I think we all need at least one really nice positive thing about the entertainment business every single day of the year, including weekends. Sometimes it may be something simple, like a video that showcases something fun and sometimes it may be a movie poster that embraces the aesthetic we all want Hollywood to aspire to. Sometimes it may be a long-winded diatribe. Sometimes it’ll be from the staff and extended family of CHUD.com. Maybe even you readers can get in on it. So, take this to the bank. Every day, you will get a little bit of positivity from one column a day here. Take it with you. Maybe it’ll help you through a bad day or give folks some fun things to hunt down in their busy celluloid digesting day.

By Jeremy G. Butler  (Author Page, Twitter Page, Facebook Page)

What I’m Thankful For:

Companies Who Appreciate Their Employees

A few weeks ago the TV Station I work for sent me out to the local racetrack to shoot that evening’s races for a commercial.  I went, spent a few hours shooting some racing and went home.  I was already getting a nice little bit of extra money since the shoot was happening after-hours and, though I’m not at all a fan of racing, being at the track and that environment reminded me a lot of my late Dad, so it ended up being a really nice night.  About 10:45 in the pm, I packed up, hit the car and drove my tired ass the 40 miles to the house, where I promptly hit the bed and called it a day.

All in all it was a damn good evening.

Until the next morning, when I came down from my apartment and noticed, much to my intense aggravation, that some (to quote Vincent Vega) “dickless piece of shit” had keyed it.  Or screwdrivered it.  Or whatever they hell they used to scratch the holyshit out of my car’s paint job.  Giant, sprawling, scribbles all over my hood, deep, continuous lines from the front fender to the rear and, the coup de grace, the word “BITCH” scrawled into my passenger side door…scrawled, incidentally, about eye-level for a certain nine-year-old little girl who crawls in and out of the passenger side of my car on a very regular basis.  I don’t know whose car this person thought they were keying, but joke’s on them – it was the wrong one.

All in all I was a goddamned ball of fury.

I drove to work, cursed a lot, and pondered what my options were.  Obviously, I had insurance, but I didn’t have the cash for the deductible and ya know what?  Fuck a deductible.  I’ll be a goddamn if I pony up the dough to pay for repairs to my car when the only thing I did wrong was park it.  My first thought?  Go raise hell with the race track.  I was on their property after all, but…was I?  And there’s the rub – I didn’t notice the damage until the following morning….AFTER my car had spent all night in the parking lot of my apartment and I had no way of proving where exactly the damage happened.  Somehow I didn’t think “Pff, I’ve lived here for four years and have never had to make so much as a noise complaint and you cater to a bunch of rowdy drunk rednecks.  What do you THINK happened?” was going to stand up too well in any sort of dispute.  So, now what?

I get to work that morning and talk to the bossman about it, tell him what happened, and, long story short, he and my General Manager decide that they’re going to see about getting it traded (we run a TV station and commercial time on our air is valuable – it’s a pretty sweet position to be in).  I go get it estimated, I show the GM the $2,500 printed in black ink on that piece of paper, certain that it would be a deal breaker.  He says “Hell that’s even better – they’ll be more inclined to do it!”  He calls the corporate office to check, they don’t hesitate to say “Absolutely!” and sure enough – the deal is made.  But, I only have the one car, so what am I going to do while mine is in the shop for the 7 to 10 days that they estimate it’ll take to repair.  Apparently I’m gonna drive a company car!  Everything came up Jeremy!

So, this morning, I take my car over to the shop to be repainted and I have free use of one of the company cars (and the gas card to go with it) for the next week.  And none of it cost me a dime.

Now, I know – it WAS on company business so, in some way, they’re kinda liable (but it‘s no more they‘re fault than it is mine).  But, here’s the thing – again, there’s no way to prove that it DID happen on company business.  And what’s amazing is they didn’t even ask.  There wasn’t even a sideways glance cast in my direction.  They very EASILY could have said that there was no way of knowing what how and where it happened and gave me a “Good luck” and a pat on the back.  But no – they knew I needed help and they were happy to provide it – from my immediate supervisor all the way up to the corporate office it was just an unspoken but understood thing: “You’re part of the family, Jeremy.  We appreciate you and we got your back.” That’s the impression I got every step of the way (and this has been about a two week process) and for that I’m extremely, immeasurably thankful.