The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

Engineering Follies – Dealing With the Station Staff

Exhibit 3 – Restarting the Automation
Years ago, I received a call from the Sunday Morning Gospel DJ saying that the Maestro automation had locked.

I proceeded to tell him to put a CD on and reboot the computer. Of course, I was then asked how to do that. I told him to click on start at the bottom of the monitor and was met with silence. I waited about 30 seconds and asked if that had brought the menu up, but got no response. I called the DJ’s name several times before he answered me. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that he could not find “start” on the monitor.

We went back and forth for a few minutes with me trying to get him to move the mouse to the bottom left corner of the monitor and click on “start”, but he just could not locate it. I finally asked him to look at the bottom left hand corner of the monitor and tell me what he said. His reply was “JBL.”

While trying to hold back the laughter, I merely stated that I would be there in a few minutes and hung up the phone.When I finally go to the studio, I first had to show him the difference between the computer monitor and the control room monitors, the JBL speakers.

Contributed by Robert Combs

Exhibit 2

I’d been hired to be the Chief Engineer for the KRKE, what would arise from the old KGGM(AM), 610, Albuquerque. We designed and built new studios, and were determined to be the #1 rocker in town. A popular jock from KOMA in Oklahoma City was brought in to be afternoon drive and PD. This guy had an ego bigger than our entire state. He provided us with no end of experiences fit for this column.

#1 – during the news he’d always go to the jock lounge and primp. Unbeknown to him the Control Room door still had a functioning lock on it. On April 1st years ago I told the news department to have lots of news available for the 1:00 hour newscast, and don’t ask why, just take some extra copy into the news booth. While the jock was primping, we locked the Control Room door. Seeing him trying to break down the locked door was a dance well worth watching! Before he could actually destroy anything I magically arrived with a key and let him in.

#2 On another occasion we decided that we’d try to fill the Control Room with enough helium that his voice would change, beginning to sound like those Jacque Cousteau deep diving folks who begin to sound like chipmunks. We opened the valves on several large bottles of helium. Long before the helium could have any effect he came running out of the Control Room and wouldn’t re-enter. You see, we hadn’t known he had a deadly fear of snakes, and the hissing sound make him feel certain that there were “Snakes In The Room.”

#3 One July afternoon he came running out of the Control Room. “There’s static in my headphones!” We explained to him that yes, there would be static, since a lightning storm is in progress, and, of course everyone in the audience was hearing the static, too. “You mean – they’re hearing static on MY show?” he loudly exclaimed.”You’ve got to do something. Make it stop!” I paused, reflected, and said “Y’know, I’ll talk to God for you and ask him to stop the storm, how’s that?” Suddenly realizing how foolish his demand was, he “stormed” back into the Control Room never to broach the subject again.

#4 just one of many of his programming requirements. He told our morning jock that before coming into work the next morning the morning jock would have to have his hair styled. “Why is that,” the morning jock asked, “this is radio, not TV.” “Because,” he said, “when your hair is styled you’ll sound better.” The morning jock’s hair got styled, and the PD swore that the morning jock did now indeed sound better.

Contributed by Mike Langner

Exhibit 1

I had a co-worker who was always more important than others. She would page people, to have them call her. She would never ever dial their extension.

One day she paged me. So, I paged back, “Tom is at extension 136. Always has been.”

The rest of the staff picked up on that, and used it every time. Our Problem person was trained pretty quickly.

Contributed by Tom Bosscher