamental core is sound.

As you step deeper, you realize the only lighting comes from exit signs and single bulbs going off and on every couple minutes or so.

As you step even deeper, you are smashed in the face with a smell of burnt coffee that has been sitting there for at least a couple hours.

The first sign of life is typically the man who doubles as a morning talk-show host and my sales manager.

I should say he triples; he possesses a superpower enabling him to be the biggest douchebag I have met in the thirty years I waddled across the Earth.  It is Krypton worthy.

He marches out with his short, stubby legs, weary-eyed and bitter from reciting the weather forecast every ten minutes.

“Your client played every hour, twice an hour Keith!”

“I guess they’ll definitely see some results than huh?” I quickly respond.

They didn’t.

I blame his show.

This was my introduction to the world of radio.

Radio is the only medium where everything belongs to only you.

What the storyteller looks like and what they are telling you is solely up to your imagination.

In a way, reading does the same thing. But does your imagination create a caricature of author/writer/reporter who is telling you the story you’re reading?

But I sure as shit can tell you what I think Howard Stern looks like when he’s telling me how awesome lesbians and the Squatty Potty are.

squatty-potty-howard-stern-1

Whatever they say, belongs only to us.

It’s so cool. 

It was 1990 or 91. MC Hammer was asking me to not hurt him, the Giants just beat the Bills in the Super Bowl, and I weighed as much as I do now.  Z97, the local “Pop” station in my hometown, would have an all request hour or two every Tuesday and Thursday night.

I would call like fucking crazy!

I so wanted to talk to this DJ named “Mic Spirit”. (Some of you are smiling right now.)

He would usually answer, and then, what I can only describe as creepy, he would talk to me for a bit of time.  Like a good amount of time.  He would have mood swings and use this desolate tone.  (Foreshadowing) I was 12-year-old.

For me, it was epochal.

It was my access to a celebrity, you know?

Less than two decades later, my ability to convince you to buy a Ford, then a Chevy (awkward) gave me access that 12-year-old boy would have pissed himself to have. (Little did he know that in between those periods of time, all he would do was piss himself.)

When I got there, I, like every person who works in radio, wanted to be on the air.  And they’re lying to you if they say the contrary.

For example:

“Ya, so the client, ya, they want me to voice the commercial.”

And it’s the salespersons’ first sale. (I can’t remember specifically who it was. But production just smiled at me with this appropriately condescending, “ya, sure.”)

Anyway, first, the DJ’s.  (Oh, some people are cringing.)

DJ’s have an unenviable task.

They have to be a walking, and more importantly, talking contradiction.

They have to be immensely narcissistic and massively insecure.

DJ’s go from feeling being a diety for 4 hours, only to walk out into the masses making wages comparable to the person who just gave you change at Stewarts.

No offense to any store clerk.  But, a DJ, and some are talk show hosts, are speaking to a substantial amount of people at the same time.

There is a bit of influence at their disposal.

Some use it.

Some run with it.

Some abuse it.

Some fucking suck at it.

And all are scared to death to lose it.

At the same time, there is something so endearing about them.

Their passion doesn’t know any better.

Some will tell you it’s all they can do.

And I’ll tell you, thank God for that!

Because they do something we all think we can do because we all can do it: Talk.

And it’s not easy!

And some, some are phenomenal at it.

And then they walk out of their 10×10 “Fortresses of Solitude” and get crushed with the reality that is their slightly above minimum wage life.

And they walk into “the pit”. (Sales pit)

It’s nice when the place you wake up and go to every morning is named after a portion of your body that smells so bad that if you don’t put something on it in a quotidian manner, you emit an order that…Why onions?

Radio sales, as I’ve mentioned before, you need to possess a mindset which…

I’ve been around a LOT of radio salespeople.  I’ve been in the room when print was walking on death row, and TV was kicking ass, and I’ve been in the room when TV was on its descent and digital was showing you the power of stalking.

Radio sales though…

I’ve used the analogy of radio being a delicious, solid plate of fries.  Never being the main course, just being the last thing you eat because you know you’ll be satisfied.

Unfortunately, a plate of fries cost two bucks and it’s sitting next to a thirty dollar steak.

And no matter how much gravitas you wish to present, you, the radio salesperson, your default position is your chin inches from the chest.

Radio is the middle child.

A feeling which permeates throughout the entire building.

A feeling which, like a tic under your skin, goes with you “hit the streets” to make sales.  Sales calls spend where you spend your own gas money to sell a product I just compared to French fries. And when you hear the word no, 75% of the time, you find yourself being insecure as a DJ.

It’s this feeling in the back of your head and the bottom of the stomach.

It’s this feeling of not insignificance, but the thing right above it.  What’s above insignificance?

And that’s before you have to answer to people who own you.  And they feel like they own you.

