"Ray! How you doing, man? I just heard the news that you went out of business. I'm awfully sorry. Look, if there's anything I can do…"
"Thanks, but I only have myself to blame."
"I mean, I tried to keep up with the work, but it's hard concentrating on quotas and inventory management, and keeping up with all the new concert schedules."
"I know what you mean. The new routings seem to be popping up all over. I just read that Randy Travis and Kenny Chesney are both going out."
"And Sum 41, Umphrey's McGee and Chemical Brothers just announced new dates. No, I'm afraid I just wasn't cut out to be my own boss. Plus, I'm buried in debt."
"It's not easy running your own business."
"You're telling me? Hardly a day went by when I thought I should do something more constructive than look at the new dates for Sizzla or browse the new schedule for Entrain. But I couldn't pull myself away from all those listings. Meanwhile, the work kept piling up."
"Did you ever try one of those seminars? You know, those self-motivational lectures?"
"Oh, yeah, but nothing worked. No matter how hard I tried, the schedules for Burt Neilson Band and Spookey Ruben kept distracting me. And to be honest, I never could get fired up about the business."
"Is there any chance of a reorganization or restructuring the business plan? "
"I wish. In fact, I had appointments with several consultants, but I never kept them. I'd be half way out the door when suddenly I'd notice a new listing for JGB Feat. Melvin Seals or new dates for Unwritten Law and Jewel. No, I'm afraid the business is dead in the water."
"So, what are you going to do now?"
"I'm not sure. The lawyers are taking up most of my time. That is, when I'm not looking at the itineraries for Branford Marsalis, Morgan Heritage and John Scofield. Guess I'm just going to have to beat the streets and look for a new job. You know, see what I can dig up."
"Thanks, but at my age, I'm afraid potential employers see me as just another stiff in a cheap suit looking for someplace to plant his keister. Oh, well, I dug my own grave and now I have to lie in it."
"At least you're being honest about it."
"What else can I do, Joe? And do you know what the worst thing is? It was a family business. Handed down from father to son, uncle to nephew, until it fell in my lap. No, I guess I just wasn't meant to run a crematorium."
"I'll bet your relatives are ticked at you."
"Probably, but I wouldn't know."
"That's right, they haven't found them yet."