From my AMF letter to the other employees at my (former) employer.
Yes- I Am Moving On…
(Stick with me here… It’s long but it should be worth it.)
As (the big boss) said, it is with mixed emotions that I am leaving…
The 20 years I spent here at the company were amazing- Working here taught me a nearly infinite number of lessons:
Many technical skills, project management, problem solving, diplomacy, how to get an alligator out of a hotel bathtub and many more life skills.
I have a section in the old company policy handbook dedicated just to me… Talk about a legacy.
I have gone to interesting places and events and been called upon to fill many roles over my tenure...
Golf events like the Masters, PGA Champs, USGA Events, CPC and many more;
Tennis such as the US Open, China Open, the French Open- where I nearly destroyed a pair of servers singlehandedly, Kazan Russia, Miami Open/Lipton and Sydney, but never Wimbledon or Indian Wells, thank Ghod.
Countless NBA Events from All Star ’97 in Cleveland to the Finals to Global Games in Guangzhou China…
NHL Events like the Winter Classic in 2008- an outdoor game in Buffalo NY, All Star games, Stanley Cup Finals over several years. Also a 6 month on-site contract that grew into a 13-month slog through every arena in the country several times installing waves of new equipment.
Multisport Events like the Olympics (Salt Lake, Athens, Torino, Beijing, Vancouver, London, Sochi and Rio all left some scars; Goodwill Games were also a specialty- New York in ’98 was…interesting, as was Brisbane Australia in 2001- Especially since the games ended on September 10th, and the next day The World Changed courtesy of al-Queda.
I’ve wedged my size-13 ass into size-10 seats on airplanes for countless flights…
I’ve been on a flight with only 3 other people on a United 757-200, and I’ve been shoe-horned into a middle seat in the back of a fully-packed Japan Air Lines 747- a plane designed around the average Japanese passenger- not a 6’5” 300lb Ogre… Not a pretty sight.
When it comes to hotel rooms I’ve been in all manner of rooms at every major chain from Marriot to Starwood/Sheratons, to Comfort Inns and LaQuinta Inns – and as Rallis would tell you, “La Quinta” translates to “Next to Dennys”…
I’ve been quartered in a Russian bordello, a Chinese Jìyuan, a by-the-hour capsule hotel in Saitama Japan after missing the last train to Tokyo, but I’ve also stayed in luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and at the Four Seasons in Tokyo- where the bathroom was the size of the average Marriott hotel room.
I’ve driven forklifts, lulls, cars, pick-ups, and a rowboat while on the job. I went cross-country in the old company #2 box truck – where the sound level inside the cab was 90+ decibels and it would only go 62 miles per hour. Downhill. With the wind.
And the capper- in October 2001, while on a site survey for the nascent NBA Development League, I was on a trip from Jax, to Mobile AL, to Columbus GA, Charleston, Greenville SC, Ashville, Fayetteville NC, Roanoke VA and up to the NBA offices in New Jersey. While on this trip (on my motorcycle) I wound up behind a pig truck in southern Georgia, and in order to provide service to our client and enhance value by going above-and-beyond, I was required to be covered in a shower of pig snot, pig slobber, pig earwax, pig shit, pig semen and pig urine, essentially causing me to throw away half of my wardrobe that I had on the 8-day trip.
This, as they say, is Taking One For The Team…a/k/a The Pig Truck Story
I’ve endured a lot over my tenure with The Company, and conversely, the company has endured a lot from me.
(See comment regarding the TBG section of the company policy manual.)
Over my tenure I have traveled, worked, drank, dined and broken laws with countless other company staff members;
Working with other staff at events was always one of the best parts of the job, especially the new, young impressionable idealists that want to set the event world on fire. (Figuratively speaking of course…).
It’s always nice to be an influence on our new staff- it’s not necessarily always being a ‘good influence’… Sometimes all you can do is be a cautionary tale, or at worst, a horrible warning to others…
And it’s not all work…
Probably some of my favorite (and most painful) memories are the “Career Development seminars” that we held down in the Dry Tortugas…
Great food, sunburns, fishing, adult beverages… and…uh… Well... the Law Enforcement Ranger that visited our campsite at 1:00am starting his lecture with the words-“We’ve had some complaints…” would be a good indicator of the Inebriation Quotient.
You know what they say- Work hard, Play Hard.
Let me try one last time to be a good influence-
Listen to your Uncle Jay:
· Communicate with your project manager promptly and clearly.
· Label everything.
· If you’re done with something, put it away.
· Put the damn cart on charge at the end of the day.
· Never let a laptop, piece of electronic equipment or software program know you are in a hurry.
· If it’s broken, either label it, fix it or throw it away.
· Don’t run with scissors.
· If you arrive early enough parking isn’t a problem.
· Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules.
· Leave early for the airport.
· Use the right tool for the job.
· Don’t piss off Susan.
· Do your expense report on time.
· Carry the message to Garcia.
· Take the time during your event travel to enjoy the city you are working in. (I suggest going early, rather than staying after the event is over.)
· You can never put too much butter and garlic on escargot.
· If everything seems to be going well, you have overlooked something critical.
· Put your name tag on your luggage.
· There is a time to be looking at your smartphone. Use good sense while on the job regarding this topic.
· If you wouldn’t say it to your Grandmother or clergy, don’t say it on the radio.
· Never mix plaids with stripes.
· A dead cart battery is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
· You are not Superman. Go find someone to help you with that box, cable, rack or angry bartender.
· Always store beer in a dark place.
· If a cable has one end, it has another.
· The man who knows “how” will always have a job. The man who knows “why” will always be his boss.
I’m heading to Tampa FL and a new job.
I can be reached at my old mobile number and at (email) beginning next Wednesday 11/16.
And of course http://www.listen2unclejay.com/ will continue to be updated at odd intervals.
Take care of business, and take care of each other.
With my kindest and most heartfelt regards-