...with 10 being the best possible outcome, I'd rate this afternoon's meeting a 6.5-7.
A year ago, or maybe even six months ago when I was fresh out of the hospital and simply glad to be alive, it might have been an "eight." Or even slightly better than that.
The guy I went to see was most cooperative, most willing to help. I've heard that song before, but am thinking it was genuine. Supposedly, he will get in touch with some of his own fairly high-power contacts tomorrow and try to sell them on working with me.
There was someone else at the meeting, another guy who occupies a major-league position at a large corporation I've dealt with (as a writer reviewing their products) for many years. At first I wasn't too happy about his presence; after all, I had to reveal some some things that embarrass the hell out of me in order to explain what I was after and why I was after them.
It turned out he too was a great resource, suggesting another option -- one related to his corporation -- and offering to push me as the one who could handle it.
All this gave me a solid boost in confidence for my long-term future, but did nothing about the immediate crises I have to deal with.
PARENTHETICAL I-GRADE-ON-A-STEEP-CURVE THOUGHT: A "10" meeting would have brought forth a solution to both short- and long-term problems. I wasn't prepared in any way to ask for that, but a small part of me hoped something would be volunteered. I dropped such hints as I thought proper, though. I make a lousy beggar....
The second guy also said something that was, for me, somewhat jaw-dropping: "You have a great name in the business," he said, "maybe you're not exploiting it properly."
I won't say I had no idea -- I have a few fans -- but I haven't heard it said so explicitly by someone as respected and high up the food chain before.
I wish I had heard that a year ago, too. It would have made me feel good. But I didn't know either of these gentlemen well in those days.
Today, his words made me feel incredibly sad. I can only contrast them with the very real possibility that things can still go completely sour, that my reputation won't do me any good when it matters most.
Still, the meeting gave me some slight hope that there will be a future.
My problem: I have to somehow get the vultures to stop circling for a month or so in order that I can relax -- slightly -- and use what energy I still have to appear confident, be imaginative and aggressive, keep doing what I have been doing while offering fresh ideas to a new audience.
That seems impossible. I have to try, though, even if it will involve yet more humiliations that will be hard to endure.
I had to pull the car off the freeway on the drive home so I could (how do I say this discreetly?) part company with my lunch. This was a rough one.
Seems I can't do anything these days without feeling some pain.
14 hours ago