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What I Learned Over My Termination

Posted By: Joe Cronauer · 4/1/2014 4:20:00 PM

Fired. Of course they don’t say that. "We're going in another direction Joe, it's not based on your performance."  It still stings. The plain and painful truth is  - There’s no job for me on television where there once was. I've been through this before, TV and radio have a reputation of changing directions that sometime throw you from the ride. It's never easy but I'm trying my best to look on the bright side. Truth is, there are some wonderful side effects from losing a job. Here's what I learned from my latest “occupational realignment.”

Punching the Clock ... Getting the most out of time. Lose your job, get more time. It’s like winning the lottery, without all the money and security. Now I will be able to get the yard work done by the end of May, reorganize my closet by the end of June, put all cereal boxes and canned foods in alphabetical order by the end of July and drive my wife completely nuts by the end of August. I really am going to try to use the best of my time, which means making a daily schedule — even if there is nothing on it. It reminds me that the time is there. Use it or lose it.

Unexpected attacks of compassion ... I was walking out of the movie theatre with my family and a couple approached me.  They offered their prayers for me, my family and my future. I didn't know them personally but they knew my situation.

The fact that they knew about my job loss at Channel 3  was a huge benefit. I didn’t have to tell them I was hurting - they already knew. People who feel ashamed to let others know they’ve lost their job miss out on so much warmth, support and insight, not to mention a possible job lead or new opportunity. Announce it. The feedback might surprise you.

Creative sparks ... Being out of work can open up your mind to new ideas. Albert Einstein once said, “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” Smart guy, that Einstein. Early in his life, when people didn’t think he was all that bright, Albert had a hard time finding work as a teacher and ended up taking a mundane job in a patent office. His mind would often wander, and he would think of all the what-ifs. He credited a lot of that daydreaming with his revolutionary Theory of Relativity.

I’ve forced myself to daydream, to think of things I’ve never thought of before. So far I’ve come up with gas-powered batteries, lemon-flavored limes, self-cleaning dishwashers, self-propelled garbage cans (they put themselves out on trash day) and candles made of ice. (They put themselves out, too!) I’m still working on the design for a clothes closet that covers an entire bedroom floor (my four sons gave me that idea).  Creativity fuels ambition, and that’s what gets me off the couch.

Here’s hoping ... The most powerful side effect of my recent career interruption has been hope. We’ve all heard the word a lot lately. “I hope you’re doing OK. I hope the economy turns around. I hope you get a job on TV again.”

Since I lost my job, there have been highs and lows. But surprisingly, it’s when I’m at my lowest that I receive the most hope. When my former boss took me in his office and laid out the bad news I was numb. It wasn't easy telling my wife and four sons. But then hope took over. I immediately began reassuring them that everything was going to be OK. They believed me and, just as importantly, I believed myself.

Hope is the seed that grows all things. It’s the spark that ignites the idea, the calm that provides the peace, the energy that keeps us all going. Who knew my ex-employers would give me so much attached to a pink slip?

 

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  1. BonnieY posted on 04/01/2014 08:45 PM
    Joe, My husband and I met you Saturday and your beautiful family. It was the highlight of our day. We have been praying for you and your family and your new situation. We are so glad that at least we are able to hear you. TV 3's loss I know God will make your gain though you may not see it yet. There are so many promises God has give that you can make claim to.

    One of my favorites: Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    Prayerfully
    Bonnie & Don Yoakam
  2. Pamela posted on 04/02/2014 12:47 PM
    Sorry this's so long, but a lot happens in short periods of time.
    I didn’t get fired, but laid off. At first I thought it was because of something I did or didn’t do and it had a little bit to do with why I was let go over someone else. I have strong work ethics and to those that don’t, well you become their threat, so when it’s time to make cuts you go. I had survived several layoffs over the 5 1/2yrs that I had been at that company and saw many games played so I wasn’t happy there anymore anyways. The company took a hit and a major layoff happened a year and a half ago, I survived but good deserving folks didn’t. I began looking and praying a lot but nothing peaked my interest. I told God that I would stay until he wanted me to go and that day came on 17 January of this year.
    When I sat down in the conference room I knew why we were all sitting there, the company had put all of their eggs in one basket and we would pay the price. Thank God for that, at least on my behalf. At first my heart fell into my stomach and then the “What am I going to do?” crossed my mind. That helpless feeling was brief as calm fell over me and concern for the others took over my thoughts. The bulk of the group was seniors closing in on retirement and some were physically challenged, what would happen to them? I started praying for them, ignoring HR’s instructions, which I was going to need.
    I cleaned out my belongings as folks were apologizing for something they didn’t do and telling me that everything would be ok, but I already knew that…I just didn’t know how or when. I went home and explained my layoff to my four kids and they were the most understanding group of folks I’ve ever had the privilege to raise and call my own. They said that it would be ok and they were ready for whatever came ahead of us. As a parent, a single parent, you feel like you’ve let them down somehow, but God had this, this I did know. My family has been dealt a lot of hardships over the years. I’m a single mother of six, two are grown and on their own now, and two granddaughters. We’ve been battered, homeless at one point for a year, ridiculed for having so many kids, but loved and held by our Father. I had 2 more bi-weekly paychecks coming to keep the roof over our head and the area food banks kept food in our bellies, thank God because there were too many hiccups in the unemployment system and the food stamp program took too long. Job and Family Services called 3 weeks after I filed, the same day I got laid off, by this time I already had a job. “Good things come to those who wait” and that’s coming in the next paragraph.
    Only two hours into my layoff, lost on the unemployment webpage, losing the battle on the phone that never gets picked up because everyone’s too busy…”Please try again later”…and my phone rings. Jake called me asking me if I was still looking for a better opportunity so I told him what had just happened. He told me that God closes some doors and opens others and I was walking through this door. On 17 February of this same year, one month after my layoff began, I started my new job. The company’s structure is more than perfect for my single parent situation, we even have a Christian group that I’ll be joining at lunch time here and the benefits make it all worthwhile as I drive 45 minutes each way to and from work. I just wish some of the drivers loved each other a little bit more and didn’t want to kill everyone they saw sharing the road with them. I use to ask “Why me God, why?” but then I realized, I’m sure with God’s guidance “Why not me?” I’m no better than anyone else and God knows that I’m strong enough to carry this load on my shoulders where others may not be. God has more faith in me than I have in myself many times, when I feel like I’m going to collapse under the weight he puts out his hand helps me along. God is good and his blessings are many, big and small, even the unanswered prayers can be major blessings. Look up, smile and say “Thank you!” every day because he loves us.
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