What do they call it, white girl problems? Is that it?

Last week a member of our extended family died. It was devastating and not something I was going to write about because this person was on Jon’s side of the family, and I usually like to exclude them from my commentary here. But in light of what has gone on over the past three days of our lives, I think it bears mentioning:

We had to attend the funeral of a loved one. And usually when you say that to someone — “I’m going to a funeral” — that someone will offer condolences or sympathy, something to the tune of, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Something, right? You wouldn’t just ignore that statement and go right on with whatever nonsense you were talking about, nonsense in light of the fact that A LOVED ONE IS DEAD.

But there I was Friday afternoon, zipping up my black boots, my head perched on my neck to keep my cell phone stuck to my face, and the producer at CBS is asking me to come up with some bullet points. Quick, short bullet points that they can put on a screen behind my head when I appear on the show Monday morning with Rebecca Woolf and Dana Loesch. And my mind is totally elsewhere, anywhere but there, so I say, listen, I need to think about this for a second, I’ve got to get to a funeral. I’m going to a funeral. I will do my best to email you before then.

And she says, okay? I really need these bullet points. I need them really soon. Please get them to me before you go to the funeral.

No condolence. Not an ounce of sympathy. Just get me those bullet points.

Did I need to be comforted by a producer at CBS? Not necessarily. But it did strike me as odd. Rude, even. There. I said it. How incredibly rude.

So as we’re scrambling to grab the photo of the loved one that Jon has spent hours and hours perfecting and printing out, the words he is going to speak before all of the gathered friends and family, as we’re straightening ties and making sure there isn’t a snag in my black hose, I’m trying to zone in on the part of my brain that can come up with those bullet points. And it’s not until we’re in the car on the freeway that I can come up with anything, so I email that producer from my phone. On the way to a funeral.

And she emails back immediately and says that I need to expound. I haven’t given her enough to work with.

Fine. I can’t do anything about this right now. I’ll get to it when I can.

Except, I was slammed with work and other family obligations until Saturday afternoon at four o’clock. And it’s then that my mind has calmed down enough that I start to get the feeling that things are a little off. In the conversation I had with the producer on Friday afternoon she said something about how they were changing the direction of the piece. How they were going bill us as “savvy mommybloggers.”

I think I speak for many of us when I say that if you have to see or even hear about another morning talk show piece featuring a savvy mommyblogger, you’re going to punch someone in the groin.

Originally we were told that this was going to be a promotional piece about Momversation, specifically the one Rebecca, Dana and I participated in several months ago, one that covered the topic of what we will and won’t write about on our websites. And the only reason I agreed to leave my family on Mother’s Day to spend less than twenty-four hours in New York City is because they were going to promote this project. It was going to be great exposure for this project, for the women involved, for the producers involved. That made good business sense.

But Saturday afternoon I got an awful feeling that they were going to leave the whole Momversation part out of it. And then trot out three savvy mommyblog—OMG I JUST THREW UP AN ORGANIC BANANA.

So I call the producer of Momversation, he who happens to be a very good friend of mine, and I express my concern. He hears that concern, makes a few phone calls, and within an hour has called back to assure me that they will in fact promote Momversation.

So I get out of bed at 5 AM, ON MOTHER’S DAY, to get on a plane to New York. And thirty minutes before we’re supposed to board the plane they inform us that there’s a bit of a wind storm going on in New York, and because of some construction JFK is now down to one runway. ONE. RUNWAY.

AS IF JFK COULD GET ANY WORSE. So many people just nodded so hard they got a concussion.

Cut to a three hour delay, half of that spent sitting on the runway. On Mother’s Day.

Listen. I know that this is just a bunch of whining. I do. I really do. Everyone’s life is totally crazy. My sister has one kid with a broken arm, one whose wrist requires surgery, and another with a sty in his eye. People can’t pay their mortgages. Houses are flooded in Nashville. Babies are dying in Afghanistan. And here I am complaining about a flight delay. BOO HOO, ARMSTRONG.

I KNOW, can you even believe me? Could I be more out of touch? Holy unrelatable mommyblogger!

Except, this is for Dana and Rebecca, two other women who left their children and the brunches they had planned with their mothers and grandmothers to fly across the country. Only to have the segment cancelled on Sunday night. For no reason. No explanation. Just, yeah, hmmm… I know it’s Mother’s Day, sorry! Bad timing, huh? OOPSIES! And then the producers wouldn’t return our phone calls.

