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Dear Katie Couric, How Could Things Have Gone So Wrong Between Us?

Katie Couric shagrinThere I was, walking the Grand Canyon, minding my own business when your producers called and asked if I would be on your show. I was so flattered and excited at the prospect. Of course, I made room in my jam packed schedule (who could say no to Katie Couric?), and left for NYC two days later.

Nine hours of travel time landed us at JFK airport. A lovely man in a town car picked us up and took us the hotel. So far, so good.

Not so fast.

The accommodations provided by ABC Studios (aka Disney) … not so wonderful. While it was decorated in a cool kind of funky couture with animal print seats and snappy metallic decor, between us girls, it is not the place you ask your girlfriends to stay, let alone your out of town guests. I’m quite sure Mickey and Minnie would have declined the invitation.

Girl, let me tell you, the room smelled of mold, and was damp and cold from the window air conditioner (which wouldn’t turn off). The king bed had only one pillow, the bathroom was so small you had to squeeze aside to close the door, the handle in the shower fell off, our room door wouldn’t latch closed, the lighting in the room was almost nonexistent and there was no internet available. If you knew me at all, you would give me a medal for not complaining and raising the roof. But I didn’t. Mostly because I adore you and didn’t want to cause your staff any grief.  Between you and me, if we hadn’t arrived so late into the evening (11:00 p.m.) I would have absolutely changed hotels.

Besides, I was being offered the chance to sit down with you, my darling Katie Couric, and chat about all the fab info I have stashed in my brain. The opportunity was worth a few hardships.

I awoke at 7:30 (with a newly developed raspy cough) and headed to the shower. The wand promptly broke off in my hand. I made the best of it, managing to get my hair wet enough to swish in some shampoo and rinse. Once out of the shower, I maneuvered about the itsy bitsy bathroom using the toilet seat lid as a place to hold my toiletries. I was undaunted.

At 8:05, I received a phone call from your wonderful co-producer (she really is a darling) who advised me that in an unprecedented move, the Katie Couric show had cancelled the scheduled tapings for that day.

What? My inside voice was whimpering that I didn’t understand. That I sacrificed a lot to be there, the trip wasn’t easy and the hotel was harsh. But my outside voice was saying that I understood. Things happen. And I agreed to stay in NY for another day in the hopes that taping would resume. *deep sigh*

We quickly moved to another hotel (our cost), as we waited for the opportunity for a following day taping. It didn’t happen.

I wanted to call you and tell you that whatever horrible thing befell you or your show, I was there for you, that it was nothing that a big bar of chocolate, a couple of martinis, and a sit down with me couldn’t make better. Of course, I didn’t have your number, so I ended up eating Fritos in bed.

On the selfish side, I couldn’t have been more disappointed. Then it hit me. I’m pretty sure I sent out about a billion emails to my colleagues, friends and family. Dear God Almighty. …let the emailing begin.

And so, it was over. The window of opportunity shut tight.

Some would say I should be happy for the invitation. I am.

Others would say that I got a free trip to NYC out of the deal. I did.

I would say that the trip cost me some decent bucks, half a week of lost time, a good bit of disappointment and the cost of a new computer, since on the ride home, my computer screen was cracked while in the overhead compartment. Not to mention a  cough from hell and a raspy voice that made me sound an awful lot like Kermit the Frog in heat.

The valuable lessons I learned from our almost meeting are: 1. If you’re lucky enough to book a national television spot, don’t notify anyone until the taping is in the can. 2. Ask where you are staying, and make sure it is habitable. 3. When flying with your computer, keep it under your feet, NOT in the overhead compartment. 4. Bring your own internet hot spot when you travel. 5. Never lose your sense of humor. 6. Pack your pillow. 7. Take your loved one with you, you will need them to muffle your screams.

Still, I would do it all again, in a hot New York minute. It’s all about opportunity. When it knocks, I’ve learned to answer. If it doesn’t pan out, I’ve learned that there was something in it for me somewhere.

I also know that if you respect opportunity, it will visit you more often. I’d rather regret the cancellation of the taping than regret me not taking the chance to contribute.

So, Katie, if you’re listening, I’d like to remind you that I’m here in sunny California, waiting to be asked back by you and your staff. I hope that whatever happened that day worked itself out. 

Should the stars align, you can tell Disney that they will save a few bucks on the accommodations, as I will book my own hotel. And if Mickey and Minnie want to join me, they are more than welcome.

Hope to see you soon,

Your loyal fan,

Tammy Bleck

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Lee Lefton - Hey, sounds like you turned lemons into lemonade. Why does that not surprise me? What is it they say…when one door closes…well, you know. The next call could be from Oprah. Love you.

mel glenn - Dear Tammy,
An honest, humorous and practical guide on what to do if called to national TV. I am sure you were disappointed, and they owe you big time. Did you send a copy of this letter directly to Katie? I hope you did. They didn’t treat you nicely,and it
cost you money, but at least you got a good column out of it.

