Calvin 0:02
Hello and welcome to the midlife crisis podcast. I’m your host Calvin, also known as revparblems on Instagram. I’m excited to do this talk show with my best friends from high school and college. Steve and Mikko, what can you expect on this podcast? Well, I like to call it a talk show for Men of a Certain Age. We’re not quite old. But we’re the kind of guys that have to make sure we don’t mix our alcohol on a night out, you know? we’ll chat about current events and trending topics, and things that we just need to get on our soapbox about knowing us. We’ll be laughing the whole time. And ladies, don’t worry if you ever wanted to know what your husband or boyfriend talks about in the man cave. Stick around. Now, keep in mind, we’re old enough to remember when Parental Advisory stickers went on CDs. You don’t know what CDs are. You’re too young for this podcast. Speaking of which, make sure you have your headphones in. It’s NSFW as these kids say. We’ll be bringing that flavor to your weekly on your way to work while you’re shaving, or just sitting around wondering why your back hurts but let’s get this show on the road.

Hello and welcome to midlife crisis podcast. I’m your host, Calvin, here, as always with my boy, Steve and Meiko bringing that flavor to your ear on a weekly basis. This week we’ll be discussing career growth. whose responsibility is it? Yours or the companies. We’re also talking about taking solo vacations. Give you a Chris Rock quote of the week, and a favorite segment, get off my lawn where we talk about things we just fed up with. So with no further ado, which is a very strange word when you think about it. Let’s get started. Fellas, what’s going on? Let’s get good. Good. Excited to get this podcast off and running with you guys. Little background is Steve is my best friend from high school. Hello. And Mikko is my best friend from college. what up what up? So very excited to be doing this project with you guys where we just want to kick it on a weekly basis and just talk smack like we did back in the day. So I’ll start off with the intros. I am Calvin, also known as the creator of revparblems on Instagram. My background is I grew up in Brooklyn until I was about 12 years old. And then I moved to Westchester County, New York, where I went to Hamilton High School where I met Steve in my junior year. And we’ll leave it at that, because you know, there might be some incriminating stories out there. We’re both married men now. So you gotta keep it tight. And then from there, I went to the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, where I met Mikko, and we will definitely not talk too much about that on the first episode, because we’re not trying to get canned Oh, no, no, but while I was there, I did study Hospitality Management at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, which was great metallized great people there and was fortunate enough to start my career in the industry. So from there I started working for a Hilton franchise, right out of college and I spent about 20 years in the industry and various different roles from front desk did a little housekeeping. But about half of my career has been in revenue management, hence the name of the Instagram handle. And that is a quick synopsis of me and my background and to just give you an idea of why this is called midlife crisis podcast. I graduated college in 2001. many moons ago. Many many moons ago. Yeah. So for you younger cats, you know, LeBron was like four probably whatever.

Mikko 3:31
Or just to see just a little seed in his dad.

Steve 3:38
You know, I was wondering if you’re gonna take it there and you did and I’m glad you did.

Mikko 3:42
I always do. I always do, brother. I always do. I didn’t disappoint. Exactly, exactly.

Calvin 3:48
So the floor is yours. Whoever wants to step up to the mic.

Steve 3:52
All right, everybody buckle in. Because this is us giggling in the middle of it. Of This is exactly what went down in high school as I am sure it did with Calvin and Mikko in college. Everybody. I’m Steve 42 reside in Cleveland, Ohio with my wife of 18 years and my daughters for awesome, as Calvin mentioned, went together and met in high school in elmsford, New York, right at a college, I went to work for a company that I was working at during college. And they put in their sales department for selling software and hardware. And that’s what I do to this day, I’ve held various roles with all kinds of companies from Salesforce and ServiceNow to other smaller companies. into my off time I take up woodworking and I garden a garden like a bastard. No, it’s a lot of fun.

Calvin 4:43
Very good, very good. Right Mikko?

Mikko 4:46
All right, this is Mikko aka Mikko eats, aka meeko the Filipino obviously the name speaks for itself born and raised in the Philippines. I was an army brat growing up, grew up all over Germany got finally station in Maryland where I set down my roots, went to college at the University of Eastern Shore HBCU. For those that don’t know, does a historically black college and university. It’s where I met the black person on our panel today, Mr. Calvin. And obviously, that’s where we met Go Hawks, got my undergrad there in rehabilitation services, and then proceeded to work my way out to California where I currently reside. And yeah, 42 years old, graduated high school in 1997. You know, like the guys mentioned, that’s a long, long, long time ago. Known Calvin for Jesus. I don’t even want to

Calvin 5:46
Yeah, let’s not go there. move through

Mikko 5:51
messy podcasts and I’ve been in healthcare. I work at a health care HMO facility here in California for Going on 16 17 years, moved around and work my way up from simple clerk all the way up to upper management. So that is it.

Calvin 6:10
Awesome. Awesome. All right. So we’re just going to jump right into our first topic today, which is career building. And this came up and crossed my mind this week, because I listened to a hospitality podcast that I had a lot of issues with. And as I told the guys in the in the pre show, it’s an hour of my life. I’m never going to get back and I usually don’t feel that way. I really don’t. Yeah, yeah, I mean, I’m just going to come out and say it, it was ridiculous. And everybody’s entitled to their opinion, and you’ll hear us express our opinions on this podcast. You may agree you may not but it’s our opinions and they are entitled to what they said on the podcast, but I am also entitled to disagree with it. And my biggest issue was the guest on this particular podcast stating that one of his issues with the hospitality industry Was that companies did not seek out employees, inform them of open positions and suggest career paths for them. And I’m obviously paraphrasing, but there’s a lot of dumb to unpack from that statement. So I want

I want to throw that suitcase onto the table and just help me unpack that.

Steve 7:21
So say that to me, again, the companies are not doing a good enough job of telling employees when there’s opportunities to move up.

