Monday, October 11, 2004

I work for a radio station, the smallest in a company of three. I manage my station in Annapolis MD, with a whopping one other employee. There's a station in Philly and another in Falls Church VA, both foreign language.

The Falls Church station is the largest, and the "hub" of the company, and handles the billing for all the stations. Our employees range from all age groups, all nationalities. Many of the people who answer the phone have thick accents.

One of the talk show hosts on my station (who has been repeatedly rude to me, and thinks he's far more charming than he is - think stereotypical used car salesman) called to ask me a question to which I didn't know the answer. I suggested he call the main station, and he said "there's no one there." I have NEVER called this place and not had at least four people there, so I said "really?" and he said

"Well, just that Al Qaida guy"


I was in shock. Got off the phone as quickly as I could, and sat there, dazed.

After about half an hour, it was still bothering me a great deal, so I sent an e-mail to my manager, explaining the conversation, telling him that I just wanted to put the ball in his court, because I was terribly offended, but wasn't sure what (if anything) to do in this situation.

My boss (have I mentioned that the only good thing about my job is that I really do have good management, for the first time at any radio station I've worked at???) called a few minutes later to read me the letter he had drafted to this client.

It included a story of that particular employee - you know, the "al Qaida guy". The one whose family had escaped Hussein's regime, losing several family members in the process. The letter finished with "I guess we learn something every day. Or maybe we don't."


Blogger xmasberry said...

what a weird comment for that guy to make. does he think you don't respect your colleagues and that you would allow a comment that seems derogatory to not bother you? or does he think at all? i've had people make racial jokes at places where i work and i just reply with 'i don't think that's funny'. and they weren't, they were stupid jokes that had no meaning other than to be derogatory.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Elisa said...

Amie - your boss really is about the only redeeming thing about your current job, isn't he? Thank goodness for him, seriously.

When I read the "Al Qaida" guy comment - my eyebrows shot up to the ceiling.

I've been thinking about you a lot - I'm really at the career crossroads myself. I hope fervently for the right position to come to you. And soon...

6:35 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...


My reaction was similar to yours... gosh, that is so offensive. It still amazes me that people can be so intolerant, insensitive, and especially SO ignorant. It is good that you brought it up to your manager. It is so nice to have a boss that listens to you and takes things seriously. (Wish I had it...)

I hope something works out for you soon.

9:48 AM  

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