Y’all know what I do for a living – I do the news on the motherfuckin’ radio, bitches. Before that, I worked as a TV news producer, and before that, I was a high school/college drama geek who was all up in plays and shit. And that’s not even counting my brief stint as a weather girl.
Yes, I do what I went to college for. Yes, plenty of complete strangers know who I am (and occasionally recognize me in public, we’ll get to that later), which I guess makes me some facet of famous. And yes, all those cunts I went to high school with are FUCKING. SORRY. NOW. – as are their fat car-salesman husbands who didn’t hit this back when they were dreamy quarterbacks who wouldn’t give me the time of day.
But it ain’t all chocolate cake and porno, Hooligans. For instance:
1. I get shocked in the ears on a fairly regular basis.
By which I mean, pretty much every time I go to work. Broadcasting is all about 2 things – electronic equipment and making money. And because of the second, almost none of the first is ever properly installed or – and this is important – properly grounded. So if I make the mistake of, say, touching the microphone while my headset is plugged in (something that is pretty much integral to my job), I get a jolt straight to the tympanic membranes. Which hurts like a motherfucker and probably causes brain dam– LOOK, A SQUIRREL!
2. I have literally been on fire.
And I don’t mean literally as in figuratively, the way some people (wrong people) use the word. I mean literally as in, “What’s that smell? Is it bacon? No, just me.” As in actual, no-shit-for-real flames.
Admittedly, my own experience with bodily fire came during a community theatre performance when my microphone’s wireless battery pack overheated. But the equipment is all pretty much the same, and it happens a LOT more than you know. You think Anderson Cooper looks like he smelled a fart? No, what he smells is a palm-sized lump of plastic melting into his lower back.
Yes, I have scars. No, you may not see them.
Unless you buy me dinner.
3. I work hours that would make a Chinese sweatshop worker call his non-existent union rep.
I currently get to work at 4am to prepare for my first newscast at 6am. Yes, the 2-and-a-half minutes of news you half-assed listen to on your drive to work takes some poor schmuck like me about 2 HOURS to lovingly craft. And that’s just radio – when I first started in TV, I produced a 5am to 7am morning news show… for which I reported to work at 11PM. Yeah, the night before. My anchors came in around 3am. Those “Today Show” fuckers who seem so giddy? That’s because they’ve been awake and working since before your ass went to bed.
4. I work those hellacious hours for no money.
When I first started working in TV news, I was making the princely sum of $22,000 a year. This was 2001 (mid-August of 2001, which will become important later), and I was straight out of college, so at the time I was like, “SCORE!” Yeah, not so much. By the time I moved to radio, 5 years later, I was making $28,000 a year. And when everything went to hell and I left WBGV, I was up to $32,000 — but that included “extras” like calling football and basketball.
It’s pretty much a cliche in the industry that – with a few notable exceptions – you will never make any goddamned money… but everyone will THINK you do.
Stay tuned, there’s more truth-telling to come! Tune in again, same Bat-time, same Bat-station!