Don't Listen To Gossip
February 5, 2013
This is an excerpt from a poem titled "My Name Is Gossip""
"The more I am quoted the more I am believed.
My victims are helpless.
They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face.
To track me down is impossible.
The harder you try, the more elusive I become.
I am nobody's friend.
Once I tarnish a reputation, it's never the same."
I ran across the poem while programming a station that shall remain nameless. At the time, I thought it would squash rumors being spread among my air staff. Having always been a night person, I was at the station after midnight wrapping up a few things and decided to run off some copies to hand out at a jock meeting. The copier I normally used was out of toner so I unlocked the sales office, used the copier, locked up and left.
When I got to the station in the morning, the sales people were having a meeting, kind of odd considering the usual meet took place the previous day. When the meeting ended, I asked the sales manager what was up. He told me his entire sale team was up in arms accusing each other of spreading gossip. My intelligent response was. "Huh." His reply, "Yeah, someone left a gossip poem on a desk in sales; it's assumed it was an accusation and all hell broke loose."
As he left to answer a page, it dawned on me what had happened, after making copies of the gossip piece during the night, I accidentally left a copy at the desk I used to make a call from. There was no way I could confess. However something good did come out it, the sales folks became a lot closer after the incident.
He said ... she said ... I heard ... can kill morale inside any station or workplace. Too many worry about what other people are doing or saying. Hearsay is gossip; unless you can read minds or overhear a complete conversation, you have no idea what is real or not. My advice: Worry about you and your work performance. Some co-workers will say things purposely to discourage or keep you down; don't fall for it.
New Job And Co-Workers
Recently I had a client excited about his new job, "This is great, it's a small staff, no ego problems, and everyone is going the same direction." I told him, "I'm not trying to be negative or damper your spirits, but you are in the honeymoon stage, I am sure they are good people there, but it's a matter of time before you find out the real deal."
It took only three days, "Sam, you were right. My supervisor, who helped me get this job, told me she was committed to working hard, but not committed to this company. She is waiting for some of her entrepreneurial endeavors to come through. Why in the world would she tell me that?"
Me: "Set your own goals for this job, do not fall into any cliques, do not contribute to gossip, only discuss work, never share personal problems with co-workers, and never get drunk at any company function."
Working Various Formats
When I was on-air, other jocks would wonder how I could adapt to another format or a drastic adjustment in a station presentation so easily. My answer was simple: I followed instructions. Regardless of my opinion, it was not my job to make programming policy.
Working a different format or adapting to programming changes are a matter of learning the objective and doing the job. Listeners are all the same, they only care that you know the music and can concisely entertain or inform them without getting in the way of the songs.
You are a professional radio announcer. If there is a job available, you can work it. Never limit your job opportunities by only applying to one format. Thanks to the Internet and social media, it's easy to learn about artists and songs unfamiliar to you.