Companies With Their Heads in the Sand


Yes, that was about the size of coffee I would need every day to get through my last job. The stress at that place was unimaginable, and every day something completely dysfunctional happened.

From what I’ve heard, the company is still behaving the same way.

Radio, as I have mentioned in previous blogs, is a dysfunctional business. Not that it should be, it just is. We live in an ever-changing world where technology is constantly being redesigned and pushed forward. Communication is absolutely sacrosanct, yet so many radio people prefer to live in the 1950’s. “Oh, don’t be ridiculous! Radio will never be threatened by the Internet or satellite radio. Those ipods are just a fad! People will be listening to those little transistors till the end of time!” My last job had the worst communication from its managers. People would write emails but ignore all etiquette and decency.

Here is a little bit of an email I received. I won’t name names, but this came from someone who had no power over what I, as a radio performer, was doing. Mind you, I was hired as someone to be a radio performer for the time period of afternoon rush hour. You MUST entertain people during this time period; it is demanded of you. Even on music formats, mornings and afternoons need to be entertaining. Some stations let their nights be entertaining, too. Most keep the midday, from 10am to 3pm, pretty music intensive. My show was music intensive, but when I did speak it was always for less than a minute and always entertaining. Here is a piece of the paragraph-long email:

Yesterday, I heard you trying to imitate a French accent. No more warnings. Keep it straight and play the music.

“Keep it straight.” Read: Keep it boring! That’s what your radio stations today want from their jocks. Boring. Do you know why I was doing a French accent? I did it for 2 seconds and it was part of a joke! I didn’t do my whole show in a French accent. By the way, I am quite good with many accents (you can hear by clicking on the Santa Fe Cafe samples to the right). I can even speak a little French and was coached specifically on French pronunciation. But this is communication in radio: It’s only purpose is to treat employees like little spoiled kids that constantly need reprimanding.

Radio has no idea what world it’s living in. It thinks it’s still in the world of “Mad Men” where discrimination and sexism run amok and employees are made to be kept down. We live in a new world! Radio apparently doesn’t know that and has never looked out the window.

The way I was kept down runs totally contrary to how an organization should be run. Even the book Managing For Dummies says in a situation like this, everyone loses! “Your employees lose because you aren’t allowing them to stretch themselves or to show creativity or initiative. Your organization loses the insights that its creative workforce brings with it. Finally, your customers lose because your employees are afraid to provide them with exceptional service. Why should
they if they’re constantly worried that you will punish them for taking
initiative or for pushing the limits of the organization“?

Today’s WHAT THE HECK??? Why are companies like this allowed to keep running? You know what, they’re not. They’re the ones that are filing for bankruptcy. Try as they may to blame the economy or blame Obama for not bailing them out, they’re own worse enemy is themselves and their failure to grow with the times. I use radio as an example because it seems the most pronounced in fighting everything it SHOULD be in today’s world. The managers and the owners behave like the spoiled children: Not willing to try something new or something that is needed.

If you want your employees to “keep it straight” and keep their noses buried in the past, good luck. Your company will die out in this very different world you refuse to live in. Have fun keeping up. Enjoy the coffee you’ll be downing.