AJ Clemente was a brand spanking new, seemingly fresh out of school news anchor in Bismarck, North Dakota when, on the first day on the job, clearly overcome with nerves, he uttered the F word and the S word - unbeknownst to him, while on air - and could barely look up as his co-anchor introduced him and then he, very awkwardly, introduced himself. It's painful to watch (see for yourself).
Later that day, he was fired.
Yesterday, on Kathie Lee and Hoda, Hoda graciously told a story of her first time anchoring - where she introduced herself with the wrong name. Ouch.
Kathie Lee, for her part however, seemed to think AJ was at fault. Despite making the point that we've all been there (yes, we have, Kathie Lee! And don't forget it), she went on to say "It's your first day on the job. Don't you want to make a good impression?"
No, Kathie Lee, he wants to screw up and be make a fool of himself in front of all of Bismarck, North Dakota (insert joke here about how there are, what, 4 people, maybe 5, in Bismarck, North Dakota so no harm anyway).
It was out of his control.
He was THAT nervous.
We've all been there.
When I was a very newbie lawyer, someone thought it would be a good idea to send my green self to court to cover a status hearing. I went. I met my adversary outside. He asked for an extension. I called the office.
Me: What do I do?
Boss: Say "OK."
Me: Oh. Ok.
Adversary: If you have to get back to the office, I'll let the judge know.
Me (to myself): I should probably get back to the office. This feels too much like a field trip. I know they like me tied to my desk doing research.
Me (aloud): Ok.
Adversary: July 14th?
Back at the office -
Boss: What! You left?
Boss: What if he tells the judge you agreed to October 14th, not July? The client will go nuts.
Me: ... That's a good point. ... But he seemed like a nice guy!
So, yes, we've all been there.
I never made that mistake again and that's the point - you can only live and learn if you're given a second chance.
In the spirit of Roses, here's to:
1/ second chances,
2/ when things go viral,
3/ when 1+2 = AJ hopefully getting a second chance somewhere else. Go get 'em, AJ! Who needs Bismarck, North Dakota? But, one tip: skip the F bombs and insist you said ship, with a P!
Thank you for reading Stop and Blog the Roses. Follow me on Twitter @FernRonay