People At Work

Reading Matt’s little rant about the people he works with kind of got me thinking about some of the things that piss me off regularly in my own experience. I’m not sure why some people are so annoying especially when they should know better but hey, there they are.

As most of you know, I do a show at a local radio station. I love working there and for the most part, everybody there is pretty nice to me and I can’t think of a single one of them that I can say I don’t like. But having said that, I can’t think of a single one of them who I haven’t wanted to smack at some point for breaking the number 1 rule of radio, that being don’t piss off the guy on air. Maybe that should be don’t distract the guy on air, but one generally leads to the other so bare with me here.

It never fails that at some point during every show I do, people will feel the need to do 1 of 2 things. Either congregate outside of the studio and talk loudly to each other or come into the studio when I’m on the air doing a segment and start fiddling with stuff. This could mean anything from trying to find something on the shelf full of tapes on the other side of the room to opening a package of something behind my head. The worst though is when they try to tell me something when I’m reading to the listeners. I’m not sure what they’re expecting me to do since it’s not like I can just say to the entire listening audience, “hang on a second, something far more important than you people has just come up and I’m no longer worried about the flow of what you’re listening to nor how good it sounds.” And generally what they have to tell me is something along the lines of, “I’ve got a really funny story related to what you’re talking about right now.” Ok, tell me when I put the music back on, it can wait.

It’s not even like I can cut any of them some slack either since each and every one of them work there in some form or another and most of them get involved with the on air stuff. If they were people coming in off the street it would still be aggravating, but it would be a little easier to understand. It’s not that way when you’re dealing with people who should know better and most of whom have more experience than you do.

And it doesn’t end there. To fill up some more of my time I do some volunteer work for a telephone service that takes calls from people in distress. We get calls about everything from people wanting to kill themselves to people who are upset because their VCR didn’t record Friends. You never know what you’re going to get when you pick up the phone and you have to be ready for pretty much anything at a moment’s notice.

So let me set a scene for you. I’m sitting in the room on the phone listening to a caller. I’m taking in everything they’re telling me trying to process it the best I can and get a bit of an understanding of what their situation is. While I’m doing this I’m also thinking about what direction I should be taking things in. What questions should I ask? How should I ask them? Is there more to this story than I’m getting? Is this person in any immediate danger. Pretty high stress stuff sometimes. Then, while the possibly frantic caller is taking the bulk of my attention as they should, somebody who works there, for pay I might add comes in there and tries to talk to me quietly about there being cookies on the table in the other room or to tell me she’s leaving for the day. Shut up! There is a phone attached to my head, and it’s not there for the hell of it!

The only thing worse than that is the overly helpful pain in the ass fellow volunteer who feels the need to tell me who I’m talking to. The person who breezes in to take over for me and either tries to ask me in a whisper who it is on the phone, or manages to overhear the voice on the other end and then franticly tries to explain to me that it’s Bob and you have to ask him about his flower garden to make him settle down. Of all the people who should know not to do that, shouldn’t it be them who has to work the phones and probably has to put up with the same stupid crap from somebody else there? Trust me, it’s not any less annoying when you do it.

Ok, somebody in here just cut the biggest fart in the universe so I have to leave the room now. Yes, definitely have to exit post haste. More later when my nose hairs grow back.

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