Calvin 7:28
Yes. And I think it was a bit more than just making an announcement. The way it came across was that this individual did not know that certain things existed. For example, they didn’t know that sales positions existed. They didn’t know that corporate positions existed, and that was because no one told him and the reason he even ever moved out of positions from the front desk, which is where the majority of the industry will start, right most of us start at the front desk. I’ve been a front desk started at the front desk. Yeah, me too, you know, that’s just a good entry level position. And his thought about it was that the companies didn’t do enough of a job of telling him of the other positions that existed. And to give a bit of background on my career, I did go to hospitality management school. And I was fortunate enough to start my career as a manager in a management position as a reservations manager at a Hilton franchise. And another point that was brought up on this podcast was that no one is going to hire you as a manager out of school. So this person also gave the advice that if you want to get into hotels and hospitality, don’t even bother go into hotel school, because the money you could make between the ages of 18 and 22, when you’d likely be in school. You’re going to start at that level when you get out anyway, so you basically wasted four years to paraphrase what he said, which again is moronic, right, and then the host responded saying Well, yeah, no one’s gonna hire you as a manager out of college. And I was like I did. I was, yeah, I walked right into him. So I was one of the people again, I know I was fortunate to be able to do that. But and I’m not saying that I got that position simply because I went to hotel school. What I am saying is the experience that I gained and the knowledge that I gained while in hotel school allowed me to get that position. Because Yeah, I worked at that hotel, the summer before graduating, which is called an internship, which any good reputable hotel school will advocate for you either advocate or make it mandatory before you graduate. Now, our school is not going to be on any list of hotel management schools in the country. It was a good program, but we’re not the Cornell’s at Johnson and Wales in these type of programs. And even that program made sure that we were prepared to get jobs when we got out of school. So my issue with with saying that it’s somehow the Companies responsibility. Ultimately, it’s up to you where you end up in your career. But I’ll let you guys jump in as well. And then we’ll make this more of a collaborative conversation. First,

Steve 10:11
a guy who’s offering career advice, who does not know that his own company provides career advancement opportunities, is either completely let’s just call it you’re either stupid or inept. I mean, the guy just sounds like he has no idea what he’s talking about. And he’s just trying to create content for something because I cannot believe that someone who can figure out how to have a podcast, much less be a guest on a podcast, doesn’t know that his company doesn’t have career opportunities for him. And if that is the case that they are not telling him about, maybe they know he’s just good drone. And that’s it. Yeah.

Mikko 10:53
Yeah. That’s kind of like where I was going to lean towards where, as a manager myself, I know what my staff strength In weaknesses and what they’re capable of and not capable of, so when there’s opportunities that arise, my very well educated, my hardest working or even just like my people, person, staff members, I give them that opportunity. Hey, this job posting, here’s the job posting number. I think you’ll be really good at it. Get your resume Ready, go apply for that thing, because I see you going further than what you’re doing in this department here. My other staff members who are inept. I say, Hi, good morning, Hey, hello, continue to do a good job at work. And I don’t give them the opportunity to apply for those things. Because at the end of the day, my recommendation for them to apply for a job were reflected later on on me if that person wasn’t able to do job so know, certain people I don’t make job recommendations for they don’t know anything about the job boards, but those job boards are available for any employee, they just have to go look for it right

Calvin 11:58
100% right. And The tone I got from the statement wasn’t like a job board, because that’s mandatory. And I do think that is the responsibility of the employer to make that known. These are the opportunities that are there. They could be a posting their HR, it could be on companies now have extra nets, you can take a look and see what positions are open internally, and most places will make sure you have to post it internally before you can go externally to any sort of job posting positions and companies. But what I took from it and what it took from this statement, where I think this guy’s coming from, is it’s somehow the employers job to figure out what you want to do. It was more than, hey, these positions are available. And then oh, okay, well, let me figure out what these are. It’s like, well, such and such, what are you interested in? What are your career aspirations and what do you want to do? Where do you want to be in five years now? In an ideal situation, yes, HR would ask you all those questions. Ideally, that should be coming from your direct manager. Your direct manager should be sitting down with you on a regular basis. Whether it be annually, quarterly, hopefully on a regular basis and giving you feedback of the things you can do better in your current role and how you want to segue your current role into the future, any good manager should know like Mikko alluded to which one of his people want to move up and which one of his people are good enough to move up. But you should know, the needs wants aspirations of your staff and their skill set. But to sit here and think that someone is supposed to come down, and lay it out for you, is completely idiotic. And I’ll give a quick synopsis of my career. My career has not at all been a smooth path. And you might think so I got a management position out of college, but you know, let’s be real. A reservations manager is like the lowest manager in the hotel, and that’s fine. I was coming out of college

Mikko 13:55
still managed, right, exactly, exactly.

