Network Not Work, Part 2

, , , | Right | September 21, 2020

I am an engineer at a TV station, and occasionally we get calls from viewers who have reception problems. Some of the calls are beyond strange, like this from a number of years ago.

Caller: “I’m having trouble watching Donahue.”

Me: “I’m sorry… but we don’t carry Donahue any longer; we run Oprah now.”

Caller: “I know that.”

Me: “Is the problem with Oprah or with Donahue?”

Caller:Donahue! It won’t come in.”

Me: “Okay, [Other Channel] carries Donahue.”


Me: “You’ll need to talk to someone at [Other Channel], since they carry the Donahue show.”


Me: “Ma’am, you need to call [Other Channel]. I can give you their number.”

Caller: “No, I called you.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do anything about [Other Channel]. Why don’t you give them a call?”

Caller: “Their phone’s busy.”

I wish this sort of thing was unusual.

Network Not Work

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Unfiltered Story #205615

, , , | Unfiltered | August 14, 2020

I volunteer at a community sponsored volunteer based tv station. We are filming a AA hockey game. I am filming the commentators from across the arena, but they currently cut to an interview of one of the players

Note: I have a noise cancelling headset on and am listening to my director through them

A women taps me on the shoulder and startles making my camera pan to the left. I hurriedly fix it before my director yells at me and lift up one of the headset ears

Me: Yes?

Women: my son is being interviewed (points to my camera’s viewfinder when we can see what’s being played on TV at home). Can I borrow your headset to listen?

Me: Sorry I need to listen to my director through them

Women: But it’s my son

Me: I’m very sorry. You can watch it on our website and it’s on channel XX

Women crosses her arms and walks away

When my director asked me why I panned right I told him what happened and everyone in the truck had a good laugh

I value my job more then a 2 minute interview where the hockey player is asked what type of music the team listens to in the change room (Ps. It’s 21 Savage)

That’s News To Him!

, , , , | Right | May 28, 2020

I work for a local independent television station. We don’t have a news broadcast and never have.

Me: “[Station], how may I direct your call?”

Caller: “Assignment desk, please.”

Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t have an assignment desk.”

Caller: “Oh, then connect me to your news department.”

Me: “We don’t have a news department. We don’t have a news telecast.”

Caller: “Let me speak to your news director, I have a story that needs to be on the news.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but we don’t have any news programming at all. Perhaps you could call one of the other local stations; most of them have news, but we don’t.”

Caller: “You’re wrong. A TV station has to have news. It’s required with your FCC license.”

Me: “Our FCC license requires us to act in the best public interest. Most stations satisfy this requirement through a local news broadcast. We satisfy this requirement through a series of locally-based programs.”

Caller: “No, no, no, you’re wrong. You’re a TV station, so you have to have news. I’m right and you need to connect me to your news department right now.”

I was stunned into silence.

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Unfiltered Story #187793

, , | Unfiltered | March 6, 2020

I used to manage a public access station that was a department of the city government. Because of that, we would routinely get calls meant for other departments. This was my favorite.

Me: Hello. (Station Name). Can I help you?
Caller: Yes. I’m trying to reach Julie?
Me: Julie? We don’t have a Julie here.
Caller: I was told to talk to Julie.
Me: Do you know what department she’s in? This is (Station name).
Caller: I don’t know. I need to do some landscaping and I was told to call Julie.
At this point, I realize what he’s asking for. Our state has a service called Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators, or JULIE. There are signs all over telling people to call JULIE before they dig in their yards, lest they hit pipes or wires.
Me: Sir, JULIE is actually a service, not a person, and they aren’t part of the city government.
Caller: No, I was told to talk to Julie. How do I reach her?
Me: I don’t know the number, but if you give me a minute, I might be able to find it for you.
Caller: Can’t you just connect me to her?
Me: As I said, sir, JULIE is not part of the city and it’s service, not a person.
I find the number and give it to him.
Caller: Thanks. I don’t know why it’s so hard to talk to Julie. I just need to talk to Julie.
I hung up and laughed. I never knew if he ever talked to JULIE.

The Hardest Event Tonight Is The Waiting Game

, , , , , , , | Working | October 19, 2019

(My brother has the opportunity to be on a TV competition about physical strength and agility. The show films at night so we all have to stay up to watch. The coordinator tells us that he will be on at 11:00 pm with the other competitors in his group. Not bad at all! It is supposed to be a warmer night, so we only bring sweaters to keep us warm. While my brother stays with the other competitors, the rest of us walk toward the seating area. A security guard stops us.)

Guard #1: “Can I help you?”

Mother: “My son is competing tonight and—”

Guard #1: “And you’ll be called when he goes on.”

Mother: “Oh. We just thought we would watch the other people.”

Guard #1: “That’s not allowed. Go wait outside until it’s your son’s turn.”

Mother: “We can’t watch? Do we have to buy tickets or something?”

Guard #1: “No, only seat fillers and people with the current competitor can be in there.”

Mother: “But there’s barely anyone watching. How do we become seat fillers?”

Guard #1: “Seat fillers can’t be family. Move along.”

(So, away we go to wait our turn. Small groups file in and out for a few hours. Eleven comes and goes and my brother still hasn’t had his chance. We go to another guard.)

Mother: “Excuse me? My son was supposed to run with the 11:00 group and—”

Guard #2: “You’ll be called when his turn comes.”

Mother: “Is there a coordinator or supervisor or someone I can talk to? It’s almost 1:00 am.”

Guard #2: “No.” *turns and walks away*

(It is getting colder and we are getting tired and impatient. Another hour passes with no word. My brother isn’t allowed to have his phone on him, so we can’t even ask if he knows anything. Some of us decide to nap until it is my brother’s turn. I am too excited to sleep, so I stay up as long as I could. Eventually, though, I nod off. My mother shakes me awake and tells me to get up. I open my eyes to see sunlight peeking over some of the buildings. I check my watch and see that it is nearly 6:00 am. Seven hours have passed since my brother was supposed to compete and FINALLY, his group is going. We go back to the entrance and [Guard #1] escorts us to a section by the end of the competition. Half of our group sits down and he ushers the other half to another section. It is far colder than any of us anticipated, so we are all shivering.)

Mother: “Excuse me. Why can’t we all sit together?”

Guard #1: “Gotta fill the spaces. A few small empty spots look better than one big empty spot.”

Mother: “You wouldn’t have empty spots if you’d let people watch.”

Guard #1: *glares* “Okay. Cheer loud, be proud, and don’t shiver!”

Sister: “We’re cold!”

Guard #1: “You should have thought of that!”

Mother: “We would have if someone had said we’d be here all night!”

Guard #1: “Not my problem, lady.” *walks away*

(My brother has his turn and the next person comes up. We all get up to leave but [Guard #1] steps in our way.)

Guard #1: “Where are you going?”

Mother: “We’re leaving.”

Guard #1: “There are more runners in the group. Go sit down.”

Mother: “And we would have stayed to watch had we not been here all night waiting.”

Guard #1: “What?”

Mother: “[Son] was supposed to run at 11:00 pm. That was seven hours ago. I would have sat here all night and watched everyone compete, but you said we couldn’t be here.”

Guard #1: “Well, I—”

Mother: *holds up her hand* “I understand that you’re just doing your job. But I hope you understand why I’m not willing to sit here anymore.”

(My mother pushes past the man, who stands there in stunned silence as we leave. When we are just beyond the exit, the guard decides he wants the last word.)

Guard #1: “Hey! Thanks for being true fans of [Competition]! Great team spirit!”

(The next season, my brother was contacted and asked to compete again. He declined.)

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