The World’s Greatest (Non) Job Interview

People were feeding the squirrels with impunity. The squirrels were so docile some people were actually petting them. Yuck!

As soon as I found out my contract wasn’t being renewed I began to reach out to TV stations in-and-out of Connecticut. I knew I’d be in Florida and California (two places I’d enjoy living in) so I ‘carpet bombed’ news directors in those spots hoping for a nibble. Sure enough I soon got this:


What day works for you?

It was from a news director at a station in San Diego. I was excited… very excited until he added in a later email

Monday Jan 17th at 1pm is good – what is your cell?
FYI I do not have a position for you but would love to meet you.

I did the math. This would be five hours of driving from L.A. with no upside. I started to think of excuses to pass on the invite.

I mentioned this to a few friends and they all said the same thing, “Go!”

I did. They were right. It was one of the most uplifting TV days I’ve had in a long time!

Helaine and I decided we could shorten my drive by spending last night with relatives in Orange County. She’d never been to their home (which she now considers perfect for us… can we move in there now… there’s a vacant unit down the block) and, as it would turn out, it gave her a day to spend with my Cousins Melissa, Michael and Max.

Google Maps said my trip would take a little over an hour. Nicely done Googleboys.

Unfortunately, I didn’t trust California traffic and left myself 2&#189 hours. I spent a l-o-n-g time parked up the block and out-of-sight from the TV station.

I would have been even earlier, but there was a scenic overlook on I-5 north of San Onofrio inside Camp Pendleton.

Of all the scenic places I’v seen in the last week this was the least! The stretch of Pacific Coast was pedestrian. The view to the east was worse. The most interesting feature was something that should not have been! Just beyond the “Do Not Feed The Squirrels Or Birds” signs was the largest scurry&#185 of squirrels I’ve ever seen!

People were feeding the squirrels with impunity. The squirrels were so docile some people were actually petting them. Yuck! The whole thing was weird.

I got back in the car and headed south.

I’m not going to name the station nor the news director I saw, but at this moment I would crawl over broken glass to work for him. I am assuming he does not read the blog, so this is not a suck-up… though I am not above that if I thought it would help.

He was supportive of his people, embraced technology and never once cried “woe is me” over the sorry state of TV in general or TV news in particular. He was genuinely proud of what they were accomplishing on a daily basis.

The news facility was recently built from the ground up. It looked comfortable. Being in San Diego some of what went on-air was actually being done outside. There was even a chromakey wall out there large enough park a convertible in front of. It looked like a drive-in theater!

He pointed to an area where the reporters worked in close proximity and talked about collegiality. Be still my heart.

Do I wish there was a job? Yes, of course. Even without one my visit restored some of my boyish enthusiasm which has been partially ground away over time.

To my friends who suggested I go–thanks.

Postscript: Not one cloud all day. Not one.

&#185 – There is some dispute whether there is or should be a name for a group of squirrels. Experts say they are solitary animals. It didn’t seem that way to me. Scurry is the accepted word by those who are willing to look past the solitary nature of most squirrels.

37 thoughts on “The World’s Greatest (Non) Job Interview”

  1. Geoff,

    You never know, a non position today, could always open the door for something down the road. Hoping you stay in Ct, but know you need to do what is best for you. Hope something opens up quickly for you.

    All the best


  2. Please stay in Connecticut Geoff. The forecasts without you are not the same. I don’t know who to trust anymore, especially with these crazy storms and weather patterns.

  3. Geoff,

    I am in agreement with Ed. Of course, we would absolutely love for you to be with us here in CT; but if something opened for elsewhere and you feel comfortable with it, you should do what you need to do. Whatever path life leads you down, all the best!


  4. yields

    “Some references say that a group of squirrels is called a dray, while some indicate that a dray refers specifically to a nest of a mother squirrel and her babies. Other references say that a group of squirrels is called a scurry. notes that squirrels are actually solitary animals and no group name is officially recognized.”

    (btw, we arranged a storm for you to return to Ct in!)

  5. Me too! I’m glad you went to the interview. Sometimes you have to pull yourself out of a situation to see what you actually have and to see what else is really out there to be had.

  6. Hi Geoff,
    I am so happy that you took the chance and went! I am sure he was impressed with your resume, and your years of experience. Just the fact that even though there were no positions open, he still wanted to meet you. I hope that you find something soon, something that will fulfill your hopes and dreams. I would love to see you come back to WTNH and watch you again on tv., but rest assured, I will follow you where ever you go. I wish you the best of luck in your adventures.
    Best Regards,

  7. My sister lives in Oceanside and before that Carlsbad. I flew out for the wedding, and was scared out of my wits landing in San Diego. Weather is generally summer (New England style) all year long. What I’ve always wondered is how much harder it is to forecast on the West Coast, what with not having 3,000 miles of earlier forecasts and radars and such. Although it seems that there isn’t quite so much weather as here in New England. By the bye, have a read up on Judah Cohen on why New England is getting hammered. If you haven’t already, of course.

