There were some clues I should have seen. Hindsight is always 20/20.
When I ran for county commissioner, I was invited as a guest on a morning radio talk show. It's very popular with office women. There are billboards of this morning show "couple;" she's kind of plain-Jane looking with a slightly dorky bent - but lovable - and he's about as effeminate-looking as Yanni - what with the long, feathered-back hair, porn-star moustache, hooked nose and goofy grin - kind of like a Geddy Lee look-a-like, but not as hip, if you know what I mean.
I've heard their show before, and this couple makes Larry King seem like a hard-hitting journalist. They're so positive and upbeat, and he's always the doofus, and she's always the smart one, and she always loves him no matter how doofy he is...I know, I know, stop before someone pukes, right? Right!
I get to their studio, and they make me wait in their "green room" forever. That didn't bother me at all - I'm not pretentious. Well, I found out why I had to wait so long. They were waiting for the owner of the radio station to get there. Why? Because he sat in the studio - right beside me - the whole time I was on the air.
Was this the typical, Larry King-esque interview they did for me? Oh hell no! It was an ambush!
Les Nessman of WKRP-fame would have been proud! I think he would have nominated them for the Golden Buckeye Award for radio excellence, this interview was so hard-hitting - and it was.
What's the significance of this? The owner of the radio station owns a huge factory in the town where I had the car dealership job. (The town where I had the car dealership job, is in the same county I live in.)
This guy doesn't like me, because I used to work for the economic development agency in his town - that's where I learned everything I know about economic development. He knows that I know, how the rich screw people through economic development, and he was afraid I would say something to that effect while on the air of his radio station.
Thank God for the McCain/Feingold act, because without it, I would have never been on his radio station to begin with!!!!!
Anyhow, this guy was pissing his pants over the thought of me talking about my stint in economic development in his town. I was so awestruck by his presence, I really never thought of that (this guy is phenominally wealthy!)
So, what does this have to do with the car dealership?
I was talking to the sales manager one day, and he asked me why I worked at the factory for 15 years, and never advanced. I told him I was involved in the union campaign, and when it lost by only 4%, the personnel department never forgot who was involved. I said, "They have long memories."
He replied, "The peersonnel office at the factory where you used to work isn't the only place with a long memory."
The guy who owns the factory, also pretty much runs the town where the dealership is.
I didn't think too much of this, because I'm not the paranoid type. But something else struck me, a few days before I was let go.
We've got this salesman who is really good. He's from another town in another county. He starts talking to me about the editorials I've written for my home-town's newspaper.
I asked him how he even came to reading those editorials, given he's a good 40 miles from the town where I live - and he neither lives or works in the town where I live - and he never lived or worked in the town where I live - so why would he not only be reading the editorials I've written about how crooked economic development is, but remember the name of the guy who wrote them???!!!!!
He said, "There's been talk." That's all he said. Two days later, I was fired.