Especially in the smaller markets.

I worked for a company that owned 5 out of 6 stations in the city.

Where is a DJ going to go?

Sales will jump from one sales job to the next.  I did. I even moved to New York.

Now, did it help there was this little gal, I was and always will be crazy about, with these green eyes and lips…

But it stops being about radio and starts becoming a profession of avoiding scrutiny.

I’ve been in the room when you’re the leader of the company and when you’re at the bottom. The taste is constantly despondent, in one flavor or another.

And that’s when it really starts to suck the spirit from your soul.

That’s why I heard Mic Spirit sound like he was being religiously beaten 27 years prior.

Yet…what’s the joke about the guy who shovels elephant shit for a living and a friend asks him why he does it.

His response: “What and give up show business?”

Radio is show business!

That’s it.

Working in radio is entertainment.

Radio is for those who have a love for music unlike a love for anything I’ve ever seen.

Except for Conservative talk radio, they are the reason white guys between 35-55 are the highest rate of suicide. (These statistics are not proven…Yet)

And radio salespeople, there are many who only wanted to work in this field they love so much, and sales was their way in. It was for me. But, the love slowly dissipated.

I used to say,

“Radio is difficult, it’s not hard.”

Pretty sure you can put any noun you want in there and say that.

Except digging a ditch.  Digging a ditch, for some reason, is our default worse job imaginable.

“Could be worse, I could be digging ditches.”

What does a ditch digger say?

“Could be worse, I could be a radio DJ”?

Not all the time though…

Sometimes, sometimes you see someone win a huge prize which you were a key part of obtaining.  And their eyes water because things have been pretty goddamn rough.

And sometimes, sometimes you do events for the seniors during the holidays and the response is what Christmas is truly about.

And sometimes, sometimes you walk miles for a DJ who died way too young and will never be forgotten by his “on-air siblings” and anyone who had the honor of meeting him.

And sometimes, sometimes you co-workers become a family who took you in, watched you fall in love, watched you have your heart broken, watched you get up, watched you finally fucking graduate college, watched you get promoted, and watched you say good-bye.

candy poster

And sometimes a DJ says cunt three times at a live remote. On a loud speaker. In front of a substantial amount of “Black Friday” shoppers.

And sometimes your traffic guy meets Chris Hansen.

And sometimes your little prick of a sales manager somehow gets elected to public office.

I’d rather vote for fucking Trump!

These people, they are the ones making you laugh every morning and every night.

They are the ones who will distract you while stuck in traffic waiting to cross the twin bridges or stuck behind a tractor on Route 22A.

And all they want from you is to listen…

And fill out Nielsen rating diaries…

And buy the products from their local, small-business-owning advertisers…

And tell them you heard their ad on the radio…

Then they get off the air or back from a sales call and become egocentric, introverted douchebags.

And I love them so much.

And I will miss them so much.

Except for you know who…

Who the fuck votes for him?

Seriously?

-k

The Pursuit of Inevitable Failure, Chapter One: Commissions and Sex. Did a Life In Sales Kill my Love Life?

Authors Note: One day I made the decision to write about the past 12 years of my life in the world of sales. Then, a funny  (not funny) thing happened; I noticed it felt eerily similar to other blogs I’ve written.  Then, then I asked myself a question:

Self, do you treat women like you treat your clients? And did your progression in sales cause a regression in your relationships?

So, I decided to juxtapose my radio life with my love (or lack thereof) life. 

But first, an example of a typical morning of a single, advertising salesman. 

PRAYER

I wake having to pee.

I drink a lot of water.

Now, I’m somnolent, yet somehow the flashing light coming from my Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus magically pierces through my eyelids and finds the dark batcave I hide my anxiety.

Without thought or fail, a silent prayer is said,

“Please Sweet, Compassionate, Loving God, don’t let that yourforesaken blinking light represent a pissed off client ruining my day before it even has a chance to begin!”

What could the client possibly say to do so?

“My ad didn’t play!”

“My wrong ad played!” (This is much, much worse)

“My ad played back to back with my competition!” (Huge in a small market such as Rutland, VT or Glens Falls, NY. But excludes car dealers unless they are, let us say, two Ford dealers playing back to back.)

“My wrong ad played back to back with my competition!” (I don’t have to explain how incompetent this makes you feel even though in sales, you have little to any control to traffic. [traffic places the commercials where they play])

And my favorite:

“Give me some Great Escape, concert, rodeo, wrestling, or anything tickets or else I’m pulling my advertising!”

