I came this close to being referred to in The National Post as an "internet wizard". Humble Howard Glassman has been writing editorials for the Post's Toronto section, and he recently submitted a column to his editor that referred to me by name, heaped praise upon me and gave a well deserved shout out to this very blog. I know this to be fact because he forwarded me the draft. Cool, eh?
Every day I would search the National Post online to see if Humble's article had gone to press. Every day I came up empty. Finally, Humble broke the bad news to me. The editor had rejected the column because it wasn't Toronto enough. It was too much about Humble getting canned from the Mix 99.9. The editor asked for another story and threw mine on the shelf to perhaps find its way into print one day, space permitting. I've stopped checking.
Since the Post will probably never print the article, I'm going to post it here, in its entirety, exactly as it was emailed to me back on August 14. Enjoy!
"Hi, my name is Humble Howard and uh I've been fired"
And another meeting of BFA begins. If Being Fired Anonymous actually existed I'm sure they'd have no shortage of people, for me though, being fired has been anything but anonymous. For me it's been a BFD. (You can figure out what that stands for on your own!)
A few weeks ago I wrote in the weekend Post about being let go from Mix999, I mean 99.9 Mix FM (they changed their name and me) -the reaction has been overwhelming. I guess a lot of people know what getting canned feels like because our generation isn't likely to have jobs-for-life, we're too restless.
What have I learned?
People are really really curious as to what the hell happened.
"Hey Humble, what the hell happened?" Strangers will yell at me on the street.
Being in the public eye is weird at the best of times but since I got canned it's been even more so.
True story. I'm at home 2 o'clock in the afternoon and there's a knock on my door. I open it to find a soccer-dad I'm only sort of friendly with whose daughter used to play on a team with one of my kids.
"I just have to know," He says frantically. "Why did they fire you?"
No you don't, do you? I mean do I have to tell everyone the story!
I'm sure a few of you who've been through this know that there's a degree of shame and humiliation that goes along with Carreeris Interupptus. It's sort of personal and not the kind of thing you want to bring up all the time.
Sometimes when I'm with friends it's like a weird vibe around whose going to bring it up first. It's as though they don't want to be rude but I can tell they want to talk about it…they're just not sure if I'm going to freak out or not. Of course no one wants that in the suburbs.
"So tell us, how's the whole "being-out-of-work" thing?
The next thing you know I could be sobbing or flying around the room screaming like a maniac tearing at my clothes and yelling about how now I'll never get to introduce Nelly Furtado again!
This doesn't happen. I just politely go into the story…no, there's no hard feelings the station just felt it had to make a change, yes we'll be okay, no I don't hate Mad Dog and Billie!
I wish the new morning show at the Mix good luck. I don't know Billie but I've met Jay and he's neither Mad nor a Dog.
Here's something else I've learned.
I'm not dead I've just been fired!
There's a sense of loss and grieving with being turfed and it's a major stressor in people's lives like a death. In my case it's also been an amazing opportunity to hear what people think of me and my show. It's like being able to attend your own funeral. I have had hundreds of e-mails from people saying all sorts of nice things. Being a morning show host for 17 years you get to be part of a lot of listener's lives and they feel like they're a part of yours. My kids, my wife, my stupid stories have been with them for a long time and now they're gone, and so they write me. The week I was let go this internet wizard I'd never met named Mike Boon put up a little note on his blog titled "Humble Howard are you okay?" Since then it has become the defacto place for listeners to show their support for me and my goofy little show. It's been visited by thousands and It's much appreciated. . Check it out at torontomike.com.
Mostly I'm asked what I'm going to do next and mostly I have no clue. I like talking and interacting in people's lives, maybe I could get fitted for a blue smock and be a Wall Mart Greeter.
In the meantime this meeting of BFA is adjourned.
Told ya I was this close.