Tobias Epstein is the General Manager of Shakespeare's Downtown where he has worked for over a decade now. He's a husband, father, and a wicked fast pizza maker. But he only comes out when it's a shit show. He keeps everyone happy and working hard. He makes you 'want' to work hard but when it's slower and the time is right, he'll be the first to strike up a casual conversation. And a casual yet stimulated conversation is exactly what we had during this interview. And I'm happy he gave me his lunch break for this. Dream Pizza: "Surprise me"
Recorded on 2016-03-31
Speakers: Joseph Weidinger and Tobias Epstein
So too biased. Epstein you with my boss for the past two years here. Shakespeare's. And one of the things that stands out to me in comparison to all the other bosses I've had is that you're not on ly one. Everyone respects as a boss and wants to please, but that everyone likes and relates to as a person. You truly feel like one of us, and we enjoy working for and with you. Besides that, I would describe you as a hardworking, negotiable, reasonable, respectful and funny person.
So welcome to this section of Shakespeare's. Okay, that you don't sit too often? No. On March thirty first, two thousand sixteen. Thank you for having me. Yeah, the first question is if your ruler of the world, what would you do on your first day? If I was ruler of the world, what would I do on my first day? Um probably nothing, probably. I suppose I would try to make sense of of what it means to be the room of the war.
On what? You know what it is I could accomplish? I suppose that sounds like a very practical thing. You mean you're not the kind of person that just sits around all day staring at the wall, thinking, What would I do if I ruled the world? No, I don't. But I mean, if you ask me if you could do whatever you wanted tomorrow, I'd probably say, take a very long nap because you have a child that has just been born a second child?
Yes. And do you does the child sleep in the room with you both or do you kind of separate yourselves and, you know, you take care of one and she takes care of the other? Yes. To all of those questions way. One thing that I found very true about having a second child versus having one is that when you have and this is a football analogy. So forgive me if I have to explain it further to you. But football teams or in basketball, you can play zone or man defense.
And when you have a one child, it's all zone defence. Because when Mom is doing something with the child, Dad is off watching something on TV O r is taking care of Assure her something like that. There are moments where you're both, you know, with the child. But when you have a second child, you immediately go into full time man demand defense when one is with one than the other parent needs to go with the other one.
Yeah, on so far is like bedtime routines go. Yeah, usually she's taking care of the real little won and I'm off taking care of the older one. For the most part, we do all sleep in one room. Because about a year and a half ago, Jonah, the older son, I decided that he wanted to sleep in our room with us. And that hasn't stopped for a year and a half on the newborn. We havin a bassinet in our room, and so he does sleep with us.
But he also loves the swing that way. It's, you know something strapped them into in the machine basically strains the radio, Yeah, back and forth. And he sleeps so well on that that if we have trouble with them like he's fussing or he won't go to sleep, we might go to the swing and he couldn't sleep in that swing for five, six hours. Wow. Yeah, I can imagine you're a brave new world. Uh, there's like a point in the assembly line of kids being born in bottles or whatever, but that they intentionally shake the bottles in a regular or this this regular, unregulated, ever sort of way Tio, prepare them for their future career as a pilot or sect.
Right? So maybe he has some. It could be something that's happening just, you know, on its own, right? You know, Jonah, for instance, it's the same swing. We got it for Jonah, and he hated it. You put him in that swing and he just cried and cried and cried and said, What the hell am I doing here? But Dylan loves it, Yeah. All right. So what's the best thing for human being? Best thing? Yeah, Mom. It needs to be something.
No. Okay. Preferably a man, sir. Besides breathing. Ok, ok, uh, other other than to be alive. That may be a good one to be alive. I think the best thing for any Well, I I suppose, towards the end of your life here, in significant pain than you know, being alive would not be the best, you know, obtaining some sort of happiness. However, however, that happens for that individual obtaining as in going out and getting it, whether it's something you have to go out and get or something you have to understand about yourself to get or you know, not not in the, you know, monetary sense, like you need to go out and work our job to be happy, but to figure out howto let yourself be happy or what it is that you need Teo do to be happy.
Is that something that you're comfortable with or that you do? Or can you find that you that you let yourself be happy? Or is that something you have to remind yourself? I think that's something for me personally. Something after remind myself. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Um, what's What's your favorite form of information. Toby. My favorite form of information. I mean, how I receive it. Yeah, beyond just my natural senses.
