I apologize for this post coming up late. I was a bit down with my luck but impressively it turned around in the midnight hour. That is not an exaggeration.
My first meeting was supposed to be at noon. However, a location had not been set. After learning on Monday that there was little to do but wait, I took my time getting up in the morning. Might as well be rested and relaxed when I showed up, after all.
Upon arriving, I had to bolt over to the FedEx office to print off my resume. This was something I meant to do before arriving in Nashville but oddly, I was out of paper in my apartment when I went to print them. Unfortunately, although there were computers available in the Opryland, that office charged you not only to use the computers, but also to print anything. Sure, it may have cost me $8, but if I want to get a job while I'm down here, I've got to be willing to shell out some money so I can have hard copies of my resume.
It got to be around noon so I went to location where I was told this guy normally hung out. I was constantly checking my cell phone over the next 20 minutes. What's going on? Did he not remember my cell phone number? Is the volume even on? Nothing.
A few minutes after noon, I fired off an email to the guy asking if something came up and that I was available for the rest of the day. Now that I look back, I think it's a bit ironic that I asked him to notify me if he was too busy to notify me. Well, I didn't get a response and although I knew that some of these people do have things pop up unexpectedly, I couldn't help but feel a little dread.
With it appearing that I wouldn't be getting an interview like I first thought, I ended up grabbing lunch with some of my Inside Edge coworkers. Joining us was the radio announcer for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the High-A minor league affiliate of the Dodgers. While we ate, I asked him about how he got into radio and although it wasn't my passion, how one would get into broadcasting. Simply put, his recommendation was that you've got to start really young. This is a field that vastly values experience, which he said is often accrued by working for a college radio station while you're still in school.
Now it was around 2:30 pm and I still hadn't heard anything from my interviewer. Since this was a contact from my IE friends, they led me to where this team normally met and they pointed out the other interviewer that was at the Winter Meetings. In between job applicants, I was able to sneak in and ask if he could contact the other guy to tell me what was up. At the very least, he should be able to get a response.
I stuck around for another two hours or so and killed some time by finally meeting up with Dave Cameron of FanGraphs. I wasn't looking for a job there (though it would be nice!), but I've interacted with him a few times on Twitter and I just thought it would be nice to meet another baseball writer in person. We talked for a few minutes and went our separate ways, which for me was back to my hotel room.
While I was there I ended up getting a text from a guy that wanted to meet with me later that night! Alright, my work from yesterday was paying off! He said to meet him at 8:45 pm (not a typo) at the hotel.
Well, I had already dressed down for the night but I threw my suit back on and raced over to the hotel to wait for him. Without knowing where to meet, I tried - and failed - to go to the main lobby of the hotel. Remember, I was entering through a lesser entrance this whole week and I had never taken a direct route to the lobby, so I ended up getting lost and must have walked 80% of the hotel just to get there. Eventually I did arrive and waited, only to be disappointed again. He chose to get dinner and said he wouldn't be available like he first thought.
Feeling despair that I had accomplished nothing over two days, I trudged back to my room. Doubts were certainly starting to flood my head. Was this trip a waste? I ended up calling my wife and best friend just to update them with the news and to get some encouragement that everything was worthwhile. I might as well get my spirits back up as I had a meeting with a minor league team early Wednesday morning.
Well, while I was on the phone with my best friend at 11:30 pm, my phone jumped to life. It was the guy that cancelled our 8:45 meeting, saying he wanted to meet right then! Yeah, not a joke. I was already in bed but lied that I was still at the hotel, threw on some clothes and bolted over to the Opryland.
I nearly didn't get inside thanks to the doors being locked, but an unassuming smoker took pity on me and let me into the building. I jetted over to the bar and was able to meet with the guy, and we ultimately had a two-hour conversation there. Almost entirely about baseball, what work he did, I got some questions on what I thought about the major league transactions from earlier that day, it was a blast. Though it wasn't an official interview, I did express my interest in a job and he admitted that he wasn't hiring at the moment but that he'd keep in touch over the next few months. I'll take it, considering this had suddenly become my best lead.
Finally at 1:30 he bid adieu as he had a meeting at 9:30 today. Considering I had one at 9 myself, I felt it was certainly a good time to return back to my room. Just in case, I checked my email one last time before I went to bed, and I did have a response from the guy that was supposed to meet me at noon. He apologized that his day was hectic and he never had an opportunity to contact me and asked to see how much longer I would be staying in Nashville. As I type this now, I'm still awaiting a response, but I'm feeling far more encouraged after everything that happened late last night.
It's kind of funny with what happened yesterday. Before leaving Minnesota, I told my wife that I expected to have some sort of connection happen while I was parked up to a bar in the hotel. After returning to my bed, I couldn't help but pull off my best Tiger Woods fist pump as I realized that I accomplished that very thing that night.