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Unique social film experience

29 April 2010 No Comment

(Update on my radio show): http://doolittlebrothers.com/

Over the past few years, I have made very notable strides in overcoming social anxiety issues and becoming a pretty social individual. Though not a natural thing for me, I am certainly not the same person who just four or five years ago would routinely go days without any social interaction outside of my home.

It was never a major problem, which is a good thing since I now have a live radio show! But I did tend to allow my introverted tendencies to dominate for lengthy stretches. My previous full-time position was with a local radio station cluster, and it was very socially oriented. Plus, having a child really propelled me to want to get to know other parents, ask them questions and try to get comfortable at the prospect of being a parent.

After being in St. Louis for 13 years now, I have a great network of friends and no longer indulge in reclusive behavior for extended periods. Still, I am weary of events that involve social networking. The showing of Lemonade the Movie tonight at Harrys Downtown was definitely not just a networking event, but since I am in the market for a job, I wanted to utilize that aspect of this fine event. It was a success for me because I feel I have more options now with my job search moving forward, and that was the goal.

But this night was more about the plight of those who have been laid off, and what their subsequent actions involved. The inspiration behind this 37-minute motivational film is how 16 advertising professionals handled losing their jobs. What did these creative minds do? they got creative with their own lives.

This film was actually painful for me at times, as I could not help but re-live each of the three layoffs Ive had in the past nine years. I really was attached to each of these positions, and it was difficult, to say the least.

I lost my previous job in March of 2009, and the circumstances were kind of brutal. My baby girl, 8 months old at the time, was sick and could not go to day care. My wife had very important business meetings that day, so I stayed home to care for her I had no choice, but thought I could make it work. I was a Digital Brand Manager (webmaster, really) and could do most of my work from home. But it is simply impractical to try and work with a baby in the house; I monitored email and voice mail as best as I could and planned to catch up with the web site content once my wife arrived home.

Then came the phone call. It included the HR manager and radio station VP. I got the bad news quickly, and it was emotionally impactful. (Had nothing to do with my work that day, just to clarify) I heard everything they said until the part that started and, unfortunately, these cuts include you. Though they kept talking, I did not hear anything. I just said, I have to go, but Ill be in touch soon. And hung up. Not to be melodramatic, but I have a vivid memory of tears falling from my face and dripping on my baby, who I had to hold the whole time because she was being hard to console. Man, it was rough! I was stunned.

The crying was off and on for awhile, but much of that was just how a baby changes your emotions even for a guy. So I kind of re-visited that tonight, then realized my lay off was great in retrospect. The past 14 months have been the best of my life. I am ready to work again, so I feel good about the radio show, especially because I believe in the basic message of this film and how I have applied it to my life.

The showing of this film was very well done and I give major recognition to all of those involved (Heather, Karen, Jane, Mary and all involved.)

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