Or you need specifically, Yeah. Newspapers versus either one. Whatever you may feel more compelled to talk about. Well, I suppose I feel comfortable talking about any of it. I I enjoy reading newspapers because of that. You know, I think I'm on the cusp of the information generation, and there's, you know, certain things. I'm just sort of unwilling to get into like Twitter. I can't. I can't. A lot of my friends say they get all their news from Twitter.
I still much rather get it from a newspaper. I think that has to do with the news cycle. Would prefer to have my information come at a steadier pace rather than to be bombarded by it. I find that when I am engaging in multiple things and then receiving multiple kinds of information that it stresses me out you know, for instance, is fine, right? Driving the car around, My kid is crying and on DH employees from Shakespeare's is texting me about something that I need to take care of.
You know, I feel like I'm in the wrong place, you know, trying to take care of my kid from crying. And instead, I'm I'm trying to solve a work related issues. That kind of receiving of information stresses me out all right to be overwhelmed right now, that's I guess what I'm saying is, I think that is something. Why enjoying newspapers? Because it's it's an activity you're sitting there, you're going to get information is not just happening pouring on top of you, right becomes It comes in a big bundle of information, but it comes out of regular, in predictable moment that well, that's regular throughout the day.
Or I thought the week, however, enter that for that day. The paper doesn't change. Right with information in the paper is the same for the entire day. Where's Ifyou're watching TV or gain on the Internet? It's refreshing and changing, right? Yeah, that's interesting. You mentioned stress and won't talk about stress, and you mentioned work too. So ah, when? When you feel like you figure out what makes you stressed as it is a human and or maybe you don't have that figured out.
But you seem to No. You know what your tics are triggers are too being too overwhelmed, and you know how to manage them and all those things. Well, point your life. Do you feel like you had some command over that over my stress? I'm wolf. I don't know that I d'oh and I don't know that I have it all that all figured out. Certainly figuring it out wouldn't mean that I I take care of it all the time. You know, I can find myself getting just, for example, getting upset about something.
And I know in my mind you really shouldn't get upset about this. You know, this is a waste of time, but your emotions still can can lead you down the wrong way. You know, love me. Going through having my first son was by far the most stressful period of my life on DH. I certainly learned how to deal with that a little bit in having another child, but I don't know that it helped me in the stresses of, you know, other elements of my life.
So being stressed a lot more than you ever have before kind of made you more wherein I made you knowledge. What makes you stress and how to deal with it or something like, Yes, one second while we get some pizza. No, this What'd you make? I don't really have a lot to go off in order to surprise you Successfully, maybe surprise you, but make it something that you actually enjoy. So all I knew is that you, like, think rust here.
Says so. Then it's think. Rest that looks Looks I'll lead it. Awesome. The is a half breakfast by half earth quarter masterpiece and quarter pepperoni sausage. What's Ahh, breakfast pie. What? That's the greatest piece ever made. Lizzie's breakfast by. Okay, Lizzie's pizza go Okay, which I wish would be on the menu personally do. It's too complicated. Probably to make and to charge for because, as like light, Yeah, the ingredients, but of, like eleven of them.
Yeah, that can be tricky. So it's not practical, but it would take us a long time to make be hard to ring up. Yeah. Yeah, well, and so we'll eat and talk the same time, so just don't feel like it has to be that professional, because it's not. Okay. So what is your earliest memory? Um, I can't say that I remember exactly that I can recall, you know, chronologically. The first thing I think I can think of several different memories from when I was young.
You know, maybe between three four, five years old, Come on. You know, my my parents got divorced when I was three, so I three and a half. And I remember lots of things about the house that we lived on. Come on. I remember our next door neighbor's house. Remember being afraid of their dog. The dog would be outside all the time, by the way, by their fence. No. I have no memory of my parents being together. Until after the divorce.
I can remember when I was four years old. My sister Claire and I were friends with the whites who live next door us in Columbus. And they were Kim and DD. Kim was Clare's age, and Dede was my age, so we were all kind of. Kim was Claire's best friend. You're my best friend. I remember being in our basement of our house playing Pretend Goonies. You remember if you know this is a movie. Yeah, it's a movie from the early to Mideighties.
