The first day on the job went swell, Ma. That is until I opened my mouth.

Remember your first day on the job?

You come in bright and early. Your new boss shows you where the coffee is which you find out comes out of a machine after depositing two quarters. A bit later you go to Human Resources and the 100-year-old and still bitchy empress has you sign about 150 pages of future additions to your permanent work history. After finishing the paper work and making sure the HR gal still has a pulse, you head to what you fear will be the first of many meetings. Some of the “guys” from your section take you to lunch. You return and take a three-hour class on sexual harassment, as if you didn’t already know how to sexually harass someone. Then, everyone bids you well for the evening as you are allowed to go home an hour or so early. You head to the subway thinking: “That didn’t go so bad did it?”

Maybe not, unless you were A.J. Clemente.

A.J. probably had plenty of high hopes as he began his first job as a local TV news anchor. Then the camera went live, thus ending quite probably the shortest career in TV news.

The 5 p.m. broadcast at KFYR-TV news in Bismarck, N.D. started with its serious-sounding music. Co-anchor Van Tieu then introduced the new talking head, A.J., the latter of whom was muttering something or other. What’s that you say,  A.J.?:

“F—ing s–t!”

If you are going to go bad going live, go for the gusto.

A.J. was fired, not surprisingly. He hardly had time to find the restroom with the motion-activated hand towel dispenser sitting handily on the wall.

My boss was in from the regional office today. I told him about the dilemma of poor A.J. The boss had not heard about it. I also told him a story about what was almost an equally disastrous first day on the job.

This happened at a paper where I once worked but the event took place a few years before I arrived. It seems this woman showed up for her first day on the job at the newspaper as the new police beat reporter.

The intrepid reporter made it to the police station. She found it with no problem. Then, she smashed the hell out of a police cruiser. Was it a case of nerves? No, it was more like a case of Budweiser. It turned out the new hire was drunk as a skunk on her first day.

Both stories are good cautionary tales. If you think you might say during your initial broadcast, two of the seven words you can never say on TV; If you think you may get f—ed up as soup sandwich prior to your first assignment at work, then you might as well just go home. Or maybe, when you sober up, go to the local employment office.






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