Calvin 13:57
You know, I had a title I was pleased with that, uh, you know, at the time the salary I was making sounded great. I was like, you get all that in a year. What? I move out of my parents house tomorrow. You think you’re making money, whatever. But, you know, I went from there. I jumped into restaurants for a while he worked for for Gordon Ramsay, which was a lot of fun. And we could have a whole podcast on stories from there. But realize f&b world was not for me. So I came back to hotels. And when I was at my first hotel at a reservations manager, you report to the director of revenue or a dorm as we would call them, in the industry. And that person was just a miserable Fuck, he just always looked beat down stressed, and I was like, that job sucks. I don’t want to do that job. So which is what led me to try something new and go into restaurants and just figure out a different part of the industry and see if that was for me. It wasn’t. Came back to hotels. Again, as a reservations manager and the director. I work For then, was a lot more pleasant and just had a better attitude about the job. So I sought out the opportunities with her. And I went to her and said, Hey, can I learn more about what you do? And I inserted myself into meetings, not to participate, just to listen and learn and absorb what was happening in those rooms. Because if you want to make that next step, you’re going to need to know that nobody’s going to give you the job without you knowing anything. Right? You know, you need to get some level of experience and exposure to it, which is why you take on projects I started doing forecasting for her, I started doing different analysis and different projects that any manager will tell you, there’s this shit about your job you don’t like, right? And there’s some things I don’t really want to be bothered with this. So if you have someone who’s eager beneath it, that becomes a learning opportunity. And I’ve done that too many of my staff over the years say You know what? You want to learn Okay, great. They’re handled. rooming list cuz I don’t want to be bothered with this and you know, do some analysis on it. And that frees me up to do something else, right? But she’s not going to come to my desk and say, Hey, Calvin, do you want to become a director of revenue one day, I’m going to teach you people got their own shit to do. You know what I mean? People have their own life and career, don’t worry about, they’re not coming down to ask you what you want, you’re going to need to raise your hand and walk in there and say, This is what I want. And if they don’t help you find another person who will or another company who will, but where you end up is up to you and it isn’t on no way shape or form on the employer. And people like to deflect responsibility for their own career and their own life to someone else. So they have someone to blame, if it doesn’t work out the way they want it to. And hundred percent agree. Yeah. You know, do you guys have any examples in your career of how you’ve gotten to the level you are now you guys are both in management positions?

Mikko 16:58
Well, just two reflect on what I was saying earlier, I did get a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services, but do I work in rehab services now? No. So my bachelor’s degree didn’t help me in my current career because why I ended up doing with moving to California, where that particular position needed a master’s degree. And the master’s degree was something I just wasn’t willing to do at that particular point in my career. So I started off as a medical coder, got into this large hospital HMO. And then from there, I didn’t like the management I moved into medical records, which is a step down. And then from there, I took medical records and moved it to a supervisory position but I mean, I went through levels every year or 16 months to 18 months, I would always move up from clerk to front desk clerk to deposition clerk, two records release of information clerk to a lead to an Analysts to a data analyst to a senior analyst to a project manager, eventually to a supervisor, and then eventually to a management role. And it took all those levels, all those steps, and I didn’t have, you know, someone just saying, hey, there’s a job for you, hey, you’d be good for this. I kept my eyes and ears open and said, hey, there’s this position. I have a bachelor’s degree, which kind of helped me open up doors to be honest with you without a bachelor’s degree, I wouldn’t be in the management position. That would be because that was kind of like my Joker. My ace in my hand is like, they’ll tell me Oh, I don’t know about the experience. You’re not really part of that department. But haha. bachelor’s degree. Oh, here we go. Oh, tell us more about that. And then you know, you lead into prior experiences, prior responsibilities, all the things that you’ve done and accumulated over the years and that helped more doors open for me than I think anything else? Yeah, absolutely.

Steve 18:56
See, Microsoft started off in two Direct Sales to schools and colleges and universities right out of college. I’ve been working for these guys full time all throughout college. And then I came back looking for a reference. The owner looked at me, he goes, you’re my new sales guy. And I thought, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I was pretty stupid. And I’ve heard both of you say this, each in your own way, in your descriptions just now. But you know, the really important thing you need when you come out of college is a mentor. You know, find someone who’s going to take you under their wing, show you the ropes, so you can make that determination really quickly about you know, is this the right thing for me, but give it a year at least. And I found this guy or we found each other and he was a His name is David St. JOHN. He was a used car sales manager. He blew my doors off right away. He taught me a ton. You know how to use perceived weaknesses as strengths and just all of these things. So I think that’s critical when you’re starting out and whether you’re in a management position or not, you know, you always have the opportunity to help somebody out. You know, someone’s coming up their junior to you help them out. And so I started off doing that transition into software sales. And then I took a really hard right. And my wife and I, we quit our jobs. I was living 58th floor of downtown Chicago high rise and moved to South Korea for three years to teach English ended up at a university It was a ton of fun could definitely be an episode about them, but came back dived right back into software sales, but I I started taking a different route, a more serious route with it and quickly I ended up at a marketing company doing digital marketing, and then went to one of the biggest software companies in the world. I went to Salesforce and I am now at a smaller company. I love it a lot. But the complexity of the sales that I’m doing has grown with each role. So I’ve worked with large enterprise companies. So that’s more than a billion in revenue and 5000 employees. Sheesh, that’s what I do. I was just gonna say, while I don’t directly manage people in my role, I’m responsible for managing a lot of people on a project. Right? Right. So if I’m selling something, I have to manage like 12 people’s activities on a project to make sure that we’re all working towards the same thing, right? In addition to managing the client, so

