Did you ever go to school and tell your teacher, "The dog ate my homework"? Ours once ate airplane tickets, but that's another tail or tale. In this case, my dog stepped on my computer while I was on Linkedin and not only uploaded my entire mailing list but did something no one can figure out. He switched the introductory copy on my site. No offense to LinkedIn or anyone using it, but I have so little free time, I probably check it once a month. Suddenly I began getting a slew of emails from people who forgot about me some years ago, when I was no longer hiring for those high paying jobs in TV.
Hey -just thinking about you today. Why today after two years?
Hi Susan, just wanted to let you know what I've been doing. Should I care? You have never returned a call from me.
Hey Boss - got a gig for me? Did I advertise for an apprentice?
And on and on and on. I could count more than one hundred emails from my former associates. Why now was all that I could ask? I had not done anything spectacular. I keep a fairly low profile in the entertainment world working behind the scenes. Sure, I'd love to be prepping the next hit show, but that's not in my current professional line up right now. This was so odd. And it made me incredibly angry. Why, if I am so sought after right now, did all these people drop out of my life so quickly when I switched the balance of my two professions? But then I remember when I left Good Morning America and soon after moved to LA -- that same cone of silence disturbed me then. I felt like I was just an employment agency. But that is the name of the game in this industry. People are often shallow, out for themselves, will feed you whatever BS they need to get a job, pretend they like you and then you become a delete on their iPhone.
No, I have not dropped off the face of the earth. I currently spend more time as a psychotherapist than as a TV producer. And while I have the most loyal clients, those who want to stay even when I have "graduated" them, they are my clients and not my friends. I know who my real friends are and am so grateful for calls or even emails or texts. My hours are bizarre and do not leave much time for socializing. But it took this most recent incident to make me more aware of how important it is to keep in touch with friends. I am guilty as well. I don't "thumb" to make a connection. I am making it a priority to actually make a phone call, Skype, FaceTime so that I hear real voices and see real people. Granted, this is a lost art but there is a legitimate reason why so many people are lonely. Their thumbs get a workout but they, too, inherit a different cone of silence. And my dog Charlie? He has lost his computer privilege but I can't thank him enough for reminding me that real friends are friends all the time, not just when you can hire them. Charlie, you rock and you will get your own LinkedIn page as soon as I finish deleting everything.