And we're playing the Goonies. And I can remember Kim, my sister's friend kissing me on the Yes. And how old are you? I was four hated. What? Okay, well, that's understandable. And, like, forcefully. Yeah, well, there's a scene in the Goonies where older the older brother is tryingto is like kind of hooking up with this other girl, and the girl finds herself in a dark room or something and ends up accidentally kissing the young brother and not knowing it.
And so this apparently was a scene we were reenacting. Count. Seems like an interesting movie for a bunch of four year olds. To what way? I mean, I was foreign. Dede was for my sister was seven. You're the youngest of to, too. And your sisters. Your full sister and your parents got divorced. And this is in Ohio, right? And and from there, you went to live with your mom or your dad more? Yeah. My mom got full custody of both of us.
My sister and I, You know, we moved, you know, on the other side of town to another. No. What's a suburb? But my dad always lived on the east side, and we moved over. Kind of closer to my grandma's house? No. And then it took a couple of years, but we finally they worked out some sort of custody arrangement. You know, every other weekend we spent with our dad every Monday, he would take us out or something.
Some sort of arrangement, but yeah. Huh? Yeah. So I lived with my mom, and I don't know this, but I'm asking where you raised a particular religion. And are you so practice? Are you still practicing anything? Well, my, My father is Jewish and my mother was Italian Catholic when they were both raised very much in those religions. My mom, we'll both. My price will take my mom eyes extremely liberal and her thinking, their worldview and home religious views as well.
So I think we attended a Unitarian church for a little while, but after that we stopped. We engaged in some religious traditions over the years and occasionally would go to Temple with my dad. We very rarely went to church with my mom, but for the most part, we raised seculars. My dad still celebrates certain holidays and such, but I would argue that he doesn't believe much of of this faith anymore. So, no, I don't practice any religion.
And to some degree, you really weren't raised. With a specific religion. And was that, um, being raised a secular in your time was that did that feel rare, or did you know a lot of people like you? I don't think that it seemed strange growing up. It was a strange Yeah, I don't think it wass, but, you know, we people that were religious that went to church regularly seemed odd to me. Growing up. In fact, I think it would took me longer as I went to my adult years to find out that you could be, you know, you could be really religious and not totally different in your world view for mine.
But as a kid, I kind of thought all those crazy religious people. That's interesting. That's great. Um, who were your Who Are were your earliest role models outside of your immediate family? Outside of my immediate family. Well, growing up in the eighties, I was a huge Magic Johnson fan sell. There is certainly a period in my youth where I wanted to be an MBA basketball player. I think, really, mostly my my parents, my sister, for the most part, my grand parents.
I had the most influence on me, and they're perhaps the people that I could say I looked up to, um I mean, my interests grew over the years, and I loved sports a lot when I was a kid, I suppose because my dad, Dida's well on DH. Then when I hit my mid teens, I started getting into a more artistic stuff, things like that. So I've had my quote heroes or whatever the famous people that I looked up to. But come, I can't think of like a mentor that I met along the way that wasn't family related or anything, that that what you mean.
Family, mostly, I mean, most of years of mine. Speaking of games, sports and heroes, I was Excuse me. Excellent quote. I want you to react to it. By Naseem Nicholas Toh Level in love You heard that name thinks he wrote some books, but, he says, and games were created games were created to give non heroes thie illusion of winning. In real life, you don't really know who won or lost, but you can tell who is a hero or not something.
So, um, why my question to you is as a fan of sports growing up and still And what what is, Are we hardwired for competition and what do sports exists? Four. I don't think that we're hardwired for competition. Were my my gut feeling with that is that we're not. And I would say that sports is a product of our play, you know? Yeah. You know, the other day I was on Facebook is stupid reference. But I noticed there was a video of a bunny and a deer playing together.
You know, animals play with each other, and so it makes perfect sense that humans would play. Also, I think that an organized game is just an extension of that play of entertainment, of the passing of time. I mean, I can remember being a kid and playing sports and not being competitive. I think that the competitiveness came as we got older, and it was kind of, you know, I get the quote, you know, you're kind of the act of being hero is something that could be joyful, You know, out.
