Just how important are first impressions? They can ruin a first date, that first day at a new school, or a new job. I don’t know if he’s a golfer, but I’m sure A.J. Clemente wants a mulligan with how he shanked his first day at work.
Clemente was making his debut as weekend anchor for KFYR in Bismarck, ND. And it didn’t go well, right off the bat. His first two words ended up getting him fired. Two bad words. As a news anchor for more than 30 years, it’s painful for me to watch, and listen to. If you don’t like to hear profanities, you might want to close your ears until after three seconds in.
While it can’t match that, I once had a new co-anchor who suffered a rough start to her first newscast. It happened about 25 years ago at a small market TV station out West. Back then, the teleprompter controls were operated by the anchors with foot pedals. Right before her very first newscast with me, during the news open, my co-anchor couldn’t find the pedal with her foot. She panicked, and went under the news desk to locate it. Guess what? She found it, but not until we were on camera. So the first thing viewers saw was me saying “Good evening,” then my co-anchor popping up from under the desk.
Fortunately for her, that was before YouTube, so the video didn’t go viral. Unfortunately for A.J. Clemente, we live in a time when one slip of the tongue, and millions see it.
On Monday, Clemente tweeted that he had been fired. Then added:
Rookie mistake. I’m a free agent. Cant help but laugh at myself and stay positive. Wish i didn’t trip over my “Freaking Shoes” out of the gate.
I’m sure he would love to have a second chance at a first impression. His first day on the job turned out to be his last. Curses!
Do you have a best “bad” first-day story? Want to share it? Also, do you think Clemente deserved to be fired over what he said? Let me know.