Friday, January 26, 2007

The State Of Things...

I woke up with a migraine headache yesterday. One of the worst I've had in the longest time. It was a sign of things to come. I rolled over tangled in my blankets desperately trying to hide from the piercing sunlight. Already 10 minutes late for work. I was about to call in sick when someone from my office called me and said, "You need to get in RIGHT NOW." My heart sank. I knew exactly what was happening. I didn't even mention that I was feeling ill. I got dressed in such a hurry that I left my cell phone at home. Blessing in disguise if you ask me.

15 missed phone calls, 20 unanswered text messages, 45 windows on instant messenger, and a lot of hugs later I can finally answer a few of the questions everybody has been asking me.

"Yes, I'm OK."

"Yes, this does affect me."

And “Yes, there will be layoffs.”

Yesterday was the capstone in what has been one the worst months of my life both personally and professionally. Things aren't great, but I'm OK.

A huge “thank you” to everyone who has showed their genuine concern for me. You’re well wishes and prayers mean the world to me and are getting me through this. I feel blessed and truly loved.

I don't want any of you to feel sorry for me for a second. It is the nature of a dying business. Good people who are intelligent and highly skilled at their profession lose their jobs. They go back into the working world stronger. For right now, I’m still in it: alive and kicking.

It’s really hard not to listen to the horror stories of corporate layoffs. I’m waiting for the “gas leak” in the building or for someone to come on the bullhorn calling me to the 9th floor conference room. The rumors fly, people start to distance themselves from you, your work colleagues who you’ve grown to trust and rely on tell you “nobody is your friend in this business.” And that you should “protect yourself and your intellectual property.” I’m scared because I don’t know what the hell is going on, but I REFUSE to get caught up in the paranoia pandemic.

Yesterday someone asked me how I was handling all this since my job = MY LIFE. My stomach seized. “Is that what people really think?” I asked myself.

I have been so passionate about music for so long that who I am as a person has been defined by my work situation. MY WORK IS NOT MY LIFE. My motivation towards my job has never been for money, power, fame, or success. It has been for the love of music and for the relationships I have built over the past three years. In that regard I am completely guilty of “Being The Job.” It has been a privilege to get to do what I am most passionate about everyday. I am beyond lucky and if it all ends tomorrow I will look back on it fondly.

I believe strongly in the cleansing power of music. It is every emotion I can’t find the words to describe. I found a home with like-minded individuals who are just as passionate, creative, and motivated as me. It makes waking up in the morning worth it. In the end the relationships we build and the memories we make are all we get to take with us. If things are coming to a close, then they certainly are ending on a high note.

The mood is somber but spirits are up slightly. It's the calm before the pink slip storm. I am not at liberty to delve deeper than that. So don’t even ask. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m completely in the dark – everyone is. The only thing you can do is hope for the future and plan for the worst. I have bounced back so many times from so many things. This is just one more. Another day, another season, a new challenge to overcome. Despite what people may think I AM NOT THE JOB. All this could be a blessing in disguise. Whatever the outcome will be the right outcome.

I needed a good dose of cheering up last night. Amidst all this my checking account overdrafted because someone stole my credit information and decided to go on a spending spree. IM BEYOND BROKE. Typical. Bad luck for me always comes in threes. I'm waiting for the third and clinging as close as I can to God for reassurance.

My good buddy Jason came over last night and we watched Baraka. I lost myself in the breathtaking cinematography of cultures from lands far away. It was a welcome reality check. As bad as things could get I still live in America, have a roof over my head, and I'm not huddling over a sewer grate for warmth. I’m spoiled. I don’t deserve to have it so good.

Jason refused to let me sink into the “JAX Pity Party.” We had a nostalgic night joking about Muppet Babies, Crocodile Mile, and watched part of The Rescuers. Another great escape. I went to bed happy for the first time in a long time. I slept soundly through the night - 8 hrs of perfect sleep. THANK YOU GOD.

This morning I woke up feeling numb to the whole situation. There is still a nagging pit in my stomach - though I feel it less. The music is playing, people are smiling and laughing, but the worst is yet to come.

