By John Montone

By John Montone, 1010 WINS

Pimpin’ ain’t easy.  Know what I mean?

Even as I was wondering what to write for this week’s blog, a young 1010 WINS sales rep came into my boss’s office and said, “Pimpin’ ain’t easy.”  When I asked him what that meant, he asked, “Just how old are you?”  The implication being…so old I was both unaware of what must be a commonly used term and so old I could not immediately understand what he was talking about.

I tried to save face by telling this much younger fellow that I would someday work the expression into a news story.  Of course that will depend on whether I am ever assigned to cover the arrest of a guy caught soliciting business for a prostitute. “Cops nabbed the suspect when he tripped over his full-body mink coat while running to his new Cadillac. You know, it’s like they say, pimpin’ ain’t easy.  John Montone, 1010 WINS at the 44th-police precinct.”

Okay, so maybe the young sales rep wasn’t actually talking about a pimp.  Maybe he was referring to his own line of work, having to cold call on businesses and try to get them to part with their money in exchange for radio advertising.  Or my job, approaching strangers on the street, MOS is what we call it, and asking them questions that they are mostly unprepared or unwilling to answer.  “So how about that subway fare hike?  Oh, you’re in a hurry.  Hi, excuse me, did you hear the MTA is going to hike the subway fare?  You don’t ride the subway?  But you just came up the stairs from the station.  Excuse me, the MTA is going to raise the subway fare.  You’ve got a meeting?  I see. John Montone 1010 WINS, we just heard the MTA will be raising the subway fare by 50-cents.  Oh, ya gotta go.  I can walk with you.  No time?”

Among the subjects many people I’ve approached in recent days were not interested in talking about were the city’s soon-to-be lower speed limit, Apple Pay, increased security around the Canadian Consulate, the trashing of a Kosher butcher shop, bad Halloween costumes, man crushes and banning of flights from country’s dealing with Ebola outbreaks.

Sometimes the uninterested guy or gal gives me a polite wave of the hand…the not now look, as if he or she might reconsider and talk to me if I returned in an hour or a week.  Other times I get a curt, “no comment,” as if the fellow I’m approaching out of the blue is a newsmaker himself.  Some people are downright rude, “I don’t talk to reporters!”  Some see me coming and turn at a sharp angle while avoiding eye contact.

Each day I deal with all manner of rejection.  And with discourteous, ungracious and tactless people, but I keep at it, pretend it doesn’t bother me, move onto the next person knowing that eventually someone will have the time and the knowledge and give me that verbal pearl I can play on the radio. But it takes patience and perseverance.  And stamina.

Not to mention focus and dedication. It can leave a guy exhausted, almost defeated.  It’s like the young man said, “Pimpin’ ain’t easy.”