9 Things About Big Rob: #5 The Time He Was Almost Fired
For thing number five, I figured I’d break out a story that’s funny now but wasn’t so funny then! The time I was 100% sure I was getting fired!
Back in 2004/2005, I worked a lot with the legendary Lewis & Floorwax in Denver. They had this new bit that they did on the air where they would have people call in and tell them if they were going “commando” that day. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it just means you’ll have less laundry to do! I believe it was called Commando Friday but honestly, it was over 15 years ago and it could have been any day of the week!
After doing this bit weekly for almost a month they thought it would be funny to have a “commando van” to go out and confirm some of the various commando claims (radio was a whole lot different back in that era) and I was to be the driver. My boss found an old, crappy Dodge Van and bought it just for this bit. Yes, radio promotion departments used to spend money like it grew on trees! I had not seen the van but I was sent to the store to buy paint to give it a nice camouflage makeover.
Mind you, I never saw the van. I just knew it was an old, crappy Dodge van. I get to the show, and they sent me down to paint it while the show is going on so they can call and check in on my progress. I’m hand painting this white van with spray cans and honestly, it’s looking pretty good!! At one point, I tried to open the door to move it because it was close to a tree, but the key didn’t work. I honestly didn’t think anything of it because sometimes the keys on those older cars would stick if cold etc.
I finished the painting, go upstairs to the studio and I can hear the guys talking “well, who’s gonna tell him?! He has to know!” At that point, my boss comes screaming around the corner “Rob, WTF?!” I was confused because I thought I did a good job.. but he had me follow him to a balcony and pointed to a van in the upper parking lot. “You see that van? ‘Yes…’ THAT was the van you were supposed to paint!!” My heart sank! I knew I had blown it BAD! That was it, my radio career was over just like that!
Fortunately, Lewis & Floorwax thought it was such a funny bit that they saved me from getting canned. I’m serious! I 100% would have been fired on the spot had they not stepped in and saved my butt! Still grateful for those men to this very day. For more than just that, but especially that! Turns out the van I painted was an old engineering van so I lucked out a little there too. I did have to call the Engineer who owned the van and break the news live on the air. He truly didn’t seem to care one bit. I believe he even said it needed a paint job!
And in case you’re wondering… Yes. I had to go paint the second van too which sucked because my hands were sore as hell from the first one! So there you have it, the time I was positive I was cooked, I ended up making it through thanks to two of the best to ever do it. Lesson learned! Thanks, L&F.
What’s something you really messed up on? Can you top my story? Email me BigRob@TownsquareMedia.com or slide into my DM’s!