  8. You did the right thing Geoff. If nothing else, you’ve made a very invaluable contact. You’ve also seen another environment. You’ve been secluded in the WTNH bubble for so long and sometimes it’s healthy to see what else is out there.

    Truly we don’t want to see you go, but in reality, something is going to open up for you elsewhere and we will all need to accept that fact and live with it. Once March 1st rolls around and you are no longer gainfully employed, there will be nothing any of us can do about it. So, keep making your contacts. Who knows. Sometimes even when there isn’t an opening available prior to your non-interview, magically something opens up after. I’m just sayin’……………….

  9. Hi Geoff,
    Ok, I will admit it. I am sad. No, actually ridiculously sad. I have watched you for as long as I can remember. I feel as if I have lost a best friend or even a family member. I am a teacher and have forever relied on you for your gut feelings and science combination about anticipated snow days for both myself and my daughter. Seriously, what will we do without you? It is nothing against the “new” regime, it is just that you are part of our culture and what we do. I am truly, truly going to miss you. I am hoping for a miracle and something works out for us in CT. Please?

    All the best,

  10. What a wonderful story Geoff….and I also thank your friends for telling you to go…. you needed that shot in the arm!!!
    You are a VERY talented man, and nothing ventured….nothing gained! Plus it is nice to go into such a positive environment after being blindsided like you (and your fans) were.
    Would I be sad you left CT? YES, but as a loyal fan and supporter I only wish you and your family what is best for you…..where ever that may take you!


  11. WHAT!!!! Why isn’t your contract being renewed? (sorry none of my business) Has WTNH lost their minds?!! YOU are the reason I watch that newscast. I will miss you very much and I do hope they come to their senses. If not I wish you the best and will continue to read your blog to see how life is treating you and your family.

    All the best,


  12. As someone who is an unabashed fan of the movie “Anchorman” I must say I’m quite amused by the idea of you visiting a TV station in San Diego. 🙂

    Do you love Lamp? 🙂

  13. Those informational interviews have a huge upside. I’ve had a few that resulted in other companies calling me. (And in later searches, the type of employer I work for now) You never know who someone you meet is going to call. A sister station somewhere? Selfishly, I know that your style would play well in my neck of the woods. But you can’t get Italian food worth a damn up here and it rains all the time.

  14. The news doesn’t look as good with you gone. The newscasters aren’t smiling anymore. hmmm, sumptin is a brewin’? I bet it’s not over yet.

  15. Glad your visit to the news station regenerated your enthusiasm! But I do wish WTNH will reconsider or you could stay in CT somehow. I’m missing your forecasts along with a whole lot of other people. But yes, I wish you well wherever you end up going.

  16. Geoff – I you decide to take a shot at one of the Palm Springs stations, please post it on FaceBook, so I can call/write/e-mail recommendations for you. I will miss you when I am in Wilton, but if I can have you in Palm Springs, that would be OK. As a small afterthought the third state in my e-mail address is Hawaii – I would watch you religiously there if you showed up. I might even leave Joe Moore at KHON and watch whatever station hired you!

  17. As for your meeting with the guy who didn’t have a job for you: The old saying “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know” – NAH – it’s “It’s not WHAT you know or WHO you know, it’s WHO knows YOU”. You never know! Best of luck.

  18. Maybe you should think about a nationwide gig. The Weather Channel could use your expertise and personality. Food for thought…

  19. I truly miss your weather forecasts. I am done watching WTNH. I only watched WTNH because of your forecasts. You are extremely talented and will be missed.

  20. My wife and I are headed to the Phoenix area and were worried about finding a weatherman as terrific as you. You are the reason we watch News 8 in the first place. Your leaving will be a sad day for CT.

  21. Hi! Jeff I will miss your weather reports Ihave watched you for years I hope you find a job out there My Brother and his family live thereand he loves it.

  22. Geoff: So long as you are happy, healthy and safe and that you are treated with the dignity and t he respect you have earned and deserve so be it. May you find happiness in all that you do.

    I would have to say that I dont want to see you leave CT and Channel 8…

    But I still say Im done watching that channel and I feel I was slapped in the face when they let you go. Personal? Yes. I feel it was.

    PS…My son Gil said he has written to you from Afghanistan. God willing he should be home within the next week…..he sends you his very best!

