Selected Samples of Adam's writing...

NH Union Leader - February 4th, 2009

 "He Needs A New Place to Hang His Coffee Mug"

    My wife and I drove by a Goodwill store. I can't help it, I'm a thrifty person. That may come in handy these days. More on that in a bit.
    There was something that drove me to it. It was a white coffee mug with the words "Dream Boat" in big black letters on the side. Hilarious. For a dollar, it was worth it.
    I was looking for a new coffee cup for work. It was big enough to fit two of those Green Mountain "K cups" that are all the rage.
    I laughed with coworkers as I brought it in on Monday. I didn't know at the time, but it would be my last work purchase.
    Monday started out like any other at the radio station. It was the day after the Super Bowl, and I was preparing to talk about the normal things. What commercials were funny, what about that catch. etc., etc.
    Then one of my coworkers told me that my boss had been let go on Friday. Immediately, flags went up. If he was fired Friday, how am I just now hearing about it? I nervously prepared the rest of my show, knowing full well it might be my last.
    9:00 am rolled around. One of the managers came by and said "we need to talk." My knees buckled a little as I made the frog march to the Business Managers office. Those meetings never end well in his office.
    They told me it's over.
    This May, it was going to be five years with the company. Most of that time as the morning host of the Mill. I was shocked.
    It wasn't me, they told me. It was the economy. That's the new let-down. It's the business equivalent of "It's not you, it's me" in a relationship. It was true, as evidenced by what is on the air instead of me this morning. I was downsized. I'm a victim of the economy.
    Maybe that's not the right way to really describe it. Maybe I was mugged by the economy, stabbed in the gullet and left to bleed to death in the ditch on Wall Street.
    Let me tell you, I hold no ill-will towards my former employer. Where my angst is directed is the idiotic rules and regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley that have crippled many industries, included publicly held media.
    The over compensation of the problems that surfaced from the Enron scandal resulted in this hypertension version of regulation. Everything had to be checked and double checked. On it's surface, that may not seem like a bad thing. But dig a little deeper and the problem shows it's wicked face.
    I have been in radio for 10 years, as far removed from accounting as you can possibly be. Still, because of the new rules, my job was classified more for it's accounting purpose than it's on-air purpose.
    You see, when someone is on the radio, one of the jobs they have is to dutifully mark which commercial has played. We get a paper log, and these days, it's mimicked on a computer that's playing most on-air elements. My checking off of each commercial became so scrutinized, that I became, for all intents and purposes, a part of the accounting department. In the eyes of the shareholders, that was all I was.
    It was a shame really. I've done bits, interviews, crazy stunts, witty retorts, one liners, zingers, stagers, sweepers, promos and commercials. But my most important duty of the day was making sure that Spot "X" played at Time "Z". Did I mention that this was all recorded into a computer file anyway? Maybe that's what makes me so replaceable.
    I'm not telling you this to sound bitter. I'm not. I am looking for a day job, that keeps me busy enough. Like I said, there is no ill-will towards anyone at my old place of employment. They did all they could. I was just another casualty of our web of failed financial policies in this country.
    When my meeting was over, I shook everyone's hand, trying to hold my head high. I grabbed my packet of information about rolling over my 401k and signing up for the horribly expensive Cobra Insurance plan. I stacked it all neatly in a pile, and topped it off with my "Dream Boat" mug and solemnly took my last elevator ride down to my car.
    That damned mug felt like a scarlet letter.
    Why would anyone need their work coffee mug? Unless. Oh, yes. He must have lost his job. Poor sap.
    For so long, that job has been a part of my identity, a part of who I am. My coworkers were one part friend and one part family. Now, I'll be like the rest who have been let go before their time, a leper left to fend for himself amongst a colony of his own.
    Now I have to figure out where I'm going to hang my mug.

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