Calvin 21:33
which, which could be even more difficult the way you look at it, because you only have these people for a short span of time, right? You don’t have the luxury of spending time with them to learn their skills and weaknesses and stuff like that. You’ve got to figure that out on the fly over the course of a few months to get a project done. So that’s a completely different skill set to someone like myself or maybe even Meiko in his role where you have the same employees for maybe a year or two. Right, right. Mm hmm. This kind of stuff just really bugs me because people really just need to, you need to take responsibility for your own life and your own career. It’s nobody’s responsibility but yours and don’t try to point the finger at anybody else for where you are. You know, after I got back into hotels and worked with the director of revenue who started to teach me, within a year and a half, I was laid off because at that point, hotel started to go to these call centers as opposed to having reservations on property. They realized that you could do what a lot cheaper by having big call centers with maybe 100 different agents, booking reservations for the entire company. I’m talking about your Hilton’s your Marriott’s, you know, you might be three call centers in the country for thousands of hotels, right? That’s much more cost effective for the business as you know, paying three or four people at each property to do that. So my department got liquidated and I was I was out of a job. But because I had raised my hand and started to learn revenue, I was able to get Revenue manager job without losing any time from that. So I went to this other company for a hotel that was in a pre opening phase and we’re working at a satellite office and started working there. The company loses funding on the project. So I’m laid off. So that’s two layoffs in a year. Within a couple of weeks, the same company calls me back for some other properties that they had, which I obviously he really took because I was out of work. And these hotels were in Brooklyn, which for where I live now in Westchester to take the train to Manhattan, and then take the subway all the way down into Brooklyn, then walk from the train station to the hotel was close to a three hour commute one way, jeez, damn. And this was before the Barclays Center went up. Right. So this was when it was kind of starting there. And a few hotels were just now starting to pop up. Now you go to downtown Brooklyn, it’s bustling. There’s tons of hotels, and it’s amazing. That’s the place to be now. You know a lot of people from Manhattan moved over there. But this is before all of that happened and three hours one way to get to work, and I did that for a few months. And before the year ended, I spent this is my 30th birthday, my wife and I went on vacation, lovely Virgin Gorda rosewood property and I’m feeling great. I come back and within two weeks, they laid me off. They eliminated my position, because again, they were going centralized, they were going to do the revenue management out of the corporate office, as opposed to having them all on property. So if for those keeping score at home, that’s three times in one year, I got laid off or my position eliminated. And then from there, I spent almost two years out of work where I was just doing odd jobs. I was like, coaching kids soccer and you know, I worked at a restaurant for a while, you know, they, they hired me to be some sort of said like a liaison. You have all this hotel experience. You can get the Yours just to recommend us and blah, blah, blah. I get there, and I’m a glorified host, you know, standing at the front, like seeing people, you know, to beat it up, like I’m a fucking college educated man with years of experience. I mean, and there’s nothing against hosting. I mean, I’ve done that job before that. But I mean, at that point of your life, it’s like, no, I need to be doing more than this. And I did all that I sucked all that up for almost two years, got another job at a big hotel in the city. But for less money than I was making before and a lower title. But I needed to get back in the game right and got back into the game and did the same thing. I kept raising my hand Hey, I need to move back up. I want to get back into revenue. And that was again, kind of reservations slash revenue analysts, which is a very entry level revenue position, and did all the same stuff. Go into meetings go into ownership meetings. This is when I started to get my eyes open to the what those conversations are like. And after about a year and a half of doing that by VPN. at the time said, Hey, you know what, we have a position in White Plains, which is where I live for a director. So I went from revenue manager to out of work to analyst to director, and I got a shot because I kept putting my hand up and I kept saying, This is what I want. I need more opportunity. I’m looking to get back into revenue, give me whatever you got. And fortunately for me, it was a great commute. I mean, it’s a 10 minute drive from home. But you know what, I went there and I got my ass kicked, because I walked right into a hotel that was about to undergo a renovation. I had never worked for Marriott before and their systems in in the industry, as anyone will tell you are archaic. Their system is from like the 1960s. And it’s never been updated. I had to learn that. And then there was Hurricane Sandy, which obliterated a lot of stuff and just made doing business very hard, but I could have made a lot of excuses. You know, I could have been like, Oh, well, hey, I’m laid off. What am I supposed to do? And I had a lot of hard times in my career. It wasn’t a smooth road at all. And once I got that position, I knew this is your shot. Don’t fuck it up, you have to make this work. And I did, you know, to my credit, and fortunately, everything worked out, I did do that. And I worked for one of the top hospitality companies, management companies in the country for close to a decade at that level. And a lot of people see that finished product and see, you know, your director of revenue and you make decent money and you can take vacations and you know, you’ve got the nine to five schedule and whatever, but they don’t realize what it took to get there. And it damn sure wasn’t sitting around at the front desk waiting for somebody to hand me a job. You know? Yeah. So it’s kind of silly. And that’s where I see a lot of that with people. And I hope that if you’re starting your career or if you’re newer in your career, that you really take that point to heart. It’s going to be up to you. Yes, stuff will happen. Should I didn’t plan to be laid off. I just certainly didn’t plan for three times. And none of us have planned for COVID you know, to Be furloughed? Hell no and right, and what is done to every single industry, but especially ours in the travel because nobody can go anywhere, right? You don’t plan for that. But it’s, it’s how you’re going to come out of it is what’s going to determine your career. Not your boss, not your company, it’s you. So, I really want to drive that home. And I hope that comes across clear.

Mikko 28:21
You hit it on the head, though, I think you hit it really on the head where it’s really all up to you. And if it wasn’t for you raising your hand up saying, hey, I want to learn more. Or even if your intentions were, I want to make more. Right? I want to make more money than what I’m making. Now. I want to make double this in a year or two. What I gotta do, I gotta raise my hand and ask those questions. Hey, can I do that? Hey, can I do this? Or, hey, what’s that all about? Because I did the same thing. You know, did I want to be a chart room clerk? You know, my whole career? No, but I knew it was a stepping stone. Mm hmm. You know, and then it’s like, hey, sure. You go to become an analyst, okay. Hey, you can’t go to the meetings. Do you want me to go to the meetings for you? Then it came to the point where I was attending the meetings for managers, you know, my manager, and then I was learning stuff. And then people got to know my name when I did the deposition closer, you know,

