Thursday, February 25, 2010

#62 Fool out of prison

Fool out of prison

Today has been draining for me, a few things did not go well for be as I got up out of bed, so my day did not start off so hot. But last night I promised myself to do a few things, and regardless of how I felt, I had to go about those things.

One of the things was to turn in my book journals for the Nielson Ratings Company, yeah, our house was selected as one to participate in the week-long survey. I must say, it was pretty exciting, knowing that what little info I could provide would help set the tone for billion dollar media entities like NBC, CBS and so forth.

I had to mail the booklets off this morning, so that clearly was the intent. But at the same time, I had to send something off to pay my student loan debt. If I told you how much I sent, you would laugh at me, but hey, its all I could afford to send. I went to the post office, got a money order and mailed it off. That makes two errands accomplished.

The third was based on a promise I made to a guy in a store a few weeks back. I talked with a person at a religious supply store, and I could tell that business was not looking so hot. In fact, it was as cold as the temperature today, although we didn’t get the snow I thought we would get.

At any rate, I told him the next time I come by, I would bring to him an example of an ad he could possibly use if he decides to advertise in local radio. I wrote the ad yesterday, but I went further than that. It was too easy for me to just write a simple 30 second ad, I went further and wrote 2 pages on the importance of advertising in that town, and why the ad I wrote could prove beneficial. It explained things I learned while in college, and while working in radio, to help him realize the potential of advertising.

When I went to the store and gave it to the guy working there, he read it and told me how much he appreciated the effort it took to write that. I wasn’t asking for any money, although I really needed it, but I gave that guy my word that I would do it, so on my honor there it was. We talked about an hour about the problems the store was having, and I kept sharing info of different ideas to help the store generate money.

It’s interesting because he said that the owner of the store told him that this was a dream he wanted for the past 8 years or so, and when he saw the spot open he said that “God told him” to open a store there. So he did.

But the store has been there for a year, and business is very, very slow. In the time I talked with the guy today, which was about an hour or so, several people came IN to look, but nobody bought anything. I could see the frustration that this guy had, because the owner of the store was his uncle, but he told me that if things don’t change inside of a month, he may have to consider leaving the store, which would but a serious cramp on the business, since the owner and his wife have primary jobs.

With my background knowledge of media, and some of the businesses I have advertised for, I was able to give him a number of leads on what a small business could do to generate income, but ultimately it came down to the people who stepped in that store to actually purchase something, rather than look around. I will admit, this guy is quite optimistic, but there was no hiding the fact that this religious supply store could not last another year making little to no money. Some of the items he had in there were there when they first opened, and there were gaps in some areas where products should have been.

I spent a lot of time talking with him, keeping him encouraged and things like that, and about 1:30 I decided to go on and walk home. Buying a Butterfinger and Coca-Cola might not have been the best idea when it is like 35 degrees outside, but I did, and walked on home.

I wonder to myself often, how big a FOOL am I, to keep trying to do good things, when my state of affairs is so terrible? Is there really a benefit to help others, at the cost of yourself? Do we really place a redeemable value on an ex felon if he does 100 good deeds, or do we just remember the one thing he may or may not have done wrong?

The latter is far more true than you know.

I am reminded how very true this is by my own experiences. When a Christian radio station was near belly up, after their General Manager died, I came in and helped save the station by teaching one of the co-managers how to run a radio station, without asking for any money. I created local sports to help save the station and give the community something, and it worked. But when those same people…Christians…found out about my past, it all went downhill.

It seems I wasn’t good enough for them because of my past, but by ignorance I was more than good enough for them…in fact, I saved that station. Still, it is worthless because I apparently have no redeemable value.

So why bother, why would or should an ex felon continue to do right, if society will never allow a person to contribute? Society says they want ex felons to be a positive contribution to the community when they get out, but when those same guys try to do that, we only remember the past…and continue to past judgment on that.

I didn’t get any emails today, but I have noticed that my blogs are being read. I can tell which of my blogs get more attention, and which subjects are apparently favored. So I know there are people out there that want answers, but so few are willing to ask. Is it because you don’t trust me?

If it is, cool, I can live with that, heck, there are lots I don’t trust either. But if you are spending time reading my blogs, and yet don’t trust me, we have a problem. If I am giving you a service or product that you like, but you are not willing to at least interact, it is much like those people at that religious supply store. People go in, look around, and leave. And many of those people have been in there several times, so it is apparent that they are interested.

So what do I need to get you to email me or make a comment…A NICE COMMENT. What will it take to encourage you to make a step towards maybe peace of mind? If had the money I would offer free prison cards or a free prison encouragement certificate to anyone who asks…but I am not in such a position…yet.

How many of you are gonna read the next 100 blog entries before you do anything? We can talk about your problem right now, and I can blog my thoughts on it here, if necessary I can write 20 pages on it if it helps. Believe me, I have done that before.

I can be like a personal coach in your situation, helping you find a solution. Just like that guy in the store, there are problems that are frustrating to him. He wants that store to succeed, for his uncle and aunt but there are lots of problems with the business. But for every problem there is an alternate solution, one that can still get them where they want to be.

Can it be any different with you? If you have a loved one in prison, don’t you want to hear some options of what you can do? Somebody is searching about whether their loved one can go to college if he went to prison, somebody else is searching for prison books, another is a mother with a son in prison. Do you think that I might be able to answer some of those questions?

Well, if so, let me know. That’s why I am blogging to stimulate interest to my books, cards and other products, while giving the reader my best answer. So consider that, my email is derf4000 AT embarqmail (DOT) com. Yeah I know, its not a link, that’s because it is better to write it that way than to put it all together; it helps prevent spam. But if you are serious about getting in touch, it is a small thing to do.

Anyways, keep your eyes out for my prison themed short story, “Defending Job” which will be shared on the blogspot prison blog. Please get in touch if you need me to blog about a prison issue. Until then…

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