You think they would at least MAKE UP AN EXPLANATION. Like, I don’t know, Obama is announcing his nominee for the Supreme Court. Or, there’s an oil spill in the Gulf, flooding in Tennessee, tornados in Oklahoma, something other than, “I can’t tell you.” I would have even believed the excuse that there were snakes! On a plane! Savvy mommybloggers would eat that shit up!

Yesterday one of the executive producers at CBS emailed the producer of Momversation to explain that it was a combination of the Supreme Court announcement and their soon-to-be-launched high definition broadcast that has displaced huge areas of the studio. Except that this explanation came after the three of us were on our way back home. And it wasn’t communicated to us directly.

And dammit, I was hoping it was snakes! LET. DOWN.

The whole experience was just a nightmare from start to finish, and having worked with several other production outfits — NBC, ABC, CNN, PBS, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and most importantly HGTV — I can say that by far this was the worst experience I’ve ever had with television. I mean, I helped Kourtney Kardashian change a diaper on a plastic doll on the Bonnie Hunt show, and that was more organized and meaningful than this.

Just so not cool.

  • mrs_k

    I hate when I’m hungry and I say something about it and THAT person inevitably says, “I haven’t eaten since yesterday!” or something equally as obnoxious to imply that they’re farrrr hungrier than me. I know there are starving children in Africa, but their growling bellies don’t make mine any fuller. When you’re hungry, you’re hungry.

    So when you have a terrible experience, it still sucks a lot for you, regardless of the larger chaos and tragedy going on elsewhere. I’m sorry you had to spend Mother’s Day dealing with stupid TV people rather than your children, and I’m sorry you lost someone you love :(

  • Heavenisabookstore

    I think you should have thrown a tantrum on air. They would have played it without question. – It all comes back to just plain and simple accountability and the MAJOR lack thereof. WTH?!

  • wockawocka

    Hey man, it’s CBS. What’d you expect? Least favorite broadcast channel EVER. :(

    ETA: My sympathies for y’all’s loss. Hope it gets easier.

  • marie.

    That entire situation seems ridiculously shitty. :/ Sorry dear.

  • Rebecca from Texas

    Total sucky balls. Ugh.

  • Vander

    Very sorry for your loss. Hugs to you and Jon.

  • ehorn

    That is pretty shitty. I’m sorry to hear about your problem. I would have been equally pissed.

  • Molly

    Ugh, just UGH. Sorry you had to deal with all this, crappy crappiness :\

  • paolouche

    I missed Mother’s Day with my kids on Sunday as I was in NYC too and even though I was visiting my best friend who I haven’t seen for almost 2 years, I was sad not to be with my kids.
    I can only imagine how the 3 of you were feeling after all the efforts for….nothing! Not even a decent explanation! Sorry to hear…

  • dragonflyvisa

    Sorry for your loss and Jon’s, and the inconsiderate huge waste of your time. I know it doesn’t help much, but the photo you took of the upper west side was gorgeous :) I mean seriously gorgeous.

  • Fitz and the Dizzyspells

    There is no excuse for that kind of rudeness. Just because there are worse things out there doesn’t mean that people should stop being considerate to one another. Minus 150 points for CBS.

  • napangel

    What a bunch of maroons. (And I am very sorry about your family’s loss.)

  • xmyrin

    I was interested in hearing what happened when I saw your tweets about it, and this is pretty much what I expected to hear. CBS’ behavior was completely rude and unacceptable, and you have a right to complain about it on your own blog, I wouldn’t fault you for that. Especially on Mother’s Day, that really blows.

  • Danielle970

    You have every right to be upset. Just because your house isn’t flooded or your children aren’t sick doesn’t mean you don’t get to complain about crappy stuff that happens to you, stuff that pisses you off and makes your blood boil. It’s called “relativity.” No one should be made to feel bad about their problems just because someone else’s problems are bigger. I’m sorry you were stuck in an airport on Mother’s Day. I couldn’t sit next to my boyfriend on a Southwest flight and I was upset. Screw both of us for having enough money to buy plane tickets, right?

  • sloan1982

    how gross is that!!!! What a bunch of pansies.

  • ladygray

    Gross. A misuse of power and misplacement of common courtesy that is inexcusable.

    Not cool, CBS.

  • sarahfromthenorth

    Wow, big thumbs down to CBS and to the very rude and heart-less producer. No excuse at all for that type of behaviour.