Calvin 29:10
you got to get your name out there

Mikko 29:12
Yeah. It’s like, Oh, it’s Mr. Miller. Oh, I’m Mr. Miller. Now Now, it’s not Mikko anymore. You know what I mean? And doctors and lawyers knew me. And so I’d built that reputation. And I used that reputation to kind of like springboard my career into like, the next level, but I went through the same thing as you. At the height of my management career, I got laid off, you know, and it’s those things where they just said, Hey, we don’t need senior data analyst and making X amount of money a year anymore. So they just laid us all off all across the board all over the company. And, you know, from there, I’m just thinking, you know, I was at that naive stage in my life where I was like, Oh, this is my career. I’m gonna make the most out of this. This is where I’m supposed to be and then just like that gone. Yeah, you know, so you know, you bounced back. I mean, I think I didn’t work for a year and a half burned through all my savings. I’ve applied at fucking Nordstrom and Saks Fifth and I’m getting these jobs passed over. I wouldn’t even get those jobs. I was just getting to the interviews and there were given jobs like old ladies who had more experience. Hey, you don’t know how to fold jeans, but Bertha does know. And she’s worked in gene sales for like the last 40 fucking years of her life. Yes. Oh, hey, we don’t need you. We need more birthdays. And I’m just like, well, I can learn I’ll take a pay cut and they said, Now we want to experience in gene folding. Fuck you just you have a college educated men can learn how to fold jeans. Exactly. And even willing to, here’s, here’s the funny I’m gonna add this clip. I rarely shared this with people. I ended up working for an adult DVD making company.

So if you knew me in college, you kind of saw this career.

Calvin 30:52
That’s hardly surprising.

Mikko 30:57
We’ll go into more details on that later on. Yeah, but uh, no, I did it. We didn’t film. You know, we didn’t film we took people’s submissions and made DVDs out of them. So a company sold the compilations we were in charge of just putting scenes together, hey, we want big and hairy. So we take, you know, 20 submissions we go through Actually, I made I made sure that you know, the adult actors were 18, the two to five sevens were legit. They’re just the, the little form that they fill out. And then I made sure that there was no product advertisement or placement, like Coca Cola can’t be shown the brand. You know, if they’re brushed their teeth, or Trojan the brand can be showing anywhere, stuff like that. So I did that for a little bit and then made that into a social media career because I was like, hey, let’s promote this on social media. And then we started doing that and then that became a marketing thing. Until we formed our own company, and then we decided, you know what, the Indian He’s kind of like slowing down a little bit, I need to get back into a career a nine to five because my wife and I go through infertility and the hospital that we work at infertility treatments were free, versus other hospitals where we were paying out of pocket. So I went back into the hospital setting and got hired as a manager because I had all those years of backgrounds before the adult industry, of course, didn’t help in that interview process, so I let that out. I didn’t feel the need to bring that up during the interview, and I left that out of my resume. But I think at the peak of my career, I was sitting high making good money. I never took a two week vacation ever in 10 years and then I took a two week vacation for my brother’s wedding. I came back I swear to God the day I came back the very first day I got called into HR with my manager. Hmm. And I got laid off. Yeah. Wow. And ever since then, I stopped taking two week vacation.


Calvin 33:03
You know, I think sometimes those things happen in life at those times were for it to really hit home. Same with me. As I mentioned, I was like on a high It was my 30th birthday, we went to Virgin Gorda, and it’s gorgeous. And whatever. And within days of coming back, it was like, Yeah, you’re fired. Yeah. You know, but since then I’ve been back there. So we went for my 35th birthday. And I’ve taken a couple of two week vacations over the past few years. So I only say that just to say you can go from being completely on your ass, to being able to do stuff like that. If you decide to do the work, you know, and don’t let those little bumps in the road just fuck you up. Like don’t take that little bump in the road and then just be in a depressive state for the rest of your life. bounce back.

Steve 33:49
You got a bounce back. Got a bounce back. If you’re not going to do it for you. No one’s gonna do that for you. Correct. I’ve been laid off twice. The first time was on Valentine’s Day. No joke. came home, I was good at my job. My manager was not an experienced manager. And he wanted to make an example of me. He fired me. Wow, I’ve since come back. And he tried saying hi to me at a conference in front of a group of former co workers. He’s very smug. I came back then just laid into him, you know, very quietly, but everyone knew that we were having a, you know, a heated conversation. That was actually quite fun. I got another job in July of that year, I was ready to take a bartending course Do you do whatever you have to do, right? You sit there in and you develop your skill sets, to now you have this, you know, freedom, this limited amount of freedom to go do whatever you want to do. Get the education you need to go do it. The second time, I was laid off, really messed me up. I was working at Salesforce in Chicago, and I had the opportunity to come home to Cleveland. So I took a role with this company as a small company and I’m Walking down Randolph street in Chicago near near green. And I got a call and it’s the HR woman saying, hey, that plane ticket, you have to come out to see us in three days to start your onboarding. You know what not gonna need it. We’re not hiring you. And I had already left Salesforce. I’d signed the paperwork with them and everything. And they had misrepresented their numbers to their board. And so they thought that they could hire extra headcount. And I couldn’t, and I’m getting ready to move out of Chicago. I’m getting ready to move back home. My daughter was eight months. Oh, wow. ish. And I know that I’m leaving, and I made it a full court press to get a job. And that was around as the week after Thanksgiving. So what December 1, and by mid January, I had a job for you, oh, great job work for this company called service now. They do it software as well as other things. But yeah, you have to be willing to get out there put in the work, make it your job to either get a better job or improve the where, where you’re at. Now you have to make it your job to do that. Exactly. Come on. No one’s going to do this for you. You need to do it for yourself.