Authors Note: Radio stations are notorious for their ticket giveaways. “Caller # 10” shit.  Well, because of this, clients think you have an infinite supply of tickets.  Not understanding, or choosing to be ignorant of the fact that the purpose of tickets giveaways is to increase listenership. In particularly the stations Time Spent Listening [TSL]. Or, more importantly, bring customers for advertisers to solicit their goods/services to the stations airwaves…However, when unable to provide the client tickets, they have said, “You know, maybe I should give my money to, blah, blah, blah. I bet they can get me tickets!”  Because their marketing decisions are solely based on whether or not the station can get them a free pair of fucking Travis Tritt tickets?  That’s a country singer, right? By the way, this was an actual conversation a week, A WEEK, after I got him tickets to another show he wanted. When you’re in advertising sales, you not only have the standard management you answer to; you have to also answer how many ever clients you have.  Think about that. 

Stop being so melodramatic and just look at the goddamn phone, right?

 

If I look, they win.

Plus, there is this blue light emitted from our phones which, I guess, will wake me up. Like my flighty, effervescent, easily diagnosable A.D.D. mind isn’t already doing psilocybin influenced triple axels.

Nonetheless, I have to pee.

Dilemma, I don’t have a window in my bathroom.

What does that mean?

No starlight, star bright, please let me see my pee hit the toilet tonight.

And we’ve already established I refuse to subject my eyes to any light, so…

Before I conclude the previous prayer about blinking lights and temperamental clients with its highly anticipated conclusion of “Amen”…

I say another prayer…

“Please, kind-hearted, forgiving, great sense of humor God, please let next thing I hear be pee hitting water. Amen.”

I do, and my countenance looks like I’m stoned with my eyes slit and a grin representing relief.

That only lasts for a brief moment until my body reminds me what I had for dinner last night; asparagus.

My grin dissipates and yes ladies, the opening scene from “40 Year-Old-Virgin” couldn’t be more spot on.

I waddle back to my bedroom and step in something squishy.  I can only assume it’s something “Nightman Keith” decided he needed to consume at 11:37PM.

I belly flop onto my foolishly purchased off of Overstock.com white comforter. Why are white comforters the dumbest invention since Zubaz Pants?

Zubaz

One time, one time the aforementioned Nightman ate something chocolate.  Let us just say when you wake up the next morning and completely forgot about your midnight meal; there is a flash of sheer panic and you… You can figure it out.  (I thought I pooped my bed…I’m working on my writing clarity)

One of my eyes is submerged in my one time Virgin Snowman white comforter. Now, it looks like it runs “tricks” in Comstock prison for cartons of Kools.

Meanwhile, my other eye is being blinded and tortured by the interminable blinking light.

I will not give in.

I can’t.

What can I do to put my mind at rest?

“Sexytime Keith” decides to make his presence felt and proclaims,

“You know what to do…”

brown chicken brown cow

Not thinking, I go to grab my phone ready to Google “Lesbian Massage Seductions”. (Don’t judge me)

Then I quickly remember,

“That goddamn blue light!”

I become disheartened and a feeling of hopelessness sets in, until…

“Douche, you’re this up and coming screenwriter NO ONE has ever heard of. Well, other than a few guys at the office, your cynical family, and the three people who read your blog. We got this.”

My crusted eyes slam shut, and my mind does its own search. (I call it Oogle) 

“Lesbian Massage Seductions”

Or wait…

“First-time Lesbian Massage Seductions”

Or wait…

“Interracial Lesbian Massage Seductions”

Or wait…

“First-time Interracial Lesbian Massage Seductions.”

BOOM!

But calm down tiger, it’s too early in the morning and I realize with the amount of anxiety building coupled with the excitement of my imagination; I’m a belt around the neck away from being David Carradine.

I’ve “settled” on a brunette masseuse with blue eyes named Orchid and a mulatto vixen with green eyes named Jasmine.

Jasmine knocks on Orchids door.  (Pretty sure 98% of porn starts with a knock at the door. And let me say being unemployed for the past month, you do wonder; what IF someone just knocked at my door?)

fat woman with tattoos

Orchid opens the door to her extravagant mansion which also doubles as her private massage studio. (Business is good)

Both ladies are wearing skin-tight dresses and enough makeup to pose as either models or prostitutes. Archetypal for masseuses and those about to be massaged.

Jasmine tells Orchid she doesn’t know what to expect because she’s never had a massage before.

Orchid tells her she’s in for a treat because she uses a “special technique” which her clients seem to enjoy.

Jasmine tells her she comes highly recommended from the “gals at the gym”.

Fast forward to Jasmine, lying on the massage table covered only by two hand towels and lavender scented massage oil.

Orchid is massaging Jasmines legs with long, soft, sensual strokes. For some reason, unbeknownst to Jasmine, Orchid is in lingerie.  Orchids hand moves further up Jasmines’ thigh. It seductively approaches the area covered only by a thin piece of cloth…

Suddenly!