None of that answers your question. Yeah, as it were. Maybe the desire for human Thor really entertaining plate becomes so large that no, the competition did exist then that level of play would not right in. The play is a distraction, you know, so that the game games are a distraction and putting the we know who wins and how they win and who's the hero and all that stuff is really just going so far into the distraction that you forget that it's just a game.
What do you mean by that? Distraction is Sounds like your kind of knocking. No, I'm not knocking it all. I think that that countless things that that that exists within human cultures are distractions or our distract. Distraction from what? Well, before we had the culture, you know, we kind of left with our just like any other animal. We have our instincts and our instincts are too. For the most part, whatever you have to do to stay alive and win hours.
Culture civilization improves to a certain degree tw where we worry where we need those instincts less and less. We need to do something else. You know why we're here. I think that playing the sport is just like anything else you know cooking. For instance, there's no reason for Mia's living, breathing animal of planet Earth to go home and spend an hour and a half trying to perfect a meal that tastes wonderful.
You know, we need something that will sustain us, but I do it because it's something that you take pleasure out of doing something that isn't those basic animal instincts. I suppose I view it more is like an existential thing, you know. So in the world of Toby, everything is basically a distraction from the purpose of life which was to survive. That has not necessarily been lost cause that's still the purpose or point or whatever, Possibly but much of it.
Much of the the time it takes to survive has been lost. And we're distracted our we're filling of the time, right? We're filling in time. Yeah, that's pretty much. Yeah. Okay, good. Let's see. Speaking of bunnies, are the laws of nature cruel the laws of nature? Um how. You know, I have a hard time answering things with giving absolute answers. You know, it was really just a yes or no question. I can't say that.
I really know. It seems as though yeah, that that the laws of nature would be inherently cruel because you get to exist. But you also have to die. If we didn't die, then maybe perhaps you could argue that the laws of nature are not cool. But I think that yes, they are. I would lean towards answering it. Yes. Even though that you get very few hours of sleep because of this procreation, our gift that you brought into the world.
Well, yeah, good. I mean, actually, that makes sense. Yes, that's That's why they're cruel. But mostly because of extra, essentially one, they will have to die. Yeah, well, that and sometimes being alive was not easy to be difficult to maintain their suffering, no ofwhich without those they're most likely wouldn't be happiness. So it is cruel in that sense. No. To obtain some sort of happiness at some point along the way.
You have to I know what it's like to not be happy. That's pretty cruel. I suppose. Okay, So why won't talk about Also is when you do live music stuff. Okay. When did you start playing music? My stepfather. My mom never remarried, but she became partners with somebody and they were together for many years for twenty years. Nineteen. And he owned a really nice guild. Acoustic guitar, No. And I think he always had it when even while we were in Columbus, they don't really have a memory of being in Columbus.
But I do remember it showing up when we came tto Columbia Inn ninety four and he basically won. You know, he he wanted to sell it to make some money off. But he said, You know, if you want it, you want to learn guitar, you know you can have it. And I said, No, he's he's alive. I'm not interested. They sold the guitar. And about a month after that, I told him that I want to learn how to play guitar on. So we bought a really cheap came.
Remember the brand We bought it from Crazy Music on Crazy Music was up on tenth Street. Wait, Was it ten Street yet over where the for about clicks. Um, so at that point, I was fifteen, I think. Fourteen or fifteen. I was fifteen and acoustic guitar has been You're primary interesting when you were doing in music a lot more. And then, like in this duel that you played Yeah, Holy frog, you played acoustic right for the most part, Mint.
I also played electric guitar but and dabbled with certain other things, you know, here and here and there, but nothing I would would brag about. Or, you know, I can jump on a banjo and do some stuff, but I would never tell another painter player that I know how to play. And so when At what point did you know that you want to create your own music? Yeah. Um, very much. When, right when I learned. My best friend at the time I met him in Columbus and moving here away from well, moving here in general was not an enjoyable experience for No.
Thirteen, fourteen year old who has just sort of getting settled with friends and all that in school. Uh, but he and I both kind of learned how to play guitar at the same time. And so, as from the very beginning, I started writing my own stuff. I can think back even further. I think the first song I ever wrote There is a song by Bon Jovi that was in a movie about Billy the Kid, and when I was, however old eleven at the time.
