It has now been a little over four months since the falling out between myself and one of the best writers HMJ has had. His name is Carlos Perez aka ‘Tribute’.
In order to fully understand this story, we have to go back to the beginning.
It was about a year into me running HMJ. I was broke and using social media networks to figure new ways to grow awareness of the website. At that time there was a twitter account called @stonernation and he spoke about making a stoner social network that would surpass high times and become the biggest marijuana site on the web. He was looking for top notch writers to join his team and he was paying.
When I heard about this, I immediately jumped on the opportunity along with Joe Klare (@stonerjesus420) and Carlos. We were running a top notch blog for him for a few months until the money dried up and the excuses piled up. Eventually stonernation flopped and we all went separate ways but I decided that it would be a good idea to reach out to Carlos and see if he was interested in writing for HMJ.
He said yes.
He went on to become an extremely consistent, extremely dedicated HMJ soldier. You could always rely on him taking care of articles or tasks that he said he was going to do. He juggled school responsibilities and HMJ work incredibly. He covered several events in the Bay Area and Los Angeles for HMJ. If anyone ever talked shit about HMJ, you couldn’t stop Carlos from getting at them. He was a rider for two years.
Fast forward to summer of 2012 and we were preparing to cover Rock the Bells which was one of the biggest events HMJ has ever attended. Carlos passively expressed concerns about the state of the HMJ editorial team and the consistency of payments (which I was paying out of personal money). Communication with Carlos started to become an issue. He wouldn’t pick up phone calls or return them. He became increasingly confrontational and complacent towards me and the rest of the team.
I could feel that there were issues but with planning for Rock the Bells taking the forefront of attention, I didn’t have time to address it and when I did, I was not able to directly communicate because I never got calls back.
It all came to a head with a big fight between him and I which resulted in harsh words being exchanged from pent up frustrations. I learned how important crucial communication is.
This conversation resulted in his termination from the team. He had already mentally given up on the team so it was just time to make it official. This was extremely difficult and emotional for me. It was like breaking up with your girlfriend or losing a good friend and you are not sure how you are going to pick up the pieces.
HMJ has picked up the pieces just fine though. Increasing traffic, getting new writers, and addressing serious fiscal issues that held us back previously. I only wish Carlos was here to see the progress we have made.
That’s the way it goes sometimes. We all learned a lot of lessons in that situation but at the end of the day, Carlos wash great worker when his heart was in it. If anyone ever asks me about his work, I will always say that he is a valuable asset to whatever team he is on and he roles amazing joints. He is now focusing on his own projects. The greenies should definitely fuck with him. Check out his personal website here. Looks like he hasn’t updated for a while. That’s unfortunate but I guess now he will learn how hard it is to actually build a site up from nothing like what was done with HMJ. Hopefully this post will re-inspire him.
HMJ moves forward. 2012 has been amazing to us and we are looking forward to 2013 to be even better.
Happy trails, tribute.