    Hope when you got home your gave both your children’s big hugs and smooches!!

  • Ariel

    Hey, I expect professionalism from everyone- Big corporate companies included. I’d say that was pretty sucktastic (and unprofessional) of them.
    And I’m sorry for the loss of the family member. Cause it’s just hard.
    Hugs for all of you.

  • freckledmama

    I knew I wasn’t a fan of CBS…now I know it was for good reason.

  • Ells

    Um, that sucks. For sure. Especially the part about your personal loss (for which I’m so sorry) and the girl who didn’t even have the normal human decency to understand that you don’t completely ignore people’s humanity and loss.

    However: As someone who works for the evil media machine, I know plans change sometimes. And you try to tell people what your “angle” will be, but sometimes, for whatever reason, you can’t deliver. You had an agenda, and it was promoting a pet project. Unfortunately, that wasn’t their agenda. I TOTALLY get that they should have been better communicators, but acting like they should have considered your goals when they chose the slant of the story seems a bit much.

    (Also, my captcha is “orifice summit.” Sounds like a party!)

  • Nina Amelia

    How professional..

  • KrisDinFL

    CBS producer was inexcusably rude. Besides, savvy mommybloggers are so last year. Momversations are what’s happening, baby – She should have know that. If they ever call again, tell them to suck it.

  • Groovymarlin

    Hey Heather, I just wanted to say I’m sorry for your family’s loss. It must have been really hard to focus on your normal work and life madness with grief in the mix, much less worry about some wack CBS producer and “expounding” her precious “bullet points.”

    Hope this won’t turn you off to future media appearances though, because I love seeing you on TV! Kind of gives me a vicarious thrill. Yeah, I’m kind of lame, but it’s OK. :)

    Anyway, sorry again, and hope everyone’s holding up OK.

  • toratoratori

    Fuck CBS.

    (YES I SAID “FUCK” ON YOUR MOMMYBLOG.)

    But seriously. Fuck ‘em.

    (And condolences on the loss of your family member.)

  • mommyoffour

    So sorry for your loss. And that your mourning was compromised.

    As for CBS? Unprofessional, inconsiderate and flat-out rude.

  • kristanhoffman

    Lame. Totally lame. There is NO good reason for them to completely cancel on you that way, without explanation, without compensation. Couldn’t they have offered to treat y’all to a belated Mother’s Day brunch? Given you a gift card as an apology? Or, I dunno, taped something and saved it for later, when the world wasn’t going to crap?

    {shakes head}

    Whining or not, your frustration seems justified to me. I’m sorry for your family’s loss, and I’m sorry you missed out on Mother’s Day. :\

  • Carmy

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    And CBS’s behavior is ridiculous. I’d boycott them out of protest, but I haven’t watched their programming since I was 10.

  • deepthoughts78

    I am very sorry for your family’s loss, and for a horrible waste of a day over CBS. The producers should be very ashamed of themselves over this situation. There are many more than just three “mommy bloggers” that will have lost respect for CBS due so how this played out.

  • katstone

    I would hate to be CBS producers right about now.

  • Daddy Scratches

    I just got laid off and don’t know how I’m going to keep a roof over my family’s head … and yet, in no way do I feel like my big pile of shittiness means you’re not allowed to complain about your own sucktatious experience.

    PS: I’m very sorry for your family’s loss.

    PPS: I never did like CBS. That fucking eye logo is creepy. And they employ Charlie Sheen. And I hear they power their broadcasts with baby-seal pelts. Assholes.

  • Wombat Central

    Mucho rude.

    My condolences to you and Jon (& family) on your loss.

  • Squeetthang

    And you didn’t even have time to get drunk in the airport bar! RIDICULOUS! I am sorry for the loss of your family member…

    And everyone has their own stresses in the day and cannot be compared to other’s stresses…it is your stress…OWN IT! :) ~

  • WordsandFilm

    I work in television and it kills me how often this happens. Far too many producers treat people like they don’t exist outside their relation to the show. I try and treat people fairly every step of the way and sometimes – lots of times – things happen that are out of my control, but I always have control over how I deal with it, and I try and be as honest as possible. It sucks when the network is being shady; no reason to make it suck more by personally treating someone badly.

    So, sorry you got screwed. F- those people specifically in the future and don’t judge everybody by the sadly myriad craptastic people you encounter.

