SO a Boss and Not a Leader

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Big-time Promotions Director Lala has quit after a stunning 2.5 months at Small Town Radio Station. Speculation abounds as to why she actually left, but all who flutter around the killer bulb of STRS agree that it must have had something to do with a drop in pay. If true, this drop would have been totally unwarranted, as Lala has managed to create a profit stream (in 2 months) comparable to her cohorts, all the while doing her actual job, which does not directly involve sales at all. Dooda, the lone “account executive” (aka: salesperson) is mediocre at best, and is currently in El Paso, interviewing for a job as sub-warden at a state penitentiary. This job is more appealing to her than selling ads at the station.

(I could stop here, but I shan’t.)

My suspicion is (and has been for some time now) that the station owners are attempting to cut costs at all corners so as to make the station look profitable, thereby priming it for sale on the healthy small-town radio market. EVERYONE knows someone who is interested in buying a radio station or two?! And banks are super-happy to grant loans to geniuses who want to invest in such a venture.

Geegaw is the boss of the station. She is typical lady-boss in all the bad ways: very flighty, very talky, when in a pinch her reaction is to panic and make frantic, random changes wherever possible. She also likes secrets. A LOT. To the extent that she fails to impart essential information to her staff on a daily basis. Perhaps there exists a position for her in the federal government?

We’ve been having plenty of “meetings” lately, where various members of non-essential staff (there are only 3 of us, and we are, in fact, essential) are berated for such crimes as not taking Public Service Announcements straight to Geegaw, or using too much toilet paper. We are on a budget, after all.

I average about 15 hours a week all told, including remote broadcasts. Two days a week start with the morning show; I have sole stewardship of the website; and I am randomly given “production” (making commercials for low-budget advertisers). I am generally “officially” scheduled for 4 hours a week, because whoever does the schedule never actually schedules me for the morning show. They also fail to include the remote broadcasts in the schedule. After two months of getting weekly approval for the “extras,” I’ve stopped asking. Now I just write detailed notes in the margin of my timesheets, specifying how and where I was spending my time.

This afternoon I got a call from Geegaw. Here is an exact replica of the conversation (please read aloud, using a Rosie Perez accent for Geegaw’s part. If you read it this way, the following transcript is 100% accurate).

Geegaw: Hello?
Me: What’s up?!
Geegaw: I really need you to cut the half hour before the morning show that you use to fix all the mistakes that me and my programmer make when we schedule the ads. And the time you use to search for real news and supporting data with which you create meaningful and entertaining banter during the morning talk show? From now on, just skip that and come in right as the morning show is beginning. I know I told you that you could have that half hour just two weeks ago, and I know what a godsend it’s been to you lately, and how much improvement the show has seen just from those few minutes of breathing space before you go on-air, but I really can’t afford it. The bosses are really breathing down my neck about the hours we’re scheduling. Also, I don’t want to risk one penny of my own salary just to ensure that anything around here actually runs smoothly. So could you just come in at 8am?
Me: Okie doke.
Geegaw: Also, those four hours a week you spend fabulositizing our website and creating, editing, mixing, and recording commercials? I’m going to have to cut that down to one hour every two days, and move it to a totally random area of the afternoon. You can just go home for two or three hours and then come back for that one lonly hour.
Me: Ok. Just FYI, I’m only going to be able to get one hour’s worth of work done in that one hour that you’re giving me.
Geegaw: Oh, no, I’m going to need you to continue updating and editing all of the content on the website, so that it looks done by someone who’s actually trained to do it and so we can make money off of it. Then I’m going to need you to also fit whatever commercial production we might give you into that one hour, be it one 30 second spot or ten 60 second spots. I just really can’t afford to give you any more than that. The economy is so bad right now…
Me: Oh yeah.
Geegaw: And I just have to fill so many spaces with only a little amount of hours and it’s just a big chaos right now. A BIG CHAOS.
Me: Well if you need to give someone else hours that you can’t afford to give me I’m ok with that. I don’t need the hours.
Geegaw: Ok and I’m also going to schedule you for remote broadcasts for every evening during the entire week, ok?
Me: Ah….
Geegaw: Ok talk to you later!

Later, I discover that my MWF double has also had her hours severely cut, and then rescheduled a la 52-card-pickup. Essentially, our boss-and-not-a-leader is attempting to cram 60 hours worth of productivity (and three separate jobs) into 20 hours. And these 20 hours are shared by two people. Again, I sincerely feel that the government would be well-served by taking over this radio station.

{For piddly bosses out there, here’s a hint that will solve these kinds of blogs for you: be direct, and be a leader. Don’t skulk around, and don’t use those above you as an excuse to abuse or misuse those below you. Be a crap shed, not a crap funnel.}

I am trying to get some information on teaching in the area. No one has gotten back to me, yet, which is not entirely unexpected. I am whitey, and I speak no Spanish. I am not wanted. I can’t even get a job mopping floors.


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