  23. Isn’t San Diego weather awesome???!!! I’m glad you went too…as others have said, you never know when something will lead to something that then leads to something. CA is my “second home” (through the kindness of strangers…oh no, wait, they’re friends)and I can see myself winging it out there in great anticipation and my friends asking me why did I come out if all I’m going to do is watch the weather. (Until they caught on, of course.)

    But, I am praying you will stay right here with us. Crap weather and all. In fact I would think you could demand anything right now, and get it.

    When you land back here in a couple of days or whenever, you’ll know what feels like home.

    P.S. Why would you be scared to land in San Diego, Robert? You know something I don’t know? Short runway??

    1. Laurie –

      Lindbergh Field in San Diego is considered by pilots America’s most difficult ‘big’ airport for landing. The airport is surrounded by higher elevations so you have to chase the ground to the runway. As you fly in you can stare into people’s windows.

      A friend who flies for a major airline adds: With respect to Lindbergh Field, the reason that it is one of the most “challenging” airports to land at, is because the preferential runway for landing (Runway 27) has no “precision” ILS approach guidance (glideslope) serving it.  It is served by what we call a “non precision” approach to that runway.  The reason for that, is that typically an ILS approach has a 3 degree glideslope associated with it (descent angle approximates 300’/mile), and because of the terrain and obstacles (buildings) in the way on the approach path,  a glideslope cannot be utilized because those obstacles protrude through the approach plane.  Landing on the same runway in the opposite direction (Runway 9—Landing to the east) is served by a full ILS approach with glideslope capability.  Unfortunately, the wind is from the West 99% of the time in SAN and therein lies the challenge that you almost always land without glideslope guidance.  Hope that helps……..I know, clear as mud!!

  24. Geoff: Other than the period of time in late spring, early summer the locals refer to as the “June Gloom”, there are only two kinds of weather in San Diego…….nice, and nicer. Happy Forecasting!!

  25. I can attest to the scary, steep approach in San Diego. I used to work in a building very close to the approach–from the 10th floor you looked DOWN on the aircraft in the pattern.

    The approach is very steep, similar to landing on an aircraft carrier, there are MANY homes under the approach on the hill that have so much soot on their roofs the local joke is that they skid tires on those roofs on approach while they are dodging the high-rise buildings downtown.

    Yeah, it’s scary, the pilots hate it, but it’s the only airport there–and fortunately they only route smaller planes there–the really heavy big planes can’t make that approach.

  26. Ah, conversation. There is on one of the A&E related channels (one of the History’s I think), a piece on airports. It’s been running for a couple of years. San Diego is, IIRC, #10 (least dangerous of the 10 most dangerous). The scary part is not so much flying through the channel of high-rises (DC is similar, but just on the VA side), but the parking garage that’s separated from the end of the runway by not much more than a city street. A landing plane clears by not much more than a couple of hundred feet. I don’t remember the take-off. My guess is that the prevailing winds are such that take-offs exit at the opposite end.

    Except for June Gloom (what the locals call it), weather is generally pleasant. Gets Real Hot not too far inland, since not too far inland is pure desert.

  27. I’ve landed and taken off from San Diego lots of times and yes, I had heard rumblings about pilots hating the approach, because once they are where they are there is no tweaking it. I never look in anybody’s windows though. That would be rude. In all seriousness, thank you guys. I’m going to go look up that list now and see where I’m going next. (!)

  28. Geoff,

    As a person who grew up in CT and now lives in SoCal I would be thrilled if you came out here to do weather. Folks, weather in SoCal is quite diverse with cold (even snow), powerful winter rain storms, Santa Ana winds, fires, dry heat etc… Many of the forecasters out here are adequate but nowhere near as good as you. If you were to get a job out here I know you would elevate TV weather forecasting for every one.


  29. Sounds like Fox 5, at least what I’ve seen of it. I think it would be a great fit, so, of course, I encourage you to stay here! I don’t spend enough time in San Diego so that I’d be able to watch you on any regular basis, and that would be a shame for me.

    Best of luck in your search, and truthfully, good luck with the ‘not an opportunity’ in SD.


  30. Geoff, My husband and I were wondering what happened to you! All of a sudden you dissapeared! He thought that it could have been your contract that was not renewed. Guess he was right.Why in the world would they do that?! You are a great weatherman with a terrific sense of humor. We’ve always enjoyed they way you include extra interesting facts and info. Channel 8 NEEDS you.(I agree with J.G. above–you would be a great replacement for Regis!!!)

  31. Geoff;
    That’s what you get for having your office too close to the door!
    Seriously, you will be missed. With any luck we’ll be seeing you on air real soon.
    The Geoff Fox Watch Starts Now!!!

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