  • amandalk

    Sincere condolences for your loss.

    And, yikes! I’d be complaining too. Hopefully some CBS producer out there is about to get theirs…

    Do you want us to stage a Morning Show boycott for you? (Kidding, mostly.)

  • hender_sk

    I don’t know. The chance to be on my own on Mother’s Day (and studies have been done that say this is the most requested “gift” for Mother’s Day), reading with no one bothering me, relaxing on a plane, walking around NYC at dusk and taking pictures – I think you had a pretty awesome day.

  • PinkGator

    Heather and Jon, I am so very sorry for your loss.

    That is all. xo

  • Simon_Kay

    First, sorry for your family’s loss. My condolences go out to you.

    I have a little bit of experience with The Early Show, though not much- a friend of a friend of my high school’s is a higher up with the show, won’t say which, so we used to visit them quite frequently. They were incredibly disorganized and scatterbrained and we (the visiting students) would often hear some of the staff talking about how negative their experiences were with the show. Whether that had anything to do with it, or its just shitty TV protocol in general, regardless of what the reasoning- that sucks and I’m sorry it messed with your mother’s day.

  • jenwilson

    I think you have every right to “complain” about this. I compare it to casually mentioning to someone that my kids are DRIVING ME INSANE when there’s people that can’t have kids or their kid died or something like that and WHY AM I COMPLAINING ABOUT HOW MY LIVE CHILDREN ARE DRIVING ME MENTAL?

    That really, really sucks. I really hope they come up with some sort of apology for making three amazing women leave their children ON MOTHER’S DAY for no good reason.

    Your “white girl” problems are completely legitimate. Never feel bad about ranting!!

  • chasethefirefly

    Very sorry for your family’s loss.

    I think the lesson from this disaster is that you should have respectfully declined when you were being pushed for bullet points while trying to prepare yourself for a loved one’s funeral. That moment screamed “OWNED!!!” to me and you’re better than that.

  • JasmineStar

    But, really, the fact you have the cajones to write this story out loud is epic. I applaud you and think the only way they can make it up to you is if they promise back your segment. And a stiff drink with Kathy Lee while filming.

  • jenwilson

    Also, sorry for your loss.

  • kayakgrrl

    I reiterate my offer to beat them up with dirty bras and dishwasher-safe toilet brushes.

  • SerenityNOW

    I’m sorry about the loss of a family member.
    And I’m sorry you have to apologize for whining on your own blog. My life is so boring, I LIVE for other people’s whining. And I love your stories.
    Who watches CBS anyways, my great Aunt Myrtle from Minneapolis?
    That is just the limit!

  • The Dalai Mama

    Totally sucks. So sorry that CBS had that little respect for your time and that of Dana and Rebecca (both of who I read often).

  • Benny

    It’s CBS, what do you expect. For as much as people rip on NBC, it’s CBS that really has no idea what they are doing.

    Oh, and heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

  • prettybabies

    They are dead to me. I will never watch CSI again. CBS has messed with the wrong savvy Mommybloggers. After the washing machine people screwed with you, I threw away my machines and now I beat my dirty clothes on rocks in the river.

    But seriously dude, what were you thinking, leaving the ranch on Mother’s day? You are a Big Celebrity and next time they try to schedule stupidly, you tell them, “I’m a MOMMYblogger, I’m not leaving home and hearth on (major holiday). You will reschedule it, bitches, or I’ll go all Maytag on your asses.”

    Or was it Whirlpool? That was, like, 50 years ago in Internet time.

  • dfunkmcgunk

    Wow – that producer sounds exactly like my boss. The insensitivity of many people ASTOUNDS ME. Even after two years, I am also surprised by the lack of compassion so many people have. My boss won’t even acknowledge when I’m going through something say – my third root canal in 2 months or say BEING PREGNANT AND HORRIBLY ILL! I have worked through all of it.

    Even though that person was a complete ass – you have an amazing choice…TO NEVER WORK WITH CBS AGAIN!!!

    I am so tired of jackasses. I wish the nice people of the world could all live on a commune together and the assholes could all be shipped to Sierra Leonne.

  • prettybabies

    Oh, and I’m an asshole for forgetting to say that I’m sorry for your loss.

  • picklesalt

    BITCHES.

  • smithie1996

    I cannot get over how rude and inconsiderate they were. I am so sorry for the massive waste of time and missing Mother’s Day. Glad you made it home.