April Fool’s Day is no joke!

Did you see the FAIL of Volkswagen’s joke, calling itself Voltswagen?

VW is a bit of a joke itself.

I know. I bought one of the company’s infamous “cheater diesels.”

My VW Turbo Diesel Beetle.

VW destroyed its credibility forever. The company’s leadership thinks everyone will forget what happened. One of my jobs is to make sure no one will forget.

There’s another reason why April Fool’s Day is no joke

I had just graduated from Penn State (the schedule was four terms vs. three semesters back then, so I graduated in February). Still living in my apartment at Parkway Plaza in State College, Pennsylvania, refusing to move home, as that would be a sign of defeat. If I didn’t get a job in my field, moving home signaled a lifetime of working, just to work. I was a journalist, not a car salesman nor a clerk at Radio Shack.

So, I spent my days TYPING out cover letters and resumes and MAILING them off to TV stations. Sometimes I would send along a videotape, which was an expensive proposition at the time. Fortunately, most stations would return your tape back then.

I was already feeling down about my job prospects. Rejection letters arrived almost daily (somewhere in my archive, I still have many of those letters). I had an offer to do radio in New Hampshire, but it was a place I didn’t want to go and I didn’t want to give up my dream of working in TV news.

So back to April 1, 1980: The phone rings, and it’s a colleague from my internship at WTAJ-TV in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

He tells me that a producer just quit. I accuse him of playing a cruel April Fool’s joke and hang up the phone. I go back to feeling sorry for myself (not sorry enough to go to New Hampshire).

A few hours later, the News Director of the station calls, to offer me the producer job. It wasn’t a joke! I accepted my first television news job on April Fool’s Day.

April Fool’s Day is no joke to me!


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