When You Are Thankful For A No

July 17th, 1998 is a day I will never forget.  

I had applied for a job at TV station to be their sports producer and it was out of state.  I had only been at channel 2 for a year but I had zero opportunity to work in sports there so I found a job opening at this station and applied.  I got together some writing samples, pieced together a little video montage and put it on tape, went to the post office and sent it off.  

A few weeks later, the news director called me and said he was impressed and wanted me to come down and we set a date.  At the time, I was married and my wife was 5 months pregnant but this opportunity was amazing.  Good pay, covering the SEC and a bright future with the company that was on the move.  

THIS WAS IT!!  This was the job.  I went on the interview and knocked it out of the park.  Was quizzed by the boss on sports, answered all the questions correctly, and suggested a few things in coverage that they agreed on and was on cloud nine.  

Personally, my life was in shambles.  I was a piece of crap in every sense of the word.  Awful husband, awful person and you were dumb and stupid and I knew it all.  No one was as great as me.  No one.  I was pathetic and have often said, if I could go back in time and fight me, by God, I would have.  And still feel that way.  Absolutely pathetic.  

As I left that day, I turned to the news director and said, “How did I do?”  He replied, “On your way out of town, stop and get yourself an apartment guide.  You are going to need it.”  Wow, did I just hear that correctly?  Yes sir, stop and get yourself an apartment guide?  Oh, my life is going to be awesome.  

Garth Brooks had that great song called Unanswered Prayers and I have heard that 500 times.  Nice song, doesn’t apply to me so whatever.  Oh boy, was I wrong.  My mother said, “You know, you are having a baby in a few months?”  “Yes ma’am but I will get the job, have the baby in Nashville where the doctors are and then they will come down and it will be perfect.”  Some silence on the phone and my mom said, “I don’t like this.  Seems to me if you don’t fix yourself, you are just carrying these problems to another place.”  

Moms.  What do they know, huh?  I got back to work at channel 2 and was just biding my time until this T.V. station called and said, come on down.  They said they had one more candidate to interview the following week but no way would he better than what I just did.  I then started looking at that apartment guide book and picked a place out.  

That phone call I was waiting on desperately, never came.  Nope.  The week went by and no call.  Then the next week.  O.K. what do I do?  I will call the news director.  Left a message.  Left another one.  And finally a call back. 

We’ve decided to go in a different direction and hired someone else but thanks for your interest. 

Crushed.  Absolutely crushed.  This was my chance.  29 years old and was going to change the world. 

Yet, a simple no changed my world.  Forever.    

Had I gotten that job, pretty sure I would have kept up my awful ways of a being a husband and a piece of trash.  I ended up getting divorced the next year anyway, (see piece of trash above) and because we stayed in Nashville, all of our family was still here so my daughter was around her grandparents and my mom, which was an amazing blessing, especially when she started getting sick and I was close.  I would have been in this other city, with friends and family so far away.  

Eight years later, the good Lord blessed me with a son who I love more than life.  I ended up getting a crack on air at channel 2 and now, 16 years later, by the grace of God, still gainfully employed in T.V.  I am surrounded by some wonderful people in my personal and professional life that I am grateful for every single day.  I still get knocked down quite a bit, but I bounce back up and move on.  

I learned so much from that NO in my life.  So much.  I cleaned my life up in every way I could have.  I humbled myself to a point that was so therapeutic because I had never done that before.  My addiction was being a complete and worthless man and not knowing it. 

Every morning and evening when I say my prayers, I tell Him thank you for that no because in the end, it turned out to be an amazing YES.  I look around and know very well I deserve none of this, but thankful for it all.   

Trust me,  I am living proof that God and faith are an amazing combination.  

July 17th, 1998.  Thank you. 



  1. Ernest Harper July 18, 2019 11:37 am  Reply

    Awesome story and thanks for sharing. Mine is very similar but involves an unexpected sickness.
    Hopefully someone who needs to hear this will read it. We serve a merciful God who is always there for us.

    • Joe Dubin July 22, 2019 2:45 am  Reply

      Always there for us, if we are willing to let Him in that door and then it is life changing. Thanks for reading.

  2. michele July 19, 2019 11:20 pm  Reply

    Reading this did hit home with me. I am in the job (elder care) after 1 1/2 yrs of being told no. Even though I was over qualified…God knew where I should be.I am so happy for you and all your success in work and life. Your positive attitude is your best gift. Thanks for sharing.

    • Joe Dubin July 22, 2019 2:44 am  Reply

      I had all the answers. You were dumb, I was smart and you would always be dumb and on and on and on. I needed that humbling in the worst way and so glad I got it. Remember, no one can really tell you no, except for you.

  3. Dean McCondichie July 20, 2019 12:29 am  Reply

    Joe, I knew you around that time . . .and I thought you were an amazing guy. Never would have guessed you were having personal challenges. You covered it well. I would like to thank you for being you in 1999 – 2003 (while I was at News 2). I had tons of success working with you and I am extremely grateful for how professional and cooperative you were. I received multiple Emmy nominations because of your contributions. Glad you got the “NO” from the other station too . . .otherwise, we may have never worked together.
    Thank you. Thank you.

    • Joe Dubin July 22, 2019 2:42 am  Reply

      You are a good man, Dean. We had some good times then, I was just able to hide my pathetic lifestyle behind a smile and some humor. That was a blast back then and glad we are still friends.

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