For some reason, I wrote lyrics to that music. Lim was instrumental piece or there's an instrumental section. It was a it was a. It had lyrics, but I erased them and write my own lyrics to them. So I guess that might have been the first time that I wrote, Um, got interested in writing a song. But from the very beginning playing guitar, my friend and I would send each other tapes of stuff. Really? Yeah, on DH, I would visit Columbus like, three times a year.
And he would come here, like, once a year. And each time we would, we would have had, like, little tape recorder. We're record we work out new songs that I still have the tapes of, like, twenty cassette tapes of these ridiculous serious too. There were very serious. You felt very seriously. Yes, Yes. Felt serious and important. You know, now it's impossible to even listen to because thank you. No, listen, this's So Yeah.
Do you find it at least charming in some way? For example, And you mentioned You said kind. Difficult for you to listen to the Holy Frog stuff early to thousands. Is one more difficult to listen to the other Or do you find a certain charm versus one or the other? Come this stuff that I did When eyes your first learning guitar, I say I have more interest in because it's much longer ago. It's a I mean, it's just my friend and I playing songs and can hear us talking about stop it.
It's a really representation of a certain period of my life. I don't necessarily have that feeling about suffering of Holy Frog. I think I was just a serious about both of them. But I think it's it's only hard to listen to in the sense that you know you you change on DH, your idea of what is good changes, you know? I still enjoy listening to all of it as like. Reference to the past or whatever. Yeah. Here's I wanna read, eh?
Read a Lear that stuck out to me. Lisa won't answer the door King. She's hooked on heroin, and everyone knows that Lisa won't answer the door. She's scared of the outside. She's seen it before. Oops, staring. I couldn't really hear every word by trying staring out the window watching life go by, crawled up in the corner at sometime at night. But I'm sure that she knows what she's doing because I don't know what it's like in her head.
That sounds pretty, Ron honest, and I want to know how you approach and I like that. I don't know how you approach leered writing when you wrote a lot of years. From the time I got into college for the next about five year period there, where writing was very easy, You know, whether or not it was good as another discussion, but the creative process of making music, writing lyrics and all that I was extremely easy, I think, because I didn't put much pressure on myself about it, you know, much more willing.
TTO. I've always been a really shy person, extremely site, Really. That's kind of surprising. The person that I met at work is it's me. But it's It's not the person that I am necessarily at Holmes. I think my a lot of people that have no me for a long time, I definitely do not consider me to be outgoing. They consider me to be introverted and shy. And during that period of my life is when I first started kind of Brandt, you know, getting myself out there, you know, Come on, where getting up on stage in front of people wasn't the scariest thing in the world.
And that was the same with writing. Um, a lot of my When I learned the guitar, it was, you know, mostly through high school. They got very good at it very quickly because I would go home and sit in my room and watch TV and play the guitar. I can remember watching like saved by the Bell episode. It's like four of them in a row, but I would also be playing guitar, and that kind of continued as I got older, like any song I've ever written most of the time, I think there's probably a TV on there's probably beer around there I don't think I ever had, like, a process or anything, you know?
So you feel inspired most when there's a lot of things going on that you're kind of paying attention to. Yeah, yeah, maybe. Maybe if you sat down if you sat down in a room all by yourself with knows no anything you had. If you wouldn't feel very inspired. No, I would not get the inspiration. In fact, I'd probably so hard on myself of whatever I came up with it. I just give up entirely. I think to some degree, being distracted allowed me.
Teo, just do what I wanted to do, right? Throw it out there. A lot of the stuff that I wrote it's not like it's a huge catalogue or anything, but a lot of it. It's not like I sat down and I thought, I'm going to write about this you know, a lot of times I would have the music in mine, and I would search for something inspirational that was make me give a shit about the song and, you know, move forward with it on those songs that I would say I completed, you know, were ones that that one line would get me into the next line onto the next line.
And they weren't really like topical In a sense, you mean by that? Kind of like you like you have a string of of, like, you don't sit down. Say this song's going to about this, and then you're like, Well, the first was going to say this about this, and this is going to say this, and it's all going to come together in the end, right? Well, it's like that the song You referenced Lisa, the that That's the first line in the song, and I am the one.
Yeah, I wasn't writing a song about heroin, but after I wrote that part of it, probably the end of it about I don't know what it's like in your head. That's what the song did end up becoming about. And so the next you know, other people that I talk about. Those songs have the same thing. There's something going on their lives. I could sit here and judge them, but I'm not going to just but a lot of time songs.
