For a couple of months now, I've been voluntarily participating in a 'Net radio venture. It's been an interesting project, to say the least; it's a talk radio station run by two fellows, one who comes across as a rather egocentric and cynical fellow (who I'll refer to throughout this post as "The Engineer"), the other gentleman exhibiting a mild-mannered and positive aspect. (I won't be mentioning the latter fellow again in this post, since he's not the subject of this particular rant/venting session.) The Engineer (or cynical fellow) comes across, while "on the air", as a likeably rash though often inconsiderate -- as one listener recently put it -- "asshole". Though the latter moniker may seem rather harsh, I tend to agree with the sentiment. His on-air personality, though often entertaining (and therefore, "likeable"), comes across as assuming, scornful, and intolerant of others. He makes rash assumptions about his guests, his co-hosts (that is, the hosts of other shows on the station, myself included), and -- most surpringly -- about some of his listeners, and then proceeds to deride these folks with sarcastic pronouncements about them. Somewhat like a conservative Howard Stern, but with a less sophisticated comedic manner.
There are many radio personalities who adopt this manner. Rush Limbaugh himself has mastered the persona of the sarcastic neo-conservative broadcaster, and he's built quite a career out of it. The problem with this fellow I'm "working" with -- besides his sarcasm being more transparently hateful than funny at times -- is that he carries his manner everywhere, inserting it into all aspects of the station he's engineered. In other words, he makes rash assumptions about how the station should be run, without seeming to take into account some of the most fundamental details. His presumptuousness directly affects his relationships with the station's show hosts. When something goes wrong, The Engineer is quick to scorn, blaming others rather than taking time to consider the shortcomings of the technology he's working with (or the way he's engineered the station). While professing on-air that the station is actively being developed by the station's community of show hosts, and that we are all "building this station together", off-air he rarely takes into account his associate's suggestions. While his style may be entertaining on-air, his intolerance of other's opinions introduces a level of instability to the operation of the station.
I'll give you an example. The Engineer's attitude toward others seems predicated upon their absolute agreement with his views. So if you disagree about a particular way things are handled at the station, or if you make a suggestion about how technology can being used to benefit the station in some manner, or if you state your concern about the station's system for scheduling shows, or if you make just about any attempt to provide some valuable and constructive criticism regarding just about any aspect of the station's engineering, your views will undoubtedly be hastily discarded and scorned. A fellow who is no longer "employed" by the station was unhappy with the lack of appropriate training The Engineer provided him with (a fact I can attest to). The Engineer seemed unwilling to take the time to properly
demonstrate how to use the broadcast technology. To most station managers, it would seem fundamental, the need to provide new show hosts with an adequate amount of information about the technologies required to broadcast their programs. It's true that the technologies being used are not all that difficult to employ once you've learned how to repurpose them for broadcast purposes -- yet there are a variety of mishaps that can occur, especially when a technology is not used for its designed purpose. Yet The Engineer seems to assume that all his new show hosts have been using the very same technology for broadcast purposes prior to their stint at the station. This lack of foresight is demonstrative of The Engineer's inability to manage some of the more crucial aspects of running a 'Net radio station.
As for the former show host mentioned in my example above: he was thoroughly derided after his trial run at the station. (Regrettably, I was involved in much of this contemptuous mirth, which I've detailed in a prior post
.) Based on my own personal experience with The Engineer, I would guess that the fellow was also jeered at during
his tenure at the station, the lack of support probably exacerbating his frustration with the station. It is difficult for me to know for certain, since I was far-removed from the situation, and not yet a show host on the network. Yet, though I don't know exactly how he was treated during the short time he was broadcasting on the station, I do know that the attitude The Engineer has adopted in regards to the situation is one of "some have what it takes; others don't" -- an attitude he prefers to uphold rather than to realize his own shortcomings in providing adequate information to new show hosts.