Joan Cooper - you are too kind. Such an inconvenience. There really should have been and should be more explanation that has been given. Also, you should be generously paid for your time and inconvenience !!! Was there any kind of agreement when you signed on. Business is business.

Joan

Holly Higbee-Jansen - I don’t know whether to say bummer or congratulations or both. It’s a great story and hopefully you’ll get another shot at it!

Tammy - Hi Lee, Haaa, wouldn’t it be nice to receive a call from Oprah? One can dream. You know that I try not to leave any stone unturned. This time out, I turned over the rock and nothing was there. I get points for trying. So great to hear from you. Hope your travels were marvelous!!

Tammy - Hi Mel, now that’s a thought….I should send this blog post to her producers and tweet it to the show. You, sir, are nothing short of brilliant. I took a shot, and missed. At least I held up my end of the bargain. In my book, that counts for a lot!

Tammy - Hi Joan, I have a feeling that networks don’t generously pay for much. It was enough for me to have my transport taken care of and my lodging…although that didn’t work out too well. It would have been a marvelous opportunity for me, and I truly regret not having it. But, that’s show biz, as they say. I did my best and all that was asked of me. I get kudos for that. So appreciate you!

Tammy - Hi Holly, I’m going to go with the bummer declaration. It’s wonderful being asked to the dance but its better if someone actually asks you to the dance floor. Didn’t happen. No fault of my own, but it still stings a wee bit. It’s all good, I gave it my best shot and have been told they will likely call me back. Here’s hoping. Lovely to have you on the other side of my blog. Thanks for that!

Carmen Kane - Dear Tammy,

I suspect Ms. Couric, may not be aware of the travel arrangements. I don’t see her as an uncaring person. My hope is that I am not proven wrong.

That being said, Ms. Couric or her producer should take a second look at who is authorized to make such poor decisions and arrangements. You were a guest!!!!! Unfortunately you were not treated as such.

This reflects poorly on Ms. Couric,the quality of her show and perhaps prospective guests.

One last thought …. would any member of Ms. Couric’s show stay at this hotel?

Tammy - Hi Carmen, I suspect you are right in your assumption that Katie knows little about the hotel that hosts her guests. Well, some of her guests. I can guarantee you that the celebrities on her show are not directed to this establishment. That being said, she is a smart cookie. One would think that she would care enough to inquire, perhaps even send a staff member to visit the place as a guest. It absolutely reflects badly on her network and with her name stamped on the show, it reflects badly on her as well. In answer to your question if any member of Ms. Couric’s family or staff would stay at this hotel…I think we can safely assume that the answer would be a resounding NO! If they did, it their room would have a door that closes, pillows on the bed, a shower head that doesn’t break off in your hands, light in the room and last but not least….an air conditioner that would turn off. Bam!

Dana Silecchio - Tammy, I got to hear from you at CSUN last week after the trip and you were still nursing that cold. I agree with Mel, send a copy of your blog. They were inviting you to the show in the first place because of your writing. So write away. You have nothing to lose and they need to know. Good luck. I hope opportunity strikes again, and I am sure it will!

Tammy - Hi Dana, thanks for the kind support. Lightening rarely strikes twice in the same place, but that’s not to say that it can’t come from somewhere else, right?! Yup, I will be sharing the post Monday with the folks at the Katie Show as well as ABC. Who knows it anyone really reads it, but why not put it out there. Can you believe I still have that goofy cough? So happy you attended the blogging seminar. Hope you enjoyed it and had good takeaway from it. Thanks for being here….love you for that!

Lisha @ The Lucky Mom - Wow. You’re a good sport.

Tammy - Hi Lisa, probably less a good sport and more of a “don’t burn any bridges” kind of thing. Not at all happy about how it turned out. Duh! But between you and me, and ‘thank you for coming’ would have gone down nicely. Just saying. Thanks for the read, appreciate that!

Lisa Flowers - A great article about opportunities. I have a feeling you’ll be called back…can’t they see what a great job you’ve done with just this fantastic post?!?! 🙂

Tammy - Hi Lisa, I’ve been told that the segment will not likely be revisited. Drat!! Thanks for your optimism and kind review. I’m sending it to them to read. *Gulp* Wish me luck!

Charity Kountz - Here’s a less snarky report from a more reliable source
http://m.nydailynews.com/1.1454366#bmb=1

Carol Cassara - Katie & her show should be embarrassed that they put you up in such a hellhole–without internet even. She’s worth a bundle–at the very least they should’ve given you a nice hotel room and replaced your laptop. That’s chump change to her personally & she should’ve stepped in.But then, celebrities live in a rarified world and “real life” doesn’t intrude that often. I’ve never been all the impressed with her and don’t watch her show unless I hit on something channel surfing.