Calvin 36:13
Absolutely, absolutely. And that’s why I wanted to bring this up. Because I know a lot of my followers also followed, you know, this person because we’re all in the same space and likely may have listened to that podcast. And if I could delete the episode, I would, because I think there’s just so much fuckin stupidity in there. And just so much misinformation and bad advice, that I think it’s actually dangerous for anybody to listen to, if you’re trying to build a career. So the best I can do is bring this here and I’m glad for you guys sharing your experiences and hopefully this will undo some of that damage because people really need to understand that it’s on you. It is on you. You need to go out advocate for yourself, raise your hand and it’s funny as a common denominator. We’ve all been laid off multiple times and and ended up doing pretty well for ourselves. So there’s a message in that there’s a lesson that that it’s up to you if you want it bad enough. But we will move on to our next topic. I’ve been really listening to one of my favorite books, which is called fear is my homeboy by Judy Haller. And I read it, but a year and a half ago, and it came along just the perfect time. For me. I went to a conference hospitality conference, and she was the keynote speaker and just kind of knocked my socks off. She was just fantastic. And obviously, she’s talking about overcoming your fear and dealing with that and how we deal with that. And I mean, there’s an element of fear anytime you’re trying something new, right? And her story has actually led me to finally get off my ass and sign up for the improv class that I did last year because I had been thinking about it. And I listened to her and then I bought the book, I read the book and I was like, Okay, I got to do it. Now I have to do it, you know so, but the part of the book I wanted to bring up because I’m as I’m really listening to what you hear different things and you pull different things because you’re in a different space now. She was advocating for taking solo vacations in order to connect with yourself. And I wanted to know how you guys felt about that. I mean, we’re all married. Right? So would you take a vacation by yourself? Have you and listen again, we’re married man. Would your wife allow it? This is put that on tape.

Mikko 38:19
Trying to get a divorce here

Calvin 38:23
Listen, I guess at that point, just say the answer is obviously no.

Mikko 38:29
Go ahead, Steve. I’ll let you take this one first, man.

Steve 38:31
So yeah, I’ve Marie and I have both taken vacations by ourselves. One of them was for over a month. And over my over my 32nd birthday,

Calvin 38:43
I got to hear this. So I just needed to I need to clarify for myself and also for the listeners here. So you took you took a month long vacation over your own birthday?

Steve 38:55
Yeah. By myself.

Mikko 38:57
No free pass though

Steve 38:58
No free no Just no

Calvin 39:02
I’m reading the wrong book. gotta read how to be a Steve.

Mikko 39:10
Right. got it right.

Steve 39:14
The first one was a month. I think the second one was,

Calvin 39:17
you did it twice!?

Mikko 39:21
I got it. I gotta hear this.

Calvin 39:23
No. Listen, we going on mute. It’s all unison Yep, I’m on mute. Real.

Steve 39:28
So the first time we were living overseas in teaching English in South Korea, and we would get like a month vacation at a time it was bananas. And it was over June. We were going home in November, but my wife wanted to go home in June. I didn’t want to so she went on a vacation with her friend and she went to Hawaii and then she came home. I went to Thailand, and I hung out in Thailand for like, two weeks. And then I went to Hong Kong with my cousin and Yeah, I was in Hong Kong, Bangkok. I went to Chiang Mai rode on some elephants. It was incredible. I did stuff that you just do stuff that the other person, you know, doesn’t want to do. And we’ve got a thing where, if I’m going somewhere International, it’s an easier sell if it’s somewhere we’ve already gone before, together, right? Right. And she doesn’t want to go again or do something, you know, whatever. So the second time I went, I wanted to go on a vacation before our daughter came. And so for two weeks, I went back to Thailand, and then I went to Japan. And again, I’m doing stuff that I know she doesn’t want to do. I went scuba diving, I just walked around and got lost in Japan, I went to that fish market that everybody talks about the starts with a tee. But you have to get their way early in the morning. And so I got up at like, 430 in the morning, I found my way down there. And I’m sitting there getting drunk on Saki and beer and eating the most amazing fish I’ve ever had in my life. With these guys getting off work, it was incredible. My wife would never do that. But we’ve already been to these locations multiple times. Together, but going off on a vacation by yourself, I mean, now it’s kind of weird given that we’re in a global pandemic, no one can travel I want to go travel again and I want to do wife You know, there’s a couple of trips that I’m like, I’m gonna go do that shipping myself. And it’s gonna happen. So you’re

Calvin 41:19
confident confidence says Go ahead, man. It’s gonna happen. You gotta write a book man. She’s out of here. She’s doing the same thing

Steve 41:29
that she wants to get what she wants to do Do you know yoga thing in the way early morning? Not my jam.

Mikko 41:37
There’s no way in hell Kat is gonna go on vacation went to Thailand to to Japan because all she would hear was eating some and then getting off. She wouldn’t even hear the eating some fish in and getting off work.

Unknown Speaker 41:58
Getting off no No, no.

Unknown Speaker 42:03
No. It’s a hard No. The last time I took

Steve 42:06
I am the elder statesman when it comes to length of marriage, though here yeah, that is true. That is 16 years together married two years together before that. So 18 years, you know, not

Mikko 42:16
the only time I’ve ever gone by myself on a vacation since I’ve been married was, I believe to go to Vegas with Calvin for two days. That was the only time Yeah, cuz I you know, Vegas for me is a 45 minute flight. So I think I flew there on a Thursday and I came back home, I believe Friday night after Karen left. Yeah, so that would be the only time other than that she is at my hip, Thailand. How No, she wouldn’t let me go to Thailand. Well, knowing me I’d be at the places where I shouldn’t be going to anyway. So maybe that’s my problem. Yeah.

Calvin 42:52
You cant blame her for that.

Mikko 42:55
Cal, would you? Would she let you go by yourself?

Calvin 42:59
Well, no. No yeah and that’s a hard No.I mean, we we can give we can give the short answer is no, you know,

but I guess you could call this kind of a solo vacation you guys probably both remember cuz I both asked you to go back in January I was going to Vegas for the black keys concert.

Unknown Speaker 43:21
Oh yeah, yeah concert all right yeah.

Calvin 43:23
So I got you guys know done for the audience I got this idea to go to that concert like maybe 10 days before the actual date of the concert because I realized that the tour was ending and one of the last spots I could go to which was a decent spot to go to was Vegas. And it was a holiday weekend. So I was like, this is all kind of lining up. I can actually pull this off. So I’m like texting Steve texted me go. And he goes like No, I just came back from Vegas. Steve is like you fucking crazy. I have a four year old I need like, way more notice than this.

