More Than a Feeling

The end of this academic year means the end of my career as a columnist. Jump for joy, all anti-Goszers, but for those of you who crave my bi-weekly slap-in-the-face, this is a sad, sad day.

I'm graduating with a degree in Broadcasting, and I've decided to pursue a career in radio. Everyone tells me all the money is in television. Then, I look at them, a deadpan expression on my face, and sneer, "I'm not perky."

I had the unfortunate experience of meeting one of Milwaukee's celebrated news anchors during my internship last summer. He came to the radio station I was working at to read the news because our regular anchor was on vacation. He asked me what I was doing there. I said I was an intern.

He asked me if I was going into radio or television. I told him radio. He told me there was no money in radio. He said that anyone who believes money can't buy happiness never had a lot of money. I told him that was alright, maybe I'd marry a doctor or something. He told me that doctors always divorce their first wives, and I should be sure to get the house put in my name. That way, after the messy divorce settlement, at least I'd have a place to live. Apparently he knew from experience.

On my way out to the parking lot, I thought about vandalizing his Cadillac. I wanted to destroy him the way he'd destroyed me. I wanted to call the television station he worked for and tell his bosses that he was a jerk … but then I realized they probably already knew he was a jerk and didn't care because he was good for ratings. The only people who didn't know what a tool this guy was were the poor viewers who fell for the act.

It dawned on me then that career advice from "professionals" isn't all it's cracked up to be. I've gotten some great tips over the years, but I'm not going to heed the words of Mr. Big Shot. Except maybe the house thing.

When I take everything I've learned under consideration, one cheesy quote sticks: "Wherever you go, there you are." Read into it what you will, but I think it means that no matter where you are or what you're doing, you're always going to be the same person. Nothing's going to make you any better … not a job, not a house, not anything, really, unless you're happy with yourself. The celebrated news anchor that I met, despite all his material possessions and success, was obviously unsatisfied. I'm not. My life kicks ass, and I think that makes me a bigger success.

This viewpoint appeared in The Marquette Tribune on May 5 2005.