Tammy - Hi Charity, Yikes, I had no idea. I think its more of a network thing than it is a Katie thing, don’t you? The View is lacking these days. If not for Barbara and Whoopi, it wouldn’t be here. I’m not at all sure Katie would fit into that. But….what do I know?!

Tammy - Carol, I have a sneaky suspicion that Katie Couric is clueless when it comes to the details. She is not the boss of it, ABC is. And, you’re absolutely right … it’s chump change to ABC. Shame on them. I must confess, that while I’ve admired her past work, I haven’t caught her current show more than a few times. I realize that national exposure is a big carrot to dangle, and much is given for the privilege of the chance, BUT, it is people like me (and you) who offer valuable content. Without that content…there would be no show. Simply said. Thanks, Carol, so appreciated your input!

Maureen - I know the next door-knock will be an even better opportunity! Katie missed out – she would’ve so loved talking with you! 😀

Tammy - Thanks, Maureen, sweet of your to remind me that opportunity always brings with it adventure and growth. I love both of those things! Thanks so much for being here. Appreciate you!

Sue - So proud to know of you and that you were invited and almost got there. Next time will be bigger and better. I do agree that they should have said “Sorry” You are their Big Fish that got away.

Valerie - Tammy, I’m so sorry this happened and I’m glad you have a sense of humor about it it. Although I’m not at the nationally syndicated level, I work in local news in a top 10 market. We cancel things all the time depending on breaking news and a variety of factors but really try to avoid that if someone has flown in (often on their brand’s money) If you want them to rebook you, I would remind them two or three times and if there is a producer you are chummy with, try to figure out what happened. If not, the things you learned are excellent examples of what to plan for with the next opportunity. I agree Katie is way above the decision making level about your hotel and possibly even the killing of the segment… I hate that this happens but it doesn happen a lot 🙂

Tammy - Hi Valerie, thanks so much for your words of support. I totally agree with you on all counts. The thing about this was, that two show tapings for the day were completely cancelled. Not just my segment, but 2 complete shows. So, I have to assume that something not so wonderful happened. It’s not my business, and I do have a lot of sympathy. I understand the cost of shutting down tapings for two nationally syndicated shows. Ouch! On a personal and somewhat selfish level, I was truly disappointed. As the French say, what will be, will be. I’m quite sure that Katie herself is and was completely out of the loop regarding details that involved her guests. At the end of the day, while some refer to her as “the talent” (undisputable) she is, after all, an employee of the network. I love that you stepped forward with your words of wisdom and comfort. Thanks for that!

Tammy - Hi Sue, thanks, I’m still ever so happy to have been considered. And I totally agree that a gracious “we’re sorry about hauling you across the US and keeping you here for a couple of days” would have be nice to hear. I think they are so busy, and those of us who were to be featured are already yesterdays almost news. I’ve been called a lot of things…but I think I like your “Big Fish” the best of all. Next time…bigger and better? From your mouth, to Gods ears! Thanks for being here.

Judith Eton - So happy to have found you through Sandra, can’t wait to read all of your stuff!

Ida Block - All I can say is that you are a very good sport Tammy. You certainly look at the cup as half full. I would be furious! I hope Katie and her staff read your post and will rise to the occasion and give you a golden opportunity to come back in a style fit for a queen. It would only be fitting and proper.

Best of luck
Loved your post!

Ida

Walker Thornton - The ups and downs of fame! Sorry it went so bad…but enjoying reading all about it!

Valerie - omg now I’m soo curious about why they would do that, very unusual! Not my business either but I’m dying to know! lol. There’s no reason to cancel an entire show unless Katie was sick or there was a death in the family or something, and even WEIRDER that they didn’t reschedule you. The show is doing well in the ratings so it’s not like it is shutting down or somethin. Very interesting, hope they call you back. And so sorry about the Fleabag! At least you didn’t get bedbugs 🙂

Valerie - Wow was I wrong, its apparently tanking. Does this article coincide with your bad experience? http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/katie-courics-talk-show-teetering-645257

Tammy - Judith, SO happy to have been found! I hope you enjoy and engage. Welcome….and hugs!

Tammy - So happy to see you here, Ida. Even happier that you enjoyed the read. I was a good sport, wishing not to cause problems or worries for my host. But as I look back, no one should really have to contend with that kind of stuff. I will send this off to them on Monday, but will not hold my breathe for a response of any kind. I love your idea, being treated like a queen would suit me just fine!

