Around this time Alissa got a job at her friend's pet store. Th pet store was located in Old Saybrook, CT which meant a nice 45 minute drive to the shore. I use to drive her down there, drop her off and come home and lounge till I had to go pick her up.
This was also the time I began getting into poker.
It was literally the time of my life. For the first time since 1998 I was happy in all aspects of my life. Had a good paying job that only primarily occured on the weekends, and on Mondays through Fridays I dropped Liss off and played poker at Foxwoods. Life was great and profitable. The only problem, if any, is that we were living with her parents and we wanted to break out on our own. Of course, this required more money than I currently had.
I continued maxing out the total jobs possible with the dj company. It started with 2 gigs a weekend, then turned into 3 and 4.
In July things started to change. Apparently the corporate office was not happy with Tony (my boss) and the way he was handling the connecticut branch of our company. He had hired a bunch of flameouts (thus why I got a lot of gigs) so there were only 3 djs servicing the entire state of CT.
It was decided that Bill (picture if you will a 50 year old dude who never left the 1950s era of rock n roll music, and you have Bill) who ran the NY outfit would also run the CT branch.
At first Bill seemed like a cool dude, it was a welcome change from Tony who, although was the best DJ in CT, he was a horrible manager.
Bill brought in a new class of djs who seemed competent and apt to stick around. Everything was going smoothly until one night....
As DJs we had to drum up our own buisness, this was primarily accomplished through C.A.N.s. (customer awareness nights) basically all the company djs in the area would converge at a scheduled hotel conference and we would put on a "show" for prospective clients.
Now admittedly, I'm not much of a people person and in unfamiliar settings I'm usually shy and reserved so I decided to use this as my angle. Tony was hyperactive and very crowd orientated so he snagged a good majority of the bookings, people loved his enthusiasm. John was our resident hip guy who dj'd in NYC on the weekends he wasn't working. I was the laid back guy who was aiming for the not too hip/not too showy dj. Basically I did what you wanted without the annoying flair.
At first it was depressing when I would come home at the end of the night after watching john and tony rake in the referrals, I even went so far as to act like tony at one of the cans, which resulted in 0 referrals, and me feeling like a tool. I vowed to just be myself and just deal with the shortcomings. Eventually, I got my niche going strong and the referrals came in.
Getting back to Bill, he scheduled his first can in Trumbull, CT. From Middletown it was a good 45 minute drive to a city not too too far from NYC. This was the first thing that ticked me and John off. Tony, as boss, at least use to hold the cans in the greater hartford area so it was never a long haul. To top it off, when we got down there and started our show there were only 4 couples there to see us. Compare that to the usual 10+ couples we usually have seen at other cans.
Suffice to say, john and I were both not amused by this.
This was just the start of things to come. Bill started setting up more cans near the NY border which was great for him (because he lived close by) but hell for the rest of us. Slowly any combination of us stopped going to every can (he also increased the amount of cans per month). Eventually he called a staff meeting to reem us out for not showing up to all the cans. He also informed us he was bringing in his more popular ny guys to the cans as well. Great! More competetion, and apparently more than an hour long drives back and forth were no problem fo these dudes.
The seeds of discourse amongst the ct faithful were planted, and as expected a bunch of djs quit. But I was not prepared for the way my dj career would end.
To be continued...
Tomorrow part 3: the end of DJ Slapz