So the summer is over, and I returned to university. This would be my last year. I’d graduate in the spring and then see what happens. My goal is to get a job in radio. I loved my job! It was only on a casual basis, but it gave me the chance to get great experience and learn the ropes. I did do some on-air work, which was awesome, but my main job was producing remotes. When the announcer was out on location, I would be back in the control room making everything “happen”. I played the music, I ran the commercials, I made sure he got on the air when he was supposed to. It’s pretty fast-paced, but it was just that which made me love it so much. A “tight” show was a good show. I had tight shows. The gang that worked at the station were second-to-none. There were a lot of good times there. I even had the chance to produce shows for Mike. We were always very professional when we worked together. This was no place for our personal life.
We still ran into “the other fella” as he still worked there as well, but between the two of us we decided that the only way he could bother us would be if we let him. We went about our duties and eventually he did the same. He was 10 years my senior, for heaven’s sake; it was time for him to grow up.
One day after my classes ended I took my weekly jaunt to the station to check in and see if there was any work coming up. My boss took me in the office and instead of looking in the remote book he said he needed to talk to me. He started off by saying he didn’t think there was room in radio for a female voice. Excuse me??? He didn’t see me going anywhere in the business. Pardon??? He suggested I was wasting my time. I asked him why the sudden change of heart? I was a top-notch producer, I had been there for them for every call, for every shift and I had received nothing but glowing reviews from everyone in the station – including him. There was something more and as much as I didn’t want to admit it, I knew what it was.
The station was beginning to down-size. Automation was becoming the way of the future and shows/announcers were being cut. My new husband was one of them. It all comes down to a union vs. management thing that I don’t need to get into, but suffice it to say Mike was unjustifiably wronged by management, a grievance was filed and it went to arbitration – Mike won his case. The writing was on the wall. He was black-listed by management and they now wanted me out of there.
Little did he know that by telling me there was no place in radio for a female, he could have had a law suit on his hands. CRTC regulations stated that a certain percentage of the staff (on-air included) had to be female. Did I want to fight it? Yes. Did I fight it? No. Mike still worked there and we had to “play nice” – sort of.
Just like that I am without a job. It wasn’t much to begin with, but it helped. Now what? I went home and told Mike and then we went out for one of our infamous drives. Sometimes it was easier for us to discuss things without Mom and Dad being in earshot. We ended up at the mall and stopped to talk to a friend of ours. She worked at Suzy Shier where I had shopped for as long as I could remember. I knew most of the girls there: they were great. My friend’s boss was there as I was telling her about my day. Louise (the manager) said that she just hired someone yesterday for full-time. Damn. Oh well, maybe around Christmas time something else would come up. I had lots of retail experience and Louise knew me from working in the mall.
When I got home my friend called me and said that Louise wanted to talk to me. Long story short she offered me a full-time job!!! 3 hours after losing a job I had another one, but full-time??? What about university? *sigh* It never rains but it pours. I had a decision to make. I had a home to support, but I also had an education to get. Louise said she would work around my classes as best she could and we talked about my schedule. Evenings and Saturday’s worked for her. Looked like we were in business.
My new life back in retail was working well. Classes were going well. Life was good. Busy, but good. A few months after I started at Suzy Shier, one of the full-time keyholders left. I was next in line. This would mean dayshifts. Another decision. Mike and I talked and it wasn’t something I wanted to pass up. Mike’s hours dropped and this could be just the thing to make up the difference.
Now the hard part. I had to tell Mom and Dad that I was dropping out of university for now to go to work. In retail. Unfortunately, it didn’t go over very well. I was smarter than that. Did I want to work in retail the rest of my life? they expected more from me than that. They knew something like this was going to happen. I returned to the apartment crying. I hated disappointing them, but ultimately I had to do what was necessary for Mike and I – and right now that was having me go to work.
How it’s all going to go is anyone’s guess. We’ll just have to wait and see. God knows it won’t be easy.
Until next time…