Jasmine, startled, looks back with her piercing eyes and says,

“My wrong ad played and I’m canceling my advertising.”

For the first time since I woke up, there is no blood flow to my penis.

They win.

Appropriately my phone sits next to the clock, because, as I grab it…

I just punched into work…

It’s 4:27 AM.

“Don’t get too high, don’t get too low, just keep it in neutral.”

After about 4 years into my life in sales–two in auto sales, and two in radio–a guy told me, “don’t get too high, and don’t get too low, just keep it in neutral.”

He’s never been married, no kids, and has been in sales his entire life.

Neutral doesn’t have numb as a synonym…It should.

At this point, my dating life was much more “successful” than my radio sales commissions.

However, that was about to change.

                                                                                                                                                                   

In sales, nothing is more exciting than finding the new, willing, and eager prospect.  I’m charming, witty, show no signs of the quotidian routine of pre-dawn “Lesbian Massage Seductions”. I’m willing to do anything to see them again. Hopefully to make the sale.

In dating, nothing is more exciting than meeting someone new, exquisite, and passionate lady.  I’m charming, witty, and act as if I’ve never watched porn before in my life.  I’m willing to do anything to see her again. Hopefully in the nude.

Eventually, I make the sale.

Eventually, we get naked.

Times are exciting. They call to let me know they heard their ad and they love it. I love it too.

Times are exciting, She calls to let me know she can’t stop thinking about me and she loves it. I love it too.

I tell them to not hesitate if there is anything more I can do for them, and thank them so much for bringing me into their life.

I tell her to not hesitate if there is anything I can do for or to her, and thank her for bringing me into her world.

I bring them restaurant gift certificates every month and they give me little tokens of their appreciation.

I bring her flowers every month and she gives me “little tokens” of her appreciation. (Blowjobs…Clarity)

Slowly, we only talk when we need to.

Slowly, we only text when we need to.

Eventually, all I hope for is they don’t fuck up my day.

Eventually, all I hope for is she doesn’t bring drama to fuck up my day.

Once a month, I’m obligated to give them attention by changing their commercial.

Once a month, I’m obligated to take her out to dinner.

A year in, I’m somewhat charming again because it’s time for them to sign their annual contract.  I bring them a present and tell them how much they mean to me.

A year in, I’m charming again because it’s our anniversary. I bring her a present and tell her how much she means to me.

Things are changing, my commission checks are getting bigger and bigger.

Things are changing, the times we have sex are fewer and fewer.

Occasionally, there is a disagreement about their commercial, or a campaign didn’t work.

I’m neutral, so it doesn’t bother me.

Occasionally, we get into it because she’s telling me I’ve changed and this isn’t working.

I’m numb, so I blame her.

I try to be endearing and looking out for “their best interests” by upselling them on the potential of buying an event or a specific package in search of a higher commission check.

I try to be endearing and looking out for “her best interests” talking about marriage, buying a house, or having a child in search of something to break the mundane misery that is my life.

Then, one day, they say they’re cutting back.

Then, one day, she says she’s not happy.

Panic!  I scramble to do anything to rescue this.  I bring in a manager and start offering things they never received when they were paying more. But now, now they are coveted.

Panic! I scramble to do anything to save this. I bring in a counselor and start offering things they never received when they were more loving. But now, now they are coveted.

They say yes, but they know it’s only a matter of time.

She says yes, but she knows she already made up her mind.

Predictably, the time comes and they decide they are going to pull and allocate my funds somewhere else.

Predictably, the time comes and she leaves deciding she is going to take some time for her.

The client informs me, as a parting shot, I stopped giving them as much attention as I did when they first signed.

The girlfriend informs me, as a parting shot, I stopped giving her as much attention as I did when we first met.

Little do they both know, I loathed who I’ve become.

Eventually, eventually I find a new client, but the fear of blinking cell phone light terrorizes me.

Eventually, eventually I find another girl, but the fear of an empty bed paralyzes me.

Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely loved my clients, but after a while, I have so many, they only become a number.

Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely loved my girlfriends, but after a while, I took for granted everything.

Saddest part, in hindsight, which is a bitch, I realize how much I objectified both.

It didn’t use to be this way.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

The compensation for living a life like this is more money than you’ve ever had in your life.

The penance is a blinking phone and an empty life.

Does having a career in sales kill my chance of having an actual, legitimate relationship?

I have no goddamn clue. I really don’t.

All I know are two things:

  1. The ratio of salespeople I met who were either never married or divorced was astonishing. I being the latter of the two. But there are people who genuinely love this life. I am not one of them.
  2. There is no goddamn way this job is going to stop me from seeing Jasmine experience her first massage from Orchid with her “special technique”.

So, what did I do?

I sat down, looked in the mirror, and sold myself on moving on…

To be continued…

-k