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  • Not A Televisionary Manager

    | AB, Canada | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (I work in the newsroom of a radio station. When budget time comes around, my station manager asks if there’s any new equipment we need. Just for the heck of it, I put in a request for a TV for the newsroom, so we can monitor the news channels. The next day, the station manager sends me an e-mail with the subject line, ‘here’s what the higher-ups think of your TV idea” and what follows is a long list of jokes my station manager and her boss have made, ridiculing my suggestion. I’m highly offended, and decide to confront the station manager about it.)

    Me: “I can’t believe you and [Her Boss] took my idea and made fun of it like that. I find this behaviour very unprofessional.”

    Station Manager: “I’m unprofessional? I’M UNPROFESSIONAL? YOU’RE the one who’s unprofessional because you didn’t do a news story about MY BIRTHDAY! Every reporter who’s worked here in the past has done a news story about MY BIRTHDAY and made a fuss about me on the air, and you’re the first one who didn’t! Do you know how humiliating it was for me when everyone in the company started asking what the news department did for my birthday, and I had to tell them that you did nothing? SO DON’T TALK TO ME ABOUT UNPROFESSIONALISM!”

    (Since the TV wasn’t that important, I drop the issue completely. A few weeks later, my boss is making his monthly visit. We’re in a meeting, when my station manager barges in.)

    Station Manager: “After doing further research, I have determined that NO OTHER RADIO STATION IN THE COUNTRY has a TV in their newsroom. So drop this TV foolishness once and for all!”

    Me: “First, I have toured [Well-Known News Station], and they have a TV in their newsroom. I’ve also visited friends who work at [Other Radio Station], and they have a TV in their newsroom. And I did my internship at [Sister Station], and, not only do they have a TV in the newsroom, but a TV in the announcer’s booth, too.”

    Boss: “Yeah, a TV in the newsroom is quite a common thing. I’ve been asking [Station Manager's Boss] for one at our flagship station for years, but he keeps saying it’s not in the budget.”

    (My station manager stands there for a bit, just beside herself, not knowing what to say.)

    Station Manager: “Good meeting, everybody! Your feedback will be taken into consideration.”

    (She sprints out of the room. My boss just turns to me and apologizes for me having to work with her.)

    A**-hole In One, Part 2

    | AB, Canada | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Politics

    (Canada Day is right around the corner, and our member of Parliament is coming to town to partake in the ceremonies and make a few funding announcements. It kicks off with a breakfast ceremony at the public golf course, where he’ll be presenting the golf course with a grant. Our station’s news reporter writes up a news story about the MP (Member of Parliament) coming to town, including the golf course, and reads it on the air. And then, he gets a call…)

    Caller: “Yes, I was wondering how one would get tickets to that breakfast ceremony with the MP?”

    Reporter: “Oh, I’m sorry. As I said in my news story, that event is by invitation only.”

    Caller: “So you admit it, then.”

    Reporter: “Admit what?”


    Reporter: “Excuse me?”

    Caller: “I’m the manager of the golf course, and I clearly heard you say that people can buy tickets to the breakfast with the MP!”

    Reporter: “I said no such thing. The news story is posted to our website, and you can listen it to again to be sure what you heard.”

    Caller: “ARE YOU CALLING ME A LIAR? I KNOW WHAT I HEARD! Because you LIED on the radio about MY golf course, you are hereby BANNED from the MP’s breakfast and BANNED from the golf course!”

    (The reporter shares this story with me. He’s quite shaken by it. The big day arrives, and the reporter heads off to cover some of the non-golf-course-related events going on, when I get a call at the station. It’s our MP himself.)

    MP: “Hey, [My Name]. Do you know where [Reporter] is? We’re about to do this presentation at the golf course, and he’s not here yet.”

    Me: “Oh, he’s not coming. The manager banned him from this event today.”

    MP: “What?!”

    (I quickly relay the story to the MP.)

    MP: “I don’t know what the golf course manager’s problem is, but [Reporter] is NOT banned from this event. He can come as my personal guest.”

    (I quickly call up the reporter, give him the good news, and he speeds off to the golf course. And a few days later, I heard the golf course got a new manager!)

    A**-hole In One

    Intern-al Conflict

    | GA, USA | Bosses & Owners, Lazy/Unhelpful, New Hires

    (Just a couple months into starting a new position at a new company, my boss cuts half my staff without telling me.)

    Boss: “I know you’re essentially the entire department right now, but we’re going to set up some interns for this summer and fall.”

    Me: “Well, that’s something, at least. I’ll need someone who can take the station vehicle to go cover events.”

    Boss: “Can’t do it. We can’t put them on our insurance, and I won’t pay their gas money.”

    Me: “Okay… then I’ll use them to fill in on-air for when me or [coworker] is out.”

    Boss: “Nope. No interns on air. Full time employees only.”

    Me: “Um… well, since you got rid of my night news guy, then I’ll just have them post stories on the website overnight so we can have fresh content in the morning.”