Perhaps, in the related example, The Engineer exhibited more laziness than scorn. It's possible he doesn't understand that being more demonstrative in certain aspects of the station's operation would be helpful to his associates. What's important to note is that our engineer, who would be quick to point out that "we all wear many hats here at the station", fails to recognize his own shortcomings in some of those areas. It's much easier for him to drop a show host or two (or three, or four...) and to insert replays of his own shows in their time slots than it is to accept his own role in failing to provide all the necessary details to assist them. Failing to provide them with adequate preparation in the first place, he adopts an attitude of disappointment in their presentations, shortly followed by scorn which he then uses as material in his own broadcasts. Sadly, the station's hosts (and listeners) suffer, because while The Engineer is able to continue broadcasting his own program, the station's schedule becomes increasingly saturated with either repeats of The Engineer's own daily show or stale podcasts scraped from around the 'Net.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post: it's been an interesting project, to say the least.
Technorati Tags: attitudes, behavior, personalities, relationships, work, running+a+business, working+together, something that happened
Remember FuckedCompany.com, the site documenting company layoffs and such? Many "downsized" workers found the site therapeutic and entertaining, especially during the dot-com implosion. Others -- particularly company PR reps and CEOs -- found the site annoying, mean-spirited, and even horrifying in its examinations of company's internal memos.
Though they've surely deserved the moniker for past transgressions, Earthlink is now officially and undeniably a Fucked Company, having today announced a corporate restructuring
. From their own press release for August 28, 2007:
EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK) today announced a corporate restructuring plan. This plan will reduce operating costs across the company. The restructuring will begin immediately and be completed by the end of the year.
The beginning of their "restructuring" translates into the layoff of 900 employees
, a move which will generate the remainder of the company "$25 - $35 million in cost savings through the remainder of 2007".
Technorati Tags: something that happened
Astronomers have made a startling discovery: a huge hole has been found in space
, and it's neither a black hole nor dark matter. It is nearly a billion light-years across, and it is entirely starless: a dark and empty spot in space, just like in that episode of Battlestar Galactica
. (You know the one: Galactica and the fleet encounter a starless area of space, and Apollo plunges into it only to find himself utterly lost in a void; the distant stars, as well as the fleet, have disappeared. This episode is from the original 1978 series, and is fresh in my memory because I'm currently watching it again. As much as I've been enjoying the new series, I've felt the need to reacquaint myself with the "toaster" Cylons and the dog-robot.)
A huge hole, with nothing in it. Reminds me of that empty space in my mind, that place I return to whenever I feel ready to begin seriously
writing again. The moment I find myself with the time and inclination to get artistically productive, my thoughts inevitably return to that dark space where matter neither exists nor is created. Not quite a black hole: even a black hole permits the possibility
of renewal, of life (or something) beyond the event horizon. No, the hole in my mind permits no such recompense; it is devoid of inspiration. I would suspect it is a tumor, except that it is matterless; neither dark nor grey matter resides in that space. Perhaps God extracted a piece of my brain so as to render me forever blocked from recklessly pursuing my creative impulses.
Technorati Tags: astronomy, space, discoveries, huge+hole, Battlestar+Galactica, writing, inspiration, something that happened
Somebody should come up with a device which tells you when a local electrical outlet is made available. You know: for when you're wandering a public place, such as your local wifi hotspot, trying to locate a power source. It would work somewhat like a wifi sniffer, one of those keychain gadgets that indicate your proximity to wireless 'Net access points: the AC sniffer would tell you when someone unplugged their laptop or mobile phone from an outlet. Wouldn't that be nice? T-Mobile should market it; that way they'd have happier customers paying for their premium HotSpot services.
Technorati Tags: something that happened, ideas, inventions, computers, devices, technology
E62, Part Seven: I find myself walking home at 4am, but I'm not drunk, not even tipsy. Nearly 100 days sober, in fact. The only chemicals coursing through these veins are caffeine and nicotine: I'm high from some late-night/early-morning blogging.
There's a fellow walking just in front of me, swaying down the sidewalk. Clearly intoxicated, he careens left and right, a bag of grub in hand, barely able to keep himself moving progressively forward. It looks like it will take him quite some time to get to his destination.
I say to myself, "That was me."
Labels: E62, mobile posts