Monday, December 12, 2011

Baby, If You've Ever Wondered....

Just the other day, my inbox contained a very nice – and surprising – message. It was from a wonderful gentleman with whom I had the good fortune to work with during my radio days. I’ve not seen nor spoken to him in the last two decades, but he’d been on my mind recently, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to hear from him. Out of the blue. Just like that.

After the initial “How ya doing/what ya doing/” back-and-forth, my friend asked me whatever happened to our former boss, a man (and I use the term loosely here) I’ll simply refer to as Old Shan. Old Shan served as our station manager. My friend hosted the morning show, and yours truly was simply referred to as ‘The Afternoon Girl’. Anyway, Old Shan left quite an impression on my friend and me – and it’s not the impression he wanted to leave, I’m sure.

To put it bluntly, Old Shan was not a nice person.

Old Shan was not an emotionally stable person.

Old Shan might be your best friend one day, and your worst enemy the next.

I can support the above statements with the following examples: yelling, cursing, snap decisions, reversals of those snap decisions, poor business judgments, poor hiring choices, sexual harassment, manipulation, and far too much unpaid overtime.

And these all happened on our ‘good days’.

I stuck it out there for over a year, so you can imagine my reeling head when I finally wised up and left.

I’d often thought that perhaps it was just me. As the only on-air girl (and that term applies – I was only 21 or 22 years-old during this stint), I assumed that I was the problem, and that all of Old Shan's big and little rants actually meant something. Perhaps I wasn’t working hard enough. Perhaps I wasn’t doing my job effectively. Perhaps he didn’t like women. Perhaps he simply didn’t like me. I didn’t understand it then, but looking back, I realize that it wasn’t me.

It was him.

He treated everyone on staff deplorably.

During our exchange, my friend recalled some of his own Old Shan experiences, which were, of course, quite similar to my own. He said he’d often fantasized over the years about tracking him down and giving him a piece of his mind. I confessed I’d done the same thing, but because I truly believe in karma, I’m hopeful that Old Shan has learned a lesson, and has come out better for it.

And I have to hand it to Old Shan, for he taught me how to better deal with a couple of other ‘bad bosses’ I’ve had over the years. I suppose he entered my life in order to teach me that the world is made up of all kinds of people, and if you want to get anywhere in life, you’ve got to learn how to effectively deal with them. It’s okay, too, I learned, that if you can’t deal with them, you can certainly leave them. No need to get bogged down in someone else’s bad mojo.

A job is a job is a job….do what you love, do it well, and reap the rewards.

My friend is doing just that. He’s still in radio (God bless him!), and he’s tapped into another passion of his – he opened his own bike shop. I’m delighted for him, and so glad to reconnect with him.

Beth Newman
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‘Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!’

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