In January I’ll have been doing automation for eighteen years. Not bad, considering when I was asked to go to a new cruise ship and learn automation, I didn’t know what it was.

I’ve done it on cruise ships, and for resident shows, and tours, and big events, and one offs. I could probably even claim I’ve worked on movies and TV, although it wasn’t specifically for that but more as an aside for a show I was already working on. I’ve been the boss, and the peon, and everything in between. I’ve worked with solid, reliable systems, and dodgy, skin of your teeth systems. And crews.

I’ve explained so many times that no, automation is not the same as the lighting or the sound. On several occasions, to the same people. That’s fine. I like what I do, and I’m mostly proud of what I’ve done, even if I wouldn’t always want anyone to see the actual shows themselves.

I got fired in August. First time for everything, I guess. But it sucks getting to 39, 17+ years under my belt, and getting let go. But the weird thing about it was, I knew it was coming.

I had a feeling about a week before it happened. Watched a guy go complain about me to management. But more than that, when I took the job I joked with people that I’d meet up with them when the tour swung through town, unless I got fired before then. I’ve never joked about that before, on any gig. But this one, for some reason from the moment I took it I was joking about it. I even asked when the show would need me in Europe, as I was planning a birthday trip. And added, assuming you guys would still want me by that point.

So yeah, I’m psychic. I knew it. But I would like to know, if I knew I was going to get canned, and I’d joked about it for six weeks before it happened after a month of work, why it still rankles? A friend said, on hearing of it, “Conrgatulations, you’re now a proper roadie.” So it’s not like it doesn’t happen. A bunch. And I was smiling on the way out the arena, for the first time in two weeks. It was definitely best for me. But still.

And this is totally different from the time I was put on a corporate black list for a cruise line. I wasn’t fired that time, and in fact they extended my contract by two weeks while they tried to find a replacement. I just wasn’t offered another contract (for a while, at least; got an email two years later asking if I was still interested in working for them. I politely (and arrogantly) declined).

Anyway, I’m writing this at work, a different job, so the biggest impact getting fired has had on me is my fragile ego.