Hey Geno, I’ve got a favor to ask. Help!
Did I ever tell you about the time I was on “The Price Is Right?”
I didn’t? That’s because I wasn’t. I sat in the audience. I watched. My childhood dreams of spinning that big wheel