How The World Really Works (Or Success Tips For The Young And Stupid)


Back when I was living my life of debauchery in the French Quarter of New Orleans I received a phone call from an old friend of mine.

She had just graduated from college and wanted someone to ride with her to Atlanta because she had an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Now back in the late 80's The Atlanta Constitution was a big deal. It was the paper in a city which was happening. CNN was headquartered there. It was America's Next Great City and everyone knew it.

Being the pussy-whipped kid I was then, I first got a list of rules from my girlfriend (she knew that smart girls was my kryptonite) before I was allowed to take the trip.

We argued about the trip all day.

But I did take the trip.

And it completely changed my life.


After dropping Kathy off at the large headquarters of the newspaper I literally had nothing to do.

So I drove around Atlanta.

I saw the WEA building (Warner/Electra/Atlantic) and decided to stop.

If my friend was going to be working for the Atlanta Constitution I should be working for a big record label. (That was literally my thinking.)

I'm sure I looked a wreck (I've never been a fashion guy) but I walked in and asked for a job. The secretary gave me a once over and reluctantly handed me an application.

"Um, miss. I'm only here today so I really don't have time to fill out this application."

"There is nothing I can do about that. You fill it out and when we have an opening we will look at it and keep you in mind."

I was too dumb to know I was getting the brushoff.

Instead I started arguing.

"There has to be someone who can make a decision, today."

Me and this woman kept going round and round until she threatened to call security.

Then Eddie P. happened to be walking by. He heard some of the argument and invited me to his office "so I could calm down."

He happened to be the head of Black Music for Atlantic and he hired me 5 minutes later.

Now you're probably thinking that this is where I start telling you all about perserverence and courage and shit like that.


What's important is what happened after that.

I didn't go back to New Orleans.

I sucked Eddie's brain for a year and then parlayed that into a radio Program Directors spot.

I then started a cool life working for myself.

Whenever I needed a 'regular job' I would pull out my WEA card to impress people to give me give me jobs I probably didn't deserve.

O.K., here's the important part.

One of the biggest lies which is perpetuated is that you have to be smart or you have to be talented to be successful.

That's bullshit. 

You only have to remember one thing.

Always do favors for your friends.

[New Orleans cemetery picture provided by candice]

Explore posts in the same categories: chartreuse (beta), cursing, marketing, money, music, old media, personal, smart

11 Comments on “How The World Really Works (Or Success Tips For The Young And Stupid)”

  1. VampireFeet Says:

    That’s what was missing for the past week, a good chartreuse story.

    This is a good one.

    I really like the punchline. It’s never about you it’s always about other people. I get the pattern. 🙂

  2. candice Says:

    My god I need pictures that iconize better.

    It’s strange that you post this now, I was just driving by that cemetery yesterday, and it looks fine. Not a messed up grave or fence or anything. (That’s the Masonic Cemetery at City Park Ave and Bienville.)

  3. chartreuse Says:

    Thanks for letting me use the pic.
    And I’m glad they cleaned up the cemetery!

  4. candice Says:

    The big cemeteries in that area have all been cleaned up, pretty much. Any non-ironwork fencing is missing, but other than that they have been worked on. They didn’t flood terribly, judging from the water line in the area.

    Also, grabbed this out of its usual place: – a bit better than the squeezed up one.

  5. Liz Strauss Says:

    That was indeed a great chartreuse story. I’m sorry I didn’t get over here earlier to read it. I’m working like crazy for $50. I really need to get my priorities straight. Don’t I?

  6. demasone Says:

    thank you for your work

  7. idla Says:

    Perfect pages… tnx

  8. vinylart Says:

    The win-win. Where can I scratch on your back?


  9. […] How The World Really Works (Or Success Tips For The Young And Stupid) […]

  10. Sean Says:

    I think I’ve missed the boat here…but only by a couple of minutes.
    I clicked on this link while doing a search for “how the world really works” and ended up here
    Can anyone tell me how the story (of the girl, the road trip, the job and the wisdom) are connected to the comments below…..and what is this blog-site about.

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