One of the great side benefits of working at a radio station is the regular availability of free food. I almost don’t want to do a post on this because somehow, some corporate boss is going to read about it and a no free food edict will result.
Every so often, some local deli or pizza place will drop off something for the air staff. Usually, it is a friend of a friend and nothing nefarious is going on. When it arrives, the odor of good things to eat wafts through the building. With the smell of blood in the water, the sharks swim out of the sales bullpen and a feeding frenzy develops. Just watch out for your fingers, during the scrum, it is difficult to tell the difference between a digit and a sausage.
It goes fast, when I walked by this table 15 minutes ago, there were five full pizza boxes, just delivered.
Now there is one box with two slices of some meat lovers heart attack special.
This is The Stairway to Heaven for a different decade.
It is so big. She looks like, one of those rap guys’ girlfriends. But, you know, who understands those rap guys?
They only talk to her, because, she looks like a total prostitute, ‘kay?
Ordinarily, I don’t much go in for such things as rap music. But this is entertaining, and somewhat universal.
Hard to believe that it was almost twenty years ago. Almost every lyric in that song is innuendo for some sex act. Like it. Dislike it. No rules were broken when making this song. It went to number 1 on the billboard chart in the summer of 1992 and no radio station anywhere ever received a fine for playing it. It was quite scandalous at the time, of course, we were young and naive then. Things have changed.
To the beanpole dames in the magazines: You ain’t it, Miss Thing!
I occurs to me that part of the reason that the radio industry sucks is because the music industry sucks. The radio and music industry used to have a symbiotic relationship, each benefiting greatly from the existence of the other. Of course, the greed and poor business practices of the last decade have driven every fun and thus entertaining element away from both industries. Leave it to the bean counters, who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
Sadly, no hit that I have heard on the top 40 station these days even comes close to the entertainment value of this 18 year old song.
Radio stations, at least when I first started in this business, were always upbeat happy places. Even in the worst of times and conditions, there were enough characters around to keep things lite, even if it was sometimes gallows humor. Back then, radio was an entertainment business, and who better to practice on then each other. Working late at night on a crappy transmitter, there was usually plenty of company and pizza. Even though the pay was low, the perks normally made up for it; diner or a movie trade for overtime, etc. In short, it was a fun place.
That was then, this is now: There is no fun in radio anymore, anyone who attempts to have fun will be disciplined or fired. Here are fifteen ways to ruin your staff’s moral if you think they are having too much fun:
Give the general impression that you don’t care about them, or better yet, don’t care about them.
Slowly erode whatever benefits are left. Start with vacation time, reduce it by 1/3 or more. Force give backs on sick days and personal days.
Stop 401k matching contributions.
Make them pay a greater and greater share of health and dental “benefits.” Make sure the benefits have very high co-pays and yearly deductables.
Place the blame squarely on other shadowy exterior forces such as “The Banks.”
If the employees really have you up against the wall, fire the general manager then blame him/her for every bad thing that has happened in the last ten years.
Don’t give raises. Make an announcement at the Christmas Party that there will be no raises this year.
Micro-manage. Make sure that every decision to do anything, no matter how small or insignificant, is run by you first. No one is capable of independent thought or action. Delay everything for no purpose whatsoever, just to show them who is boss.
Fire all senior staff members because they are making too much money.
Don’t replace terminated employees, rather spread the work around to those left.
Continually ask the staff why it is taking so long to get their work done, hang around and offer meaningless suggestions on how to be more efficient.
To motivate sales people, attend sales meetings. Make each sales person stand up and state what their budget is, whether they are meeting it and what steps they plan to take if they are not. Have the spread sheet in front of you in case they lie.
Do not to any building maintenance: Roof leaks? Wear a rain coat. Furnace doesn’t work? Keep your coat on. Don’t have a coat? Here’s the address for the Salvation Army. Floor rotting out in the production room? Watch your step, else you may have to crawl through the spider webs under the building to get out.
Strongly “suggest” that all employees should work two Saturdays per month. If you think they are not meeting that “obligation” harass them every opportunity you get, e.g. the men’s room, staff meetings, the hall way, call them on Saturday at home and ask when they might be coming to work, etc.
If anyone complains, tell them the are lucky to have a job and if they don’t like it, they know where the door is.
Those are the best fifteen, there are many more. These are tried and true methods that have worked wonders for my former employer’s moral. Not so much, however, the staff. Those poor bastards.
You know, when your job interview seems a little off, perhaps it would be better to seek employment elsewhere: