Nineteen years and a month ago, I was at a big social gathering held by the owners of the new radio station in town, to smugly congratulate themselves for having bought a crappy AM radio station with a filthy facility across the street from a crack house in a trying-but-dying milltown and pretend that they were "powerbrokers" or "kingmakers" or some such nonsense.
If I could, I would go back nineteen years and two months, and quietly tell the younger me to not bother sending that dumbed down version of that resume, and to avoid the entire ugly enterprise by hopping a freighter or something.
Because he would be disgusted with himself when, years later, he finds that he can believe the horrific claims of any former worker. I would warn him that there will be online forums where, daily, he will read the same kinds of complaints about ownership, about management, about talent and callers. But the most disturbing will be the posts that ring with the desperation of someone just seeking some recognition.
And then he will watch as each story is waved away with that "disgruntled ex-employee with an ax to grind" obiter dictum.
But he will know details of a few of those stories, and remember some that never made the forums or blogs or webpages. Because of the tangled morass of excuses and passivity and negligence and ignorance and indifference that obfuscated justice.
And he will remember those who walked away.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008