Steve 44:00
So, I, my solo vacations were before the kids, so I just want to preface that.

Calvin 44:06
So I asked my cousin to go and he was like, same thing. He’s he, he has a kid and his wife was pregnant at the time with the second he was like a units like the fuck, man, you know? So as my dad, because my dad would go and he said, Yeah, okay, let’s do it. So I booked my flight and everything, get everything set up. And then he’s like, now it’s kind of expensive just for a couple of days. So I’m not gonna go but I’m like, Fuck, I booked everything already. But you know what, that actually worked out to be cool because otherwise I don’t think I would have went by myself. But I went out on Friday night late, so I got to Vegas, like it was already close to midnight, and then spent all day Saturday. The concert was on Sunday, and then I left early Monday morning. So it was like a super quick trip and my wife actually advocated for me, she was like, just go You really only going to be gone for like a day. Actually. I left on Saturday. It seems like you’re really only going to be gone for like a day. So it’s, it’s not that big a deal. And it was a really cool experience because for me, I’m a very social person. I always want to do things with people. And for me to actually go do it by myself and have a good time. That was like liberating for me. I felt good. I was like, shit, I actually don’t need people to do everything with me. I can do it by myself, and have a good time. But that is the closest thing I’ve gotten to a solo vacation you would call but it’s the day and a half in Vegas. Which is like a weekend where else yeah,

Steve 45:31
it is dog years when you go

Calvin 45:33
that’s at least five days anywhere else. You know, it’s not Yeah,

Mikko 45:36
it totally I don’t sleep when I’m in Vegas. So you right

Calvin 45:38
now, one thing I’ll add in there real quick to Steve is a lot of times when we’re on vacation together. I’ll do things by myself like different excursions that she won’t want to do. Like skydiving or I went parasailing one time. I just took a bike at the hotel we were staying at had like bikes you could just take and I wrote just rode my bike to the other side to Key West went up parasailing and I’m having to do it with another guy. He was third wheeling with this other couple. So me and him went up together.

Unknown Speaker 46:05

Calvin 46:06
yeah, I got the experience it was it was pretty cool you know but shit like that I’ll do but that Vegas trip is cool man you also not really ever by yourself in Vegas, you know?

Mikko 46:16
No, not really yourself in Vegas either because you know, you’re a different person when you go to Vegas, right? So they say so,

Calvin 46:23
that’s what they say. So they say I wouldn’t know about that part of Vegas. Moving on moving,

Mikko 46:30
please. let’s stay out of trouble.

Calvin 46:33
Now it’s time for everybody’s favorite segment. Get off my lawn where we tell you what is annoying us right now is middle aged men. So the floor is open. It’s not

Mikko 46:47
right now right now that annoys me. But I realized as I gotten older, obviously with COVID No one’s going to the movie theaters. But when you open your phone in the middle of Have a movie theater to check your fucking text messages. Like it makes my blood boil. Like, like, I want to throw popcorn at you. And at times I have and times I’ve almost regretted it Where did you know this guy in front of me? I don’t know how tall he is where how big he is cuz you know, it’s dark. It’s like Batman opened his phone. And, you know, he’s like, Oh, hello, I call you back and he starts to text and I’m like, excuse me, you’re it’s too bright. And he looked back at me and I’m like, Oh, it’s kind of big. But I will not go girl Shut the fuck up. And he does it again and I’m just like, Yo phone and then he stands up and I swear to God, this guy’s like six foot eight like 260 yoked up and I’m like, this motherfucker is gonna kill me. You know, but he looks me up and down. Figures probably he destroyed my ass and was just like, Huh and then sits down and proceeds to not open his phone again. And I tell you this because It annoys me to that point where I’m just gonna say get off your phone to anybody and then almost fucking killed me. But that irritates the crap out of me, I pay here in California. I don’t know how it is in New York or Cleveland, but it’s like, you know, good movie is like 20 something bucks per person. And I’m not gonna lie. It’s like 18 bucks, I guess.

40 bucks, and then you’re gonna open it up and check your messages all day. No, sorry. It’s annoying.

Calvin 48:28
Yeah, I agree. It’s a good one. Steve.

Steve 48:31
Mind is kind of ties into the management thing. earlier. There’s a guy my team, he’s junior to me. We have a meeting every week. He sends me a message. 830 in the morning, he’s like, hey, been up all night throwing up pounding headache, blah, blah, blah, shit running down my leg. yada yada yada. He really say that. Well, you know? And I’m like, see, what do you need here? Shirley MacLaine. you need you need a day off. You need to cancel our meeting. Okay, cool. Just tell me you When you need to cancel the meeting, man, I don’t need the whole song and dance. So, just if you’re gonna say something to someone, just say it for fuck sake, we’re off far too busy to deal with your simple bullshit.

Calvin 49:13
I hear that. Yeah.

So mine as you guys will not be surprised. I’m going back to that dumb ass podcast I listened to this week. And like I said there was there’s a whole lot of bullshit to unpack from there. But the general gist of everything we discussed and everything I heard for this hour plus is it’s just a victim mentality and very paranoid and like everybody is out to get you and everything is set up for you not to succeed. And what I want to talk about is apparently he’s saying that he feels other Instagram accounts similar to his in the hospitality meme world so you can kind of guess what he’s talking about, has stolen his style, and I’m gonna just Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s like, you know, people have taken you know, my style over the years and you know, if it gets you likes and clicks, whatever, but you know, I’m not gonna name any names. So I’m gonna come on my show on my airwaves and say, what’s that 90% of your feed is reshare content from other people. You don’t have a style.