    Boss: “Nope. Interns can only work until 4:30. No later.”

    Me: “So you cut my entire staff, and you’re going to replace them with interns that can’t do a single thing that the former employees did?”

    Boss: “Yeah… what’s the problem?”

    Me: “Just… never mind. I don’t need any interns then.”

    (I come back from vacation to find out that I now have to ‘manage’ two interns that cannot do anything I need them to do.)

    Can’t Stop The Press

    | AB, Canada | Bosses & Owners, Top

    (I’m a reporter at a small-town radio station. The town’s big summer festival is coming up. Last year, I tried to volunteer to work at the festival, but the boss told me that it was against company policy. She said that, as the reporter, I couldn’t work at the event so as to stay impartial. This year, my boss is working at the festival as the volunteer coordinator. It’s literally the day before this year’s festival when she comes up to me.)

    Boss: “So, I think it would be a great show of the company’s support for the festival if all of us volunteered to work at the festival this year. We should all work the front gate, because that’s the most difficult job.”

    Me: “But, what about company policy? Last year, you clearly said it was against company policy for me to work at the festival.”

    Boss: “Oh, please. Company policy changes on a weekly basis. You can’t hold up policy from a year ago and expect it to still be valid. Now, what shift would you like to work?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t. I wish you told me about this change in policy sooner. I’ve spent the past few weeks lining up all kinds of interviews with the organizers and the entertainers. I’m going to be far too busy covering the festival to work at the festival.”

    Boss: “Look here. I hold a very high position of authority with the festival this year, and I’m working the front gate. I say the only way you’re getting on the site is if you volunteer to work! Good luck finding another arrangement!”

    (The boss storms off in a huff. I pick up the phone and call the festival’s president.)

    Me: “Hey, I’m still getting a press pass this year, right?”

    President: “Of course you are! It’ll be waiting for you at the front gate on the first day.”

    Me: “Right on. Thank you very much!”

    (About an hour later, the boss comes back to me.)

    Boss: “Now that you’ve had some time to think it over, what shift would you like to work at the festival?”

    Me: “Actually, I was very successful in finding another arrangement. I don’t need to work at the festival to get on the site.”

    Boss: “I can’t believe you’d turn your back on your team, your station, like this! You have to go to [coworker] right now, tell him he’s working on his own, and apologize to him!”

    (This being a very small station, this coworker is working at the cubicle next to mine. I turn and start talking to him.)

    Me: “Hey, [coworker], I’m sorry I won’t be able to help you out working the front gate. I’m just going to be far too busy covering the festival.”

    Coworker: “When were you ever working with me? [Boss] has been telling me for weeks that I’d be working on my own, because you’d be far too busy covering the event. And I’ve sat here for the past few days watching you line up all those interviews. No worries, man. I know this is a busy time for you. Don’t work too hard!”

    (I turn back to my boss.)

    Me: “Yeah, [coworker] says he’s fine with it.”

    (My boss just screams and walks away. The look on her face at the front gate the next day, as another volunteer hands me my press pass and media kit, is priceless.)

    A Glitch In Time

    | Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Time, Top

    (One day, the boss calls me into her office for a meeting. Note: this takes place in late April.)

    Boss: “Yes, I’d like to figure out who all’s taking what for vacation days this year so we don’t run into any conflicts.”

    Me: “Sounds good to me!”

    (I rattle off a few dates that I’m thinking about taking for my summer vacation.)

    Boss: “Oh, I’m sorry. You can’t have any time off in the summer. We get so busy broadcasting from all the summer events that we need all hands on deck.”

    Me: “Oh… okay. I prefer autumn, anyway.”

    Boss: “Nope. It’s municipal elections this year, and we need all available personnel to cover the elections.”

    Me: “But the election is just the last two weeks in September. Surely, a week at the start of September, or a week off in October—”

    Boss: “NO! We need EVERYONE around for the ENTIRE autumn to cover the election!”

    Me: “Um, okay. Well, then, looks like I’ll be taking a super-long Christmas vacation.”

    Boss: “I’d rather you not. I prefer winter, and I always take all my vacation time in the winter.”

    Me: “Isn’t that the purpose of this meeting, to get this sorted out and make sure there are no conflicts? Tell me what days you’re taking off in the winter, and I can work around you.”

    Boss: “Well, I’m not going to know for sure what days I’m going to want until November or so, so for the purposes of planning, let’s say I’m taking the entire winter off.”

    Me: “So, let me get this straight: spring is done, and now you’re sitting here telling me I can’t take any time off in summer, fall, or winter?”

    Boss: “Looks that way.”

    Me: “Well, then… looks like I’m not taking a vacation this year.”

    (For the next two weeks, my boss boasted to her fellow department heads about my strong work ethic and how I’d resolved not to take a vacation in this very busy year. And the finale? At the end of the year, my boss’s boss and HR ordered me to take all of December off, because I had so much unused vacation time!)

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