You could look at it and not find that cohesion, you know, that would have a lot of That's interesting. It's like, I think I'm reading this film classic for class. He was talking about peace, a symphony he was working on or something. And at some point, like halfway or all the way towards the end. He finally just carries ago. This is what the pieces about this motive or this melody or this whatever, but it's it's something that you don't have that figured out.
The beginning is, I think that the most and I think a lot of it could be left up to interpretation. Do you still write anything? Ever? Not really. Or do you think of writing sometimes? Yeah. I do have some things that pop into my mind that I might want to write about this. And I also wrote a lot of short stories I made my major was creative writing, so come I did usedto. There was write a lot more. Obviously.
Music wise, nothing at all. I haven't got anything creative on that front since my first son was born. Well, pride before that since I started this job. Occasional write something and nothing really happened with it. But and you take me back to that year, two thousand five or six or somewhere on there. When you first offered this job, what was it that finally, that's it? I'm done with this or I'm not going to write anymore, etcetera.
It didn't just happen. Not playing with you doing the band thing. That's something I definitely side I didn't want to do. Took up too much time. Took me away from my white Well, then, girlfriend. At the time, it wasn't producing anything, really. Not just monetarily speaking, but, um I think I guess I started finding successes and other things, right? And so that's what led me down that road. But I still I still enjoy it all.
I just I'm not putting so much energy into right on DH First starting working, I start working. Shakespeare two thousand five became the GM in two thousand eight. And there's definitely a real shift for me in two thousand eight taking on that position. And then, you know, within two years, I was married and then the active that I had a kid. And it's just kind of I think, adulthood that kind of happens that way sometimes.
Right? You know, you really have to want it. Really have toe tohave it be a part of you to pursue something like music as a career. All right? You know, And I don't think I only ever had that. Or have nothing else for a long enough time to. That's for you, too. Yeah. There's something like that. Yeah, I agree. Um, how did you How did you produce the album? By the way? You have a teepee in an album. And where was it?
Produced? A good question. My buddy Kurt. Your band mate? Yeah. I mean, bandmate. I met him when I was sixteen. He worked at the university bookstore warehouse where my stepfather was the manager and Kurt who throughout he's thirteen years older than me, I think. Really? Yeah. On he had had some musical experience, and it's had a little bit of involvement with with bands that had made it. I guess you would say, um, and my stepfather came home one day and, you know, this guy works works under under me, You know, he's friends with the meat puppets.
You know who that who they are. And I knew who they were only because of Nirvana at the time. Um, and anyway, Kurt gave me guitar lessons, a few guitar lessons on, then about within a year or so. The lessons just turned into us, just playing music because he was never really super awesome on the guitar anyway. And he had even then, before I came along, he had recording equipment that he had purchased a two time was high end expend not high end but expensive equipment, and he had actually started working on something of his own.
And he was playing by himself as Holy Frog before I came along and our first actual album, which you can't find on Spotify or iTunes or anything was mostly him stuff he was doing. And then there's a couple of songs in there that you can hear Toby's guitar. And I think I sing a song on there. But everything would be recorded his house for a long period. I'd go there every Friday, maybe another day, and we'd spend, you know, the whole five, six, seven hours doing stuff that went on for years.
It went on for a few years. Yeah, and the P was a product of that on DH. Then Way knew we were going to do the album that was all recorded there. But it was mixed by a friend of ours front of Kurtz named Jim Roth, who was playing for a band at the time. And he had a bunch of really good equipment. He's actually producer named on there. He added a lot to Teo. What we did. Yeah, I mean, it seems it seems, well enough mix that he's like, Wow, this isn't just recorded in some garage studio.
Um, okay. And so when we ask you, we got, like, twelve minutes left. That's cool. Yeah. I'm going to ask you some questions about being GM. I'm gonna ask you some closing questions. Okay, So about working here as a junior manager. What guides your decision making you? Are you more of, ah, got decision type of person or do deliberate over things for a long time, Or do you need to sleep on it Or a certain way?
You know, I am very much a I need to go home and think about it. So you bring your work home with you very much. Yeah. Really mean certain things don't need long periods of, you know, consideration, but a lot of things. And also, a lot of things have to be decided right then and there. This is, you know, anything that doesn't qualify under that. I definitely need to think about even when I pretty much know already what I'm going to dio from.
