Flip, Smack, Wave, Delete – My Life At WXRV, 92.5 The River
I often say if there had never been a WKRP in Cincinnati, I would have written it.
I worked at WXRV 92.5 The River and that’s as close as I’d like to come, thank you.The frugality of the owner is legendary. His philosophy is simple:
If you can live with out it – do so;
If you can trade for it – get permission;
If you must have it – wait.
The station is housed in a small building in Haverhill, Mass that has changed very little since it was built in the 1940’s. The first floor houses the management offices, a couple of broadcast studios, two small production studios and the legendary River Music Hall.
My office was downstairs in the sales area. The carpet was thread-bare, the walls hadn’t been painted in decades and the bathrooms were not up to par with your local gas station.
On a typical morning, I’d arrive, head down to my office, flip the light switch, turn on my computer and hang up my coat. My computer was old and required about 5 minutes to boot. Wired in with the lights was a motion detector that turned the lights off every 10 minutes if it saw no motion. So every 10 minutes one of my office-mates or I would wave our arms in the suddenly darkened room. Light goes back on and back to work we go. No problem, I learned to work in 10 minute increments.
Over time, the motion detector started to go. Instead of seeing motion as soon as I flipped the switch – it now needed to be waved at. So my routine changed somewhat: flip the switch, wave madly, turn on my computer and hang up my coat. Of course, a simple wave didn’t register anymore when the lights went out. Now we had to stand and wave both arms. It was like a mini-workout every 10 minutes.
Then, the computer started giving me problems. It was a PC, it was doing it’s level best to keep up with the pace of the 21st century but was failing. I filled the hard drive. This necessitated I delete something old before I saved something new. You can only keep this delete old/save new thing going for only so long before you start deleting valuable stuff.
Eventually, the storage issue became so critical, I couldn’t receive emails without clearing some space first.
So my routine changed: flip the switch, wave madly, turn on my computer, hang up my coat, and decide what to delete before I checked my mail. By that time, I had to leap to my feat waving crazily again. This was testing my powers of concentration, I would get the lights back on, pour over my files looking for something I could live without, delete it and then the lights would go out.
One day, I flipped the switch, waved madly, and nothing happened. I was still in the dark.
I jumped and waved.
I turned on my computer, took off my coat, launched my mail app and…..the computer froze. I had neglected to make sure I had some pittance of storage available for email. So, there I sat, in the dark, with a frozen computer.
I smacked the wall near the switch.
I adjusted. My routine changed again: flip the switch, smack the wall, wave madly, turn on my computer, hang up my coat, delete something, check mail. Stand and wave wildly again.
It’s really a wonder I ever got anything done – in an hour of work time, I was probably getting about 15 minutes of actual, focused thought broken up by numerous interruptions.
Understand, The River is in a building erected during the Roosevelt administration. There are wires running all over the place. It’s easier and cheaper to run them on the surface of a wall – up near the ceiling – than it is to fish them into the walls. Telephone, internet and other wires I never did identify were in plastic raceways all over the sales offices.
One morning, I arrived at my office to discover one of the raceways had collapsed and there were wires blocking the doorway. I bent under them, I flipped the switch, smacked the wall, waved madly, turned on my computer, hung up my coat, and sat down to decide what to delete today.
I was not going to fix those damned wires.
I was so tired of things not working that I decided I was going to let the Sales Manager deal with the wires. I was sure he would because I had told him about my computer and light switch about 100 times and I felt he was right on the verge of doing something.
He did, after two weeks of bending, flipping, smacking, waving, deleting and waving again, he had the raceway reattached to the wall.
I started to write a quick email to thank him and ask again about the light switch…….and my computer froze.
Damn, I forgot to delete first.
Filed under: Working | 6 Comments
Tags: 92.5, Boston, Boston Radio, FM Radio, Haverhill, Radio, The River, WKRP, Work, WXRV