Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fearless Failure

Whenever a gig folds, I expand ...

I wrote that twenty-some years ago, in a fit of exhaltation, having been sent home from a nice-paying job because -- as it was put to me -- my bright, loud '90s tie was too wide.  I think there may have been stars all over it.  I remember a guy I worked with bursting out into "Star Man" -- this tremulous, pitch-perfect Bowie noise -- whenever he saw me throughout that day.  We laughed about it ... Me calling him "Ziggy" ... Me laughing not with, but at myself ... and then my gig folded.

I got sent home.

Looking back, it's doubtful my neckwear was the (only) problem.  Perhaps I was bored.  A bit understimulated ... I was working in a hotel environment, where customer service and propriety were the norms.  Probably singing "Ballroom has broken", loudly -- this excellent, tremulous Bowie noise! -- to the tune of "Morning Has Broken", or barking gibberish in German, didn't help back then with the overall perception of me as a qualified, team-oriented AV professional (nor one with a full set of crayons in the box, for that matter!).

... I got sent home.

That paled, though, in comparison to being called up by an employer on New Year's Eve once, after work, and being bluntly informed that that day had been my last ... The subsequent year getting off to a flying stop, as I lay on the floor of New York's Port Authority bus station, waiting for daylight on January 1st, and my wife to return from upstate with our house keys.

There are several -- nay, hundreds -- of other examples, of me and misfortune caressing each other ... Each time, with each failure, and each lesson learned, there's potential, resolve not to get it wrong next time!

There are realizations, and steely damn insights, and fury ... Self-loathings with each new awareness...

But work-wise, I've learned it comes down to this:  If the job doesn't fit you, you really should quit.

If the job don't fit, you gotta quit.

If you're in a rut and it doesn't feel right ... bored to wit's end, and you're understimulated ... Singing songs to pass the time, or acting foolish through discomfort -- You don't feel you belong, so you're creating discomfiture -- it's time to assess.  Call timeout, and if necessary, take yourself out of the game.

Don't wait to be benched.  Or, for your gig to be folded ...

Take a deep breath.  Expand.