Friday, July 09, 2004

We had a minor scare with Oscar this morning. Took him for a walk with Mary, as we've done most of this week. We walk around her neighborhood, and it's about a mile and a half. Sometimes we see other dogs, and Oscar is allowed to sniff, but not really "converse" with them. This morning, a woman was walking a yorkie puppy. The sweet little girl is about 10 weeks old, and is literally smaller than Oscar's year old head. She and Oscar sniffed noses, and she (thinking she'd made a friend) rolled over onto her back to play. Oscar (thinking he'd made a friend) reached out with one foot to prod her, and it apparantly hurt. She screamed ran away as fast as her little two inch legs could carry her. Her owner looked at her, and said she was fine, and carried her off, not seeming mad, with me apologizing profusely. I really don't believe what Oscar did was in ANY way intended to be aggressive - his pawing motion was like what he does to play with Trevor. But Trevor's quick, fights back, and weighs more than the pound this baby might have weighed dripping wet. And Oscar is very strong, and doesn't seem to realize what force he's using with his legs. With all the yells from the puppy, Oscar was quite worked up, and it took some time to get him to calm back down again.

It just reminded me of how strong he is, and how quickly things can go wrong.

At work today I realized one of the things I don't care for about offices and "corporate" work. It's become so completely about the bottom line, the product doesn't matter anymore.

Yeah, I know. duh, Amie, where've you been?

But I guess I kinda thought that even though the money was the most important thing to the Powers That Be, I wanted to believe that they at least realized that the product did bear some relation to the money.

I don't think I believe that anymore. Not about radio anyway.

I got a call from a PTB telling me I would be doing an interview with someone that has twice now let us down drastically. This person has told us that he wanted to pay for us to put various business leaders on the air for a half hour, to sell the stock for their companies. Twice he's claimed he wanted more time, not just the standard 24 minutes in a half hour slot. Twice he's sent me six questions and an interview subject who could barely speak English, and answered the questions in under a minute each question.

Now, the PTB can recognize that this does not make good radio. But this guy is paying for the interviews, so rather than say "why don't you put three interviews together" or just denying the sale, he would rather we sound like unprofessional, incompetant morons.

When he called today to tell me that this time the client wanted to go live on the air instead of prerecording, I felt my stomach hit the floor. If you're not taking calls, live doesn't make too much difference in talk radio. And when they've got a solid history of sounding like crap, pre-recorded means we have time to fix it up a bit, trim it and plump it so that it fits into an even time that is easier to schedule Public Service Announcements around, and flesh it out with a little introduction and maybe some music for the close. I asked what we were supposed to do when this third interview fell twenty minutes short. His response was to grab some show on CD and start it in the middle. "who cares if we sound like crap?" says PTB "at least he's paying us."

Of course S is back, in a wheelchair, but apparantly can set his own hours and completely ignore what he's told me about his schedule, as he's not shown up two days this week, with no warning, after telling me he would be in. Which means I now have his work to do on top of my own, and yet another Friday night is spent trying to keep a station on the air sounding good when I'm apparantly the only one who cares.

Wouldn't it be nice if I could spend my days taking care of animals, and spinning and knitting?

Thoughts for the Day:

Rita Rudner - “I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.”

Jerome Klapka Jerome - “He is very imprudent, a dog; he never makes it his business to inquire whether you are in the right or the wrong, never asks whether you are rich or poor, silly or wise, sinner or saint. You are his pal. That is enough for him.”

James Baldwin - “The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.”

Price Pritchett, Ph.D. - “But when we get enough people who don't care, and who don't accept personal responsibility for high ethical standards, our organization gets the 'M' disease. Mediocrity. Anybody in the place can be a carrier. By the same token, every individual can carry the cure: the ethics of excellence.”


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