Saturday, April 08, 2006

1000 Miles and 4 Spot's Doesn't Make You A Carny

The Carny world is tough to break into. It takes a long time. What do I mean by "break into?" To truly be on the "inside." There are lots of people who think they're on the "inside" because they've worked a few years on the road. Being on the inside is when you're connected to everyone who matters or makes the decisions. Just being recognized as having been around for awhile only means you're a familiar face. When you truly start to get noticed by the people on the show who have any real say in anything is when you're recognized as "Inside!" That comes from working for the same person or company for a long time.

I started working for my boss in 1980 as a kid. He owned a lot of stuff on the show and ran some of the shows stuff. None of the higher ups or the family that owned the show so much as looked at me let alone said hello to me for about 8 years. Over that time I'd been privy to or been in the bosses motor-home or our office trailer when he had meetings with other independent owners or the show owners. I never attended meetings he had with other owners or show owners in their office trailers or motor-homes for a number of years.

It was only around the late 80's that anybody who had a say over anything on the show ever really noticed me or even acknowledged my presence without the boss around. I might be winding down in the cook house behind the rides waiting for the Midway to shut down and one of them would join me at my table and talk to me like they'd known me for years....which they had. They just didn't let me know they had noticed me but they had, and now they trusted me. This works the same for everybody. Anyone who works on the show that knows everyone and can call in favors paid their dues. They went years not getting noticed.

I find that life is a lot like this. People expect too much too soon and whine when they don't get it like "right now", because they deserve it dammit. It's a common attitude in life these days. There's a real sense of entitlement in the world today that I don't really understand. I learned a lot on the show as a kid that's served me well in life. Life is hard. No one owes me anything. Earn peoples trust. Cliques exist everywhere and in every industry. It takes time before you really fit in or are welcomed in and given a place. Pay your fucking dues.

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