The Woman With Him ... Wasn't His Wife
May 5, 2015
Watch a few old episodes of Seinfeld and you can relate to the moments of meaningless absurdity in radio -- a series of moments that meant nothing. Really, I actually lived through that. If aliens from another planet landed and each work sector was evaluated on the merit of importance to mankind, radio would probably fall into the "interesting but not necessary" pile.
I know you look at the gatekeepers of this industry and wonder how people who originally just wanted to play music end up still working the business after all these years. You have to be lucky, blessed, get a good run, and take each moment in stride. Those Seinfeld characters were just like air personalities; George, Elaine, Kramer and Newman have all crossed our paths. The names and faces were different, but they were just as shallow, self-absorbed and ridiculous as the Seinfeld cast. Also, if we are honest with ourselves, each of us are not mere observers; we're willing participants in a business fused at the hip by art and business.
It is the craziness that has kept all things radio still a viable form of communication. I also include all new forms of audio media because each requires the same verbal skill set as traditional radio. The whole point of this column was fueled by an interview. The interviewee turned the tables on me and I found myself being interviewed by her.
Jock: Okay, I will answer your questions but first you have to tell me some of your stories.
Coach: Well this is different, I have never had anyone do this before, but I'm game, what do you want to know?
Jock: How about something that surprised you?
Coach: Hmm, I have a lot of those. Oh, I thought of one ... the night a receptionist also got herself shot.
Jock: Oh my God...
Coach: Well, it is not as dangerous as it sounds. It was really goofy
The station I was working at shared a floor with an insurance company. Our prize closet was out in the hallway across from our station, adjacent to the insurance company and the elevators. It was a Saturday night and I was headed to grab something from Arby's before my 7p shift and I heard a loud noise coming from the prize closet; figuring something had fallen, I just waited for the elevator. Just as I was about to get on, I heard another noise coming from the closet. Instead of heading down in the elevator, I went over and put my ear to the door. I thought I heard movement inside and slowly tried the door knob. It was locked. I went back inside the station and told the afternoon jock that I thought someone was trying to steal from the prize closet. We both headed across the hallway to the closet and tried to figure out what was going on. He heard something move inside, so both of us headed back inside the station and called the police.
The police got there pretty quick. They knocked on the door, identified themselves, pulled guns, then we all heard a small click, which was the door being unlocked. The police told us to stand back as the door slowly opened. There was the receptionist and her friend standing there sheepishly with fear and tears in their eyes. Apparently the PD told her she could go into the closet after hours to and lay claim to a prize for which the deadline for pickup had passed. When the police ask her why she just didn't identify herself to one of us, she said, "I was afraid my friend and I would get in trouble."
Jock: That was not smart; she was lucky she didn't get shot. Come on, tell me another one of your stories. You are always writing about how to act inside the office; do you have a story or stories you can share?
Coach: You are making me work! Well, one of the craziest things I was ever a witness to involved a jock I will call Jessie. He is still working in radio. This was a real bonehead move.
It was a station Christmas party and everyone was having a good time. The GM was a real nice lady who I still correspond with. Everyone was having a good time until Jessie arrived late with a woman who was not his wife. All of us more or less tried to play it off and just ignored him and his date. We all knew his wife and as far as we knew they were still together. Dinner started and our GM was a bit tipsy and wondered over to the table Jessie and his date were at. Just as the GM was about to address Jessie and whom she presumed was his wife, I gently took the GM by the arm and led her away. I whispered to her that the woman with Jessie was not his wife. The GM said, "What an assh***."
The party ended and the next day all of us were totally mad at Jessie. I called him in for a meeting, but before I could get to him, all the ladies in the office hauled him into the conference room and closed the door. When he came out, he was sweating and looked as if he had been interrogated under bright lights by the police.
I called him to my office and pointed out what a terrible situation he had put us all in. When he left, a couple of the sales ladies told me what they had said to Jessie and I realized they pretty much had threatened to cut his manhood off if he ever pulled a stunt like that again at an office party.
Jock: Was he nuts or something?
Coach: Close to it. He was just average as a jock, dependable for part-time and overnights. But the Jessie story is one of many Seinfeld-like episodes. There is no moral to all of this, except if you stay in this business long enough, you'll see a lot of strangeness.