I have to think about things. I will say that specifically in my position and for my job. When I started in this position and I One thing I told myself that I was going to do wass than I thought was very necessary, was that I needed to up run the business and conduct myself as if I was the owner. And in doing that, you kind of train yourself to make those decisions. You know, any work related decision that comes up.
The first thing I'm thinking is what's best for Shakespeare's not what's best for me, not what's best for this employee sometimes maybe, and what's not best for this particular customer. But every decision that I make at work, I try to take the business of the ownership and what's best for them. And you still think that what I do? Yeah, interesting what? This deal in dealing with people that's probably your biggest job, is dealing with people in one capacity.
Another does punishment work. Because I would say that compared to other places, I've worked there's there's not a lot of punishment here in the sense that, like, oh, you know, three strikes and you're out or or, you know, every place has some sort of system of making it obvious that deciding when you're too far out of line or whatever, I suppose that that I would ask, you know, for who who is it working for you?
You know, punishment doesn't work in terms of, you know, all of you shouldn't have done this. And so we're going to dock your pay. That's not gonna fix anything. Um, but there is to a certain degree, you either do it or you don't do it, you know? And if you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing, then we should just let you go. And in that case, sometimes for the employees, the punishment of losing their job could actually benefit them in the long run.
Right? They learned something from it. There are plenty of people here that I've fired that went on to do something they enjoyed or be successful at another job. I myself was fired from clovers when I worked clovers. And, you know, I look back on an alley I wouldn't put up with with twenty four year old Toby for a week. You know what? It was there a specific thing. Well, I mean, it's complicated because the owners of Clovers, I've known for a very long time now, and I knew them before I was an employee there.
So my firing was basically like a well, we don't really like this. I mean, if you want to keep working here, you can. But it just doesn't seem like you want to work. You know, It was very friendly. Very. They didn't want to do it right, But they felt they needed to for your sake, Not for my sake. I think maybe for the other employees say, Yeah, you know, I had been there, or at least been a part of the Clovers family for for a long time and so on.
I was twenty four, so sometimes I'd show up late, you know, on DH people that were new there that needed me to get there so that they could go home, take care of probably adult responsibilities. Didn't like it. That in a twenty four year old kid with long hair was coming in here and being late, you know, and they finally had to sit down with me. And that's just kind of how it ended a week. I think two weeks after is something like that the girl I was dating.
My wife became a manager right there. Yeah, there. So it was interesting situation, and I was really upset at the time. But I look back on it now, and I just think God, Yeah. And around this was around the time that you were putting out an album. Yeah. The holy logging. All this? Yeah, it was. Yeah, that sounded lots of stuff going on there this year. Okay, so here's the ones. The last ones here. There's a lot of them, but you should answer them quickly.
Okay? I'll try. What questions remain unresolved for you? All of them. What is the most overrated idea? You want me to think quickly on that? The most overrated idea? You can't say pass, but I don't want to encourage that. Can I say passing? Just answer later. Maybe? Yeah. How do you find peace of mind? Um, I think there's lots of ways to find peace of mind. But I if I had to answer you really quickly, I'd say keeping it simple.
If you're walking down the street today and you got yourself a twelve year old, what would you say to you? Told yourself what? Um gosh, I don't know. I would say I'd say Don't be so scared. Get out there and do something, huh? Should toilet paper go over or under the rules? You know, I since I have to answer quickly, I'll say over, but it really doesn't. It really doesn't bother me either. Which way? As long as it's accessible.
Right? That's funny. These other heavy ideas, You have no problem answer quickly. But the toy favor one had to think about it. I hope you don't take that one with you. If a publisher was to release your autobiography out the top of head off the top of your head, what would the title be? I don't know. Okay, well, if they sent the glue in the binding, what smell would it be? The glue in the binding? Yeah, that would be a nostalgic smell, I guess something that reminded you of something like a generic nostalgic are very specific, nostalgic smell for, you know, I think it's a derek.
I don't know. Okay. Yeah, that's an odd question. It's like if someone opens up the look like But I've read this before, Right? Okay. Uh, if a statue was built in your honor, where would it be displayed? And what would it be made of? It would be made of paper and it would be displayed in someone's closet. Good. Wow. This is it. Please tell me something good you've never had And you never want something good I've never had and I never want But I know that it's good yet I know it's good, but I don't want it.