Okay? You don’t create shit. You don’t actually have anything worth taking. I’m wanting to Oh, geez edition. All right, I’m gonna just say that there was like a handful of hospitality accounts when I started. And there’s a lot more now, but I’m like the rock him of this. Okay. Not I’m not I’m not like I’m like, not like the first, but I’m one of the first. Okay, right. I don’t need to steal shit from you. Anybody else? And you don’t have anything we’re stealing. Just in case you are wondering. Nobody’s worried about you. Nobody’s changing their style because of you. Because again, you don’t have a style. All right, that’s like saying somebody wanted to copy Milli Vanilli for fucking what

Steve 50:59
you copied everybody else,

Calvin 51:02
right? They’re just copying everybody else’s shit. They just regurgitating other people’s shit, which is what you do. So who the hell would copy Milli Vanilli? Nobody’s gonna do that. All right, yeah, nobody’s worried about you. Nobody is thinking about you. Okay? which you’ve learned throughout your career, because nobody thought about you to tell you what you should be doing with it. So shut the fuck.

Mikko 51:22
We need that button.

Unknown Speaker 51:28

Calvin 51:30
I’m gonna give a bonus Chris Rock quoted a week because that reminded me what I was thinking. He’s like, they’re trying to destroy me. You wrap up bags at JC Penney, what are you doing messing up the paper? You got nothing worth stealing or destroying so shut the fuck up

Mikko 51:47
Okay, damn, shots fired. fired.

Calvin 51:52
Oh, okay. So I gave a little hint of our last segment which is the most fun Usually, the Chris Rock quote. The weak, right? We grew up in that era of bring the pain in high school, bigger and blacker in college. So we know this is lifetime of Chris Rock material and this is why we bring it into every conversation. So take the floor fellas.

Steve 52:16
You can be married and bored or single and low

Mikko 52:21
married and bought a single and lonely

Yeah, that’s so true. That’s so relevant to to what we talked about a little bit. Good one good one.

I got since we were talking about education and whatnot. A little bit. Do you know how dumb you got to be to get left back into first grade? It’s like what

four plus four jello?

Steve 52:50
Oh my god.

Calvin 52:54
I love it. I love it. So this week, my wife Asked me one of those questions. Right? And anybody who’s married know that there’s some questions that are always a trap. Like, do I look fat in this dress?

Mikko 53:10
Oh, yeah. You know, classic classic.

Calvin 53:13
Everybody knows, you know, baby You look good, you know is fuck all like like you never answer that question. Right? Yep. So walking around the house this weekend and my wife goes, honey, if there was one thing you could change about me, what would it be? I should did exactly. I started laughing. Yeah, good. Nice try. Nice try. I was like, I’ve been in this game too long. All right, we married 13 years we would together 16 day No fucking way. I’m answering that question. Right. Like, I’m not a rookie did this. And she’s like, No, it’s okay. You could answer I’m trying to just have a conversation. And it’s like, it’ll be right. If you just say it’ll be alright if you didn’t say it will be alright now you hear that 900 times and start thinking I guess it a be alright

Back to the story just so y’all know I did not answer the fucking question.

Mikko 54:06
Yeah, okay, smart man.

Steve 54:10
Never ever answered those questions. Just walk away fellas.

Calvin 54:13
Yes, walk away. change the subject. Do whatever you got to do start doing the dishes mopping, whatever it is get on her good side, but do not answer the fucking question.

Steve 54:22
Wait a second. I think you need to fight fire with fire here. If I get a question like that. If you shoot back, don’t trust me. And then you put on Madonna and you give them chocolate.

Mikko 54:35
Yo, yeah, I’m joking. Make sure that the book man, mate. Make sure that’s in the book. That shit works.

Yeah, probably. I just I just let it work. You know what I just do sometimes I just give her a look and walk away like I never heard it.

Steve 54:49
That’s just it. Yeah.

Mikko 54:51
Not worth the argument for me. I’m not doing it. I’m not falling for that.

Calvin 54:54
It’s it’s a trap this attribute and if you’ve been in the game long enough, you just know it’s trap. Do not fall for that shit because no matter what answer you give, it’s gonna be like oh, well I didn’t know that’s not what I was expecting you to say and then it’s a whole other drama. Just don’t answer it I love my wife. Sure I know you guys love yours but I’m again I’m gonna throw in a bonus Chris right this is a zone you don’t go into.

All right, so we got to wrap this up with the announcement of the winner of our giveaway. And now as you guys know on our Instagram page, we are giving away a Google nest hub Max and a mini for a lucky winner. And we are going to let you know what that is. Now can I get a drumroll fellas? The winner of the Mini is Instagram handle at reserve Boston, which means the winner of the max is at Borah cells. So You guys are listening and once you hear this, reach out to us on Instagram send us a DM or an email at info at midlife crisis podcast calm and give us your information so we can send it to you. Congratulations I really hope you enjoy congratulate. All right, so that brings us to the end of our episode for this week. Hope you guys enjoyed the content again I am Calvin you can find me on Instagram at ref problems for my means travels to follow to travel self development at ref par growth. If you need social media management, I have ref par media. Or check out the one stop shop at WWW dot ref problems calm and that is it for me.

Mikko 56:43
And this is Mikko aka Mikko eats aka Nico the Filipino you can find me on Instagram at those handles. atomico eat and atomico to Filipino and I’m out

Steve 56:55
and this is Steve. It’s all I got

Unknown Speaker 57:03
You can find the completely soothing tone of my voice. Every week on the midlife crisis podcast, and he find me online. I’ll give you 20 bucks on Venmo

Calvin 57:19
if you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, please leave us a review on iTunes, Spotify, and wherever else don’t ask podcasts like this one to listen to. Don’t be selfish. share with a friend. Be sure to follow us for some behind the scenes content at midlife crisis podcast on Instagram. And if there are any topics you want us to talk about, send us an email at info at midlife crisis podcast calm. Until next time. See you. A Lesko