Someone I FIRED Wrote Me A LETTER. Wanna READ It?
July 21, 2015
In a couple of my articles for All Access, I've called out some folks for some stuff, and there have been people who have had some heated words with me over what has been written.
My goal for these articles is not to point fingers, but to use "real life" scenarios to help guide those who may be encountering something similar, and to cheer on those who still struggle to make a living in this industry; to inspire those who won't give up trying, in spite of what is sometimes a bleak outlook for a future, and OH YEAH, also to entertain.
On May 6th of last year, I had called out one of my former employees in an article, but only for one reason; that I fully believed in him and in the end, he didn't measure up, even though I knew he had the goods.
I wasn't a jerk about it. I just shared the facts as I often do, to help others who may be in a similar situation. In fact, I ended that article still showing my belief in this young man.
I wrote, "As for our young man, the great news is that NOW he has major-market experience and sometimes it takes doors slamming tight for someone to realize how hard they have to fight in order to compete at any level, and if they want it bad enough, they can still go back and begin creating healthy habits for another shot, which will come in the right time."
It isn't rare that I hear from my subjects, but in this case it was almost a year after the article posted. Here are his words in return...
Hello Mr. Wagman!
I have high hopes that this finds you doing well, very well.
I've been reading your "Raising the Bar" editorials as I see them come while checking out All Access. The way you write and share your analysis of each topic can have anyone who reads them have a learning experience in some way, shape and form.
I was up very early a couple Saturdays ago reading misc. trade info and then found you, then the archive. There was a particular article that hit home to me; right on the money. It was penned almost a year ago and I firmly believe in my heart that seeing it at that very moment had everything to do with timing. The article I stumbled across is titled "DESIRE Gets You HIRED, But Unless INSPIRED, You'll Be FIRED"!
Dammit, it was a very well written synopsis of what happened and I was finally able to read and understand where you were coming from since the last time we saw each other. To use your terminology, as I do quite frequently, I was far from buttoned up and that was heavily reflected in my work. I did the work and I saw the fruit but depending on how I was doing things, the fruit was either ripe or juicy, and flavorful or under grown, bitter, and depending how bad it was, would cause stomach flu. I hated that; I hated not living up to the potential that my mentor saw in me and I hated not having what I needed within myself to be confident.
I was motivated to "be the best" - but, the best at what? I wanted to be an asset - how the hell can I be a viable asset to anyone or anything if my personal value was depleting at a rapid pace? These are questions I would ask myself on a regular basis, both during and after my tenure at 340 Hudson.
There have been times that I blamed you for getting to me but in retrospect, depending on how much sleep I didn't get, I wore myself out trying to be everything to everyone and didn't stay in my lane which made me more irritable and defensive so when you would set me straight, I wasn't in a space to hear it in any other way than an attack.
You didn't cause my issues...I did. I failed because I didn't exercise proper self-care outside the office, which bled into it. I failed because I thought it was 'me-against the world.' These things and depression didn't make well for the growth and opportunities that were presented to me.
Instead, things made for 'stories of missed opportunities' and disappointment. I had to fall down so that I could get up and let me tell you, when I fell, I fell hard. Though I've never been addicted to any drink or substance, I was an addict of self-abuse because I knew that I was not good enough so neither was anything I touched.
Years later, I want to say thank you. Whether you knew it or not, you showed me so much about myself that brings value to who I am today. The hours you spent guiding me, teaching me, growing me, and believing in me was not by any means a waste.
I finally got rid of my demons a couple years ago, which allowed me to completely be me for the first time. I actively live with love and harmonious energy and my ever-growing self worth is reflected in my relationships; it reflects in my craft.
I appreciate you Robert Charles Wagman and I wish you, Sarah Lee, that beautiful baby, Owen and the rest of the gang a great evening.
Thank you for the good words, sir. They mean a lot.
Here's a pic of that beautiful baby now, Owen Bear, laughing with comedian Pete Davidson from SNL.
To see the original article "DESIRE Gets You HIRED, But Unless INSPIRED, You'll Be FIRED!" click here.