Joined: 27 Feb 2006
|Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:23 pm Post subject: Meeting "Brian" in person and going to Florida wit
|On the evening of March 28, I drove to Philadelphia and got hopelessly lost trying to find my hotel -- the Sheraton on Island Avenue. I was staying in the hotel overnight before my early morning flight to Florida to record the show. I met "Brian" in the lobby of the hotel. I had asked him only minutes earlier, on my cell phone, whether he was an angel. I was absolutely blown away by his thoughtfulness and generosity… helping me get un-lost, staying awake until I got there, etc.
We spent about 2 hours going over the specifics of the upcoming shows, going over the scripts, discussing last minute details, etc. We agreed to meet in the morning for breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
The next morning, I was in the hotel restaurant at the scheduled time. "Brian" got there about 15 minutes late. I had ordered the breakfast buffet and coffee, and "Brian" didn't eat anything. When the waitress arrived with the check, "Brian" grabbed it and paid the bill, much to my shame. I felt that this wonderful person was pulling out all the stops to help me, and he had no business paying for my meals. After that, I made it a point to pick up the check at meals. In addition, "Brian" groused the next 2 or 3 days about the cost of that breakfast -- $15. In retrospect I see exactly what he was doing; using guilt to set the stage so that I always picked up the tab.
We flew to Ft. Myers, Florida that morning -- March 29th, and I picked up the Avis SUV I had rented. We drove to the home of a colleague who had furniture in storage for us for the TV set, then drove to Comcast to drop off the furniture and become acquainted with the people with whom we would be working. Then we checked into the hotel; the Best Western Inn and Suites on 9th Street in Naples and went to dinner at the Meritage, where "Brian" had created reservations for us in advance. During that dinner, "Brian" asked the waiter whether he needed a roommate; then told me he didn't know where that thought came from. He said that he felt driven to move down there to Florida in order to work on advancing my company on a full-time basis. I was alarmed and said that I couldn't afford to pay him, and he said that he already had a regular income, and a total of 11 employees who could run his radio station in his absence. He said he was going to speak to his father (who was his silent partner) about it and that he expected his father to become very angry with him, but that he was probably going to do it anyway.
On the morning of March 30th, we had a photo shoot with a photographer named Jennifer (her phone number is 239-826-5682), which "Brian" had strongly recommended, since he said we needed it for publicity photos, etc. We then drove to Comcast to film the first two episodes of the TV show. While we were in the studio, "Brian"had asked me to sign and give him a blank check so that he could order a digital video camera online for the purposes of filming other episodes using "behind the scenes" footage. I absolutely refused and said that I would never sign a blank check… that he might lose it, or get hit over the head, and I would be obligated to pay. He pushed and pushed, but I refused to back down on that point. (Much later, I realized that the blank cash advance check that I'd brought was missing from my wallet.)
After the filming, we drove to a business center to do a follow-up meeting with a business colleague. (That meeting was held at the Premier Executive Center on 9th Avenue in Naples Florida. "Brian" said we had gotten use of the room for free because the executive center was very excited about the new show and wanted to help us.) During that meeting, "Brian" encouraged my colleague to prepare for doing sales calls at local companies for the purpose of locating potential advertisers for our TV show. He said that he would close the deals that were closable and that he could "convince anybody of anything."
I had been scheduled to fly back home to New Jersey the next morning, but "Brian" insisted that we spend one more day there and go to Epcot in Disney World. He said that it was his treat and that we deserved a vacation after all the work we had done. I acquiesced and wound up paying the additional cost of two more nights of hotel (one night for his hotel room, and one extra night for mine), plus the cost of the car rental for another day. "Brian" apparently phoned the airline and rearranged our flights, and in the process incurred an additional cost for the airline tickets, without my knowledge or consent. Those charges later showed up on my credit card bill.
The next morning, we drove the several hours it took to get to Epcot, talking the entire way. He wanted to know what he could do to help my company advance. He recited his background, which included sales, advertising, entrepreneurship, radio, television, and even technical training in web design. I described the way our system worked, talking for at least an hour about the automation process that runs our entire company. He described his devotion to our company's success, and reassured me that his own company was now able to run without him. He said he was going to make arrangements to meet with his father when he returned to Maryland, to let him know of his decision. He also said that he had spoken, before he'd left Maryland, with his company's accountants, and that he could commit up to $150,000 to help Urangatang succeed, both as a company and with our TV show. He also reiterated that we needed to buy a digital video camera in order to do the type of filming we needed to do; going behind the scenes at different locations. He also asked me about all the financials associated with Urangatang and offered to negotiate better interest rates and look into a small business loan in order to get rid of the high credit card rates. He said he would need all of my account numbers in order to work on that.
When we got to Epcot, I had to use the ladies' room, and meanwhile "Brian" went to purchase the tickets to Epcot. Later, I discovered that the cost of those tickets had been charged, TWICE, to my two different credit cards. I can only assume that he has saved two of the tickets he purchased on my credit card to use in the future.
We spent only a few hours at Epcot and ate sushi at a Japanese restaurant. "Brian" apparently picked up the bill without my being aware of it. After lunch, while I was in the ladies' room, "Brian" apparently received a phone call from "Jamie"; the person that he said was running the radio station in his absence, and "Jamie" had just notified him that his radio station had just hit #5 in its listening area; an amazing feat considering that it was now only 3 or 4 months old. We went through a few exhibits, then headed back. "Brian" said he was scheduled to be the guest host on the local Christian radio station (Way FM) at 10 pm, and we were apparently running behind schedule, since he didn't drop me off at the hotel until about 9:30 or 9:45 pm. I prayed with him briefly for his safe arrival to the station and back, and later listened for him on the radio while I packed for my trip the next day. I never did hear him on the radio.
I had originally been scheduled to return home, but in the car on the way back from Epcot, I made emergency arrangements to fly to Texas to my 19-year old daughter, who was extremely ill and needed medical care fairly urgently. I was unable to secure a flight from Florida to Texas because of the high volume of travelers during Spring Break. So, the following morning, I flew back to Philadelphia with "Brian" as scheduled, then sat and waited in the Philadelphia airport for 6 hours waiting to catch my flight to Texas. "Brian" insisted on sitting with me, and refused to leave me alone there, even though I had no problem with waiting alone. He was playing a very nurturing role with his "mom."
Before I got on the plane, I hugged "Brian" goodbye.