Tammy - Hi Walker, no worries, I’m over all of it except the goofy cough. I am grateful for the opportunity …. still. So very glad you enjoyed the read. Thanks for being here.

Tammy - Valerie, Eeeeek, I didn’t even think of bedbugs. The horror! Am feeling luckier by the minute. I’ve been told that they do not have any intention at this time to revisit that particular segment on any upcoming show (sad face). *le sigh* Katie taped the following days show, so I am assuming her health was good. As always, I look for the silver linings. Still looking.

Tammy - Valerie, wow, I had no idea. My appearance on the show was to have been over two weeks ago. The day the Federal government shut down, to be precise. So, it appears we are in sync. Too bad, I hope she gets a second chance. A lot of people’s jobs depend on it. But according to the article, and the one shared by Charity in this feed, the future doesn’t look bright for the Katie Show.

Irene S. Levine - Great post!

Tammy - Thanks, Irene, thanks for stopping by to say so! Appreciate that.

Annah Elizabeth - “I ended up eating Fritos in bed.” That is the BEST part of the entire story!! I might have eaten a half gallon of Fudge Royal… 😉

We never do know what we might find when opportunity knocks, do we? But hooray for you for finding humor in this one that didn’t go quite like you expected it to!

Here’s to ABCs second knock on your door!! for surely they will…

Tammy - Annah, so happy to have you here, and so happy you enjoyed the read. Fritos seemed more like a breakfast food than my favorite chocolate brownie ice cream. Since it was a wee bit after 8 a.m., I made the judgment call that soothed my nerves and calmed my disappointment. A tall order for a bag of Fritos, but damn if it didn’t do it’s job. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! Happy to be connected!

cheryl - Absolutely loved your post———-impressed that you were able to bite your tongue and remain “sanguine” about the whole experience——-not really who you are. I would have “gone off” about the room (Bob would have had to choke me to calm me). I can endure “things happening to change plans” BUT I HATE crappy rooms where I wonder about the linens, the cleanliness and lack of maintenance. I WOULD HAVE MOVED ALSO!!!!!!!!!!! by the way, where was this room so I am sure never to go there and able to warn my frineds———–would love to see you on FOX——maybe “Fox and Friends”

Tammy - Cheryl, I know, totally out of character, right? I held my tongue because I was a guest and it was to have been an in and out kind of deal. A Monday night check-in, taping Tuesday afternoon and fly back home Tuesday night. I wouldn’t have even stayed had we not been traveling for hours, arrived around 11 p.m. and I had to get up early to shower and prepare for the 12:30 call. It didn’t quite turn out that way. I ended up paying for a room for an evening while waiting to see if the taping could be fit in to the next days schedule. Not cheap, by the way. By the way, I would highly recommend that you avoid visiting The Empire Hotel in NYC (ahem). I was willing to put up with a few not awesome things for the opportunity. Things happen, I totally get that. But taking care of the people you bring to town to showcase your show wouldn’t be a bad idea, don’t you think? So happy to hear from you!!

Patricia - I hope that you shared this with the producers of the show. I mean “come on.” YOu did a diplomatic post that tells your truth and at the same time lets them know they handled you poorly. After all bringing you in was to their benefit. You did not get paid nor did you get any exposure for your site. Me thinks they can do better.

Tammy - Hi Patricia, me thinks you are right. But I’m not holding my breath. Will tweet and hashtag the show and Katie. Also email an link to them. Not expecting any payback, but an invite back would be mighty nice. Word on the street is the show is fighting for its life. I hope it wins. Thanks for your two cents. It was worth much more!

Tana Bevan - Tammy–
It was just a few months ago (right before our first meeting I believe), you were trying to get your computer to do what you wanted as you figured out Windows 8. And now you have another.

Quite an adventure my friend, of the transcontinental proportion!

You’ve a marvelous fan base. With all your fans sending stellar thoughts to the cosmos, you continuing to do wonderful things to warrant those thoughts, and you continuing to be the wonderful person you are as you do what you do, I’d say it’s only a matter of time before you go national!

I’m rootin’ for you friend! Woo-hoo!!!!!!

PS: BTW there may be a glitch in the system somewhere, I got kicked off your subscription list. I’ve resubscribed.

Tammy - Tana, Yes, the hits and changes just keep on coming. Ugh. I do so appreciate my “fan” base, but more so because they are just like me. We are all just trying to get by, be happy and live a good life. This is the part where I tell you how very much I appreciate your encouragement…bar none! I HATE hearing that I have a glitch in my Feedburner. Hate it! So sorry you were dismissed. I received no notice of it and it leaves me wondering who else was lost in the mix. Technology can bite me! So happy you jumped back on board. Love your doodles at http://www.tanasworld.com/blog/ Love them!

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