Saturday, August 19, 2006

Radiothonics

The past two days have nearly wiped out any reserve of energy I had stored in the toenail of my ingrown toe.

I know. I agree. Ewww.

We recently wrapped 48 hours of broadcasting live at the local hoity-toity retail center to raise money for kids with cancer.

Quite noble don't you agree?

What was amazing to witness was the fact that all the upper crust members of our community were doing one of the following as they passed our broadcast tent:

1) On their cell phones oblivious to their personal vocal volume.
2) Doing their best not to look directly at us because then they might feel a smidgen of guilt to help children with terminal cancer.
3) Sneering at us from nearby outdoor cafes because our music "...is for the little people."
4) Angling their nose upward 24-37 degrees in an effort to denote their upwardly mobile stature.

If we hadn't raised thousands upon thousands of dollars, I would have been dismayed by the lack of compassion. The middle class truly is the backbone of this country.

But back to the live Radiothon...

I have a fantastic time broadcasting at remote locations, when I'm allowed to be on the air without other middling air personalities.

Our morning team believes themselves to be the God given almighty entertainers of radio. Yet, they're still in market #117. Go figure.

On Friday, I had the booth all to myself so I was fully in control of the broadcast and it went pretty well. Then I was scheduled to be on the air for three hours on Saturday with the afternoon guy and Program Director. That's right, my bosserino.

I believe within the first five minutes my brain, in an attempt to save itself, started spewing IQ points.

You know in movies from the 70's when they would have a plane start to have problems staying airborne and they would cut to the altimeter spiraling down to zero? That's what was happenning to my brain.

"So the phones aren't ringing and we need to get them to pop. I've got it!"

Ok, sure. Maybe he does have a clever plan to get people to donate money to kids with cancer. Lets give him a chance.

"I'm going to hold my breath until all seven phones are ringing."

I was on the second mic and I wasn't saying a word. I turned back to the promotion staff at the back of the tent and they were all rolling their eyes.

What my dippy boss didn't realize is that holding your breath sounds exactly like dead air.

He mercifully gave up after an excruciating lull.

I really do hate him with all my being.

Fortunately, and for once, Dialysis came in handy because I was excused early so I could receive treatment. I was supposed to return for the final hour so we could all announce the grand total together.

But moments before a rather bloody and painful session ended, I got a call from the board operator.

"Um, uh, hi...uh, well...Stacy?"

People at the station know better than to call me while at my treatment. Either I'll forget what the conversation is pretaining to or I'll lose focus in the middle of the call.

"Um, your PD told me to tell you that you have to like, you know, do the last hour of board-oping."

"Why didn't he call me himself?"

"Uh, well, I, um, sure, I don't know."

Click.

This is what aggravates me most about working for this dimwhit. Not only does he wait until the last possible minute to take care of pertinent business, but he relays messages through other people. That's just cowardly and shuns the basic logic of the communication industry.

And to quote the comic book guy on "The Simpsons":

"Worst. Boss. Ever."

We did manage to raise over $66,000 for the hospital, so it wasn't a total waste of airtime.

The question that may have erupted into your mind is, "Stacy, why are you still there?"

It's difficult to put a quality aircheck together when you're fighting for your life.

That goes for a resume as well.

It takes three times as long to do anything these days and sometimes I feel the quality lingers just out of reach.

But the kids at the cancer hospital probably know the preceding better than I do.

And I feel for them.

When I was recovering from my first kidney transplant at UCSF, the room across the hall was always very dark and eerily quiet. My room was bright and sunny and full of life.

I asked the nurse on duty while she as changing my sheets who was in the room across the hall.

She sighed heavily before answering.

"Those kids have cancer. We have to separate them from the other kids for their treatment regimen."

Fortunately, those days are long past because of places like St. Jude.

The Radiothon has taken on a much more deeper meaning these days because I have a nephew and a niece on the way.

When people speak about how fulfilling the past was as opposed to what we have today, I always try to remember that if I grew up in the early part of this century, I probably wouldn't have seen my thirteenth birthday.

To quote my Dad, who can be quite wise from time to time:

"Just when you think you've got it bad, somebody always has it worse."

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