That's true. Wow. Ah! Enough. Yeah, I guess sex with someone other than my wife. Okay, that would be good, but I don't wanna have to deal with the consequences of that. Right. Good answer. Is it? Yeah. So let's not censor or it's me. Uh, what is the healthiest cultural shift you see developing today? Wow, healthiest. I just thought the top of my head, The fact that young people are voting more and more is something that I think is good.
You know, I've gone time thirty five for my entire life. It's always been, well, young boat, Maura. Maura. It's kind of starting to turn a little bit where young people are getting involved. Whether or not I agree with the things that they're bald with is one thing. But, yeah, I'd say people being involved in politics and society and things. I think that's good people being involved in a society that they have it.
Yeah. What gives you the most optimism For what? Just optimism in general. My kids. Kids whom yeah, good. What is here's A. Here's the last question. It's kind of like the question you're hung up on for that. You have to think about what? It's the day's most un reported Most important unreported story. Uh huh. Personally, on I dont wouldn't categorize. This is something that's unreported, but it's under reported O.
R. At least it's not climate change. I think it's the most important. If there's an issue of political issues that we need toe resolve or what's important, Teo, our sustainability as civilisation. I think that climate change and figuring out, you know, I just read this morning. Ravens yesterday an article in York Times, it said that New York will be underwater by twenty one hundred. Well, I don't get immediate like, Oh, God writes the worst thing ever.
I I do have faith in humans, can figure things out and make things better for us. But the idea that my grandkid is going to have to be the one that's dealing with that bothers me. All right, I'd rather deal with it right now, right? That's something you probably find. This is people have kids. They start thinking about the future Masum. I write so I could talk about how kids have in fact, have affected my life in world view and everything for hours because it was that big of a change.
Big of a change. Yeah. And I don't mean go. You have to change diapers, and you could sleep in all of that crap. You know that? That's the easy stuff, you know. Really? Yeah. That's nothing home. Oh, that's what I was expecting. You say, Oh, yeah, that's nothing. My, My wife does that. No, no, no, no, no. Trust nation. I do my share. I've but there's a line in a movie are in a show that I loved it's from, I think I'm pretty sure it was from true this show, True, detective and the line is to love a child.
So I get it right. To love a child is to open your heart to all the pain in the world on that. That's so very true. Yeah, having I suppose it's different for everybody that are playing people, have kids and don't care about, and they don't care about the kids. And but the impact of having my first son was huge, huh? Not just because of all those little things but my world view and with the way my lean philosophically towards our existence and what we're supposed to do and all that stuff.
I don't know what I'm getting that, but yeah. No, I like what you said. That that was beautiful, right? What was the last question? What is today's most a N'importe None report started. You said under reported is global. Right? Right? Yeah. And what was the question that I passed? You pass on? What is the most overrated idea? I really need you to give me a list of ideas. Um, most overrated. Um Maybe the humans have some sort of, uh you know, ordained purpose in the universe that we're somehow special.
That's funny because I the one question I didn't ask you, they usually ask some people was why it is so difficult for people to consider the possibility that life may be pointless. But you don't really have a lot of difficulty imagining that or considering no, none whatsoever. Yeah, and I think the answer to that question is its It's kind of it's kind of associate with death, Really, You know, on knowing that you're going to die is one thing, but being able to truly accept that in its actual sense, quite difficult, I think on.
So we give ourselves these notions, you know, to make us feel better about the existential threat of no longer being here, right? And that that's probably almost maybe even an evolutionary. It could be very much to protect ourselves. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe we're taking off our clothes by by being Mohr scientific and right understanding on the Somme. Well, you know, regardless of what you feel about it, you're going to die anyway.
So you can believe all sorts of things that make you feel better while you're alive. It's not hurting you. Really. So I could I could see why be so easy for people to accept that there's a purpose that you're going to heaven, right? That we're alone in the universe and all of that stuff. But I've just always struggled with permanence and, you know, being told something. Oh, yeah. That's what I'm going to believe it now for the rest of my life.
Right? I can't do that. Right. Be open. Great. Toby Epstein to bicep sign. Thanks for joining me, Teo. Get in there. You think that