I can’t stand the thought of seeing the people around me upset and troubled. Lives disrupted – even if only temporarily. There are people here who just had babies, people who support their aging parents and fund college tuitions on assistant’s wages. The next two weeks are going to be brutal.

This is not the end of the world and in 6 months nobody will even care what happens here. I’m enjoying it while it lasts in the company of the people I have come to love like family. It has been an honor I will always cherish.

The next stage is vast approaching…here goes nothing….


JAX - The Rock Insider

Comments on "The State Of Things..."

 

Blogger Aubrey said ... (January 26, 2007 12:58 PM) : 

Sigh. I miss being a kid and not wanting to be a grownup. No matter what God is good...and corporations are not. New chapters are sometimes great and sometimes not...I like to think they are all great even if they suck now. You have to get through them to get towards then end of the book.

 

Anonymous Miguel said ... (January 26, 2007 2:14 PM) : 

Ohh well, this may be a long comment but i hope you dont get bored. This is the first time i post stuf but i think its worth, i´ve been visiting rockinsider more than a year ago and since then i´ve become addicted to the website. I live in Lima, Peru (ohh third world country!) and the HUGE difference between the lifestyle of Lima and Hollywood is too damn big to compare; but at least, I know that music means life, at least for me and for you too. So you should be proud of all the things that rockinsider means for all the people that enjoy with it. Finally, i must say that i love rockinsider and hope that you recover (personal and profesionally). I should end this, big bad-written comment. I salute you, ha!, from Peru. Farewell!

 

Blogger JAX said ... (January 26, 2007 2:47 PM) : 

Miguel...your comment is amazing. not long winded at all! you should comment more often! we may live in two different parts of the world but we both know what we love. MUSIC IS UNIVERSAL.

 

Anonymous Miguel said ... (January 26, 2007 3:39 PM) : 

Wow, Thanks A LOT, really, and of course i will comment again, take care!

 

Blogger goongumpas said ... (January 26, 2007 7:45 PM) : 

long-time reader here. i hope you don't lose your job! but if it happens, i'm sure things will work out. like you said, it could be a blessing in disguise.

the very first company i worked for laid me off after i slaved away for a year for them. for *minimum wage*. the following year they brought me back, only for the entire company to go out of business the following year.

after the dust settled we all found new homes eventually, and after a while felt like we were all better off. we realized just how poorly the company treated us. talent always emerges, and people will remember you. things turned out much better for me. my colleagues remembered me and went on to hire me independently on some amazing projects, which never would have happened in our previous company.

i'm a huge fan of "Baraka" as well. the american cinematheque shows it about once a year in 70mm projection. one of these days you must catch it.

 

Blogger Marissa said ... (January 26, 2007 9:43 PM) : 

I love you Jax! You are incredible.

 

Blogger tiffers said ... (January 27, 2007 9:40 AM) : 

i only discovered you when you guys invaded new york with michael leviton. but ever since then, despite the frequent emails, i read you everyday. its nice to hear music and hear new bands and things that are different from the mainstream and produced "music." i always love reading your articles and hearing the new sounds that you like as well. i almost never comment on these things, but felt as i should have after reading today's blog. i hope everything goes well.

 

Blogger bhive01 said ... (January 28, 2007 2:28 PM) : 

Yeah, Cheers and good luck Jax. And, may we all continue to rock!

 

Blogger Dri said ... (January 28, 2007 5:18 PM) : 

you don't know me.. but we have a few mutual friends (greg & justin), unfortunately i fell victim of the black thursday since my dept at emm was cut. crazy times. i hope you're okay, but seriously the way i see it - it is a blessing in disguise and things have a weird way of happening in the most humanly f*cked up way possible.

 

Blogger Kelly & Jose said ... (January 30, 2007 7:50 PM) : 

We sympathize with you Jax and have faith that things will work out -- you are so very talented :)

Also share a love of the breathtaking film Baraka -- it definitely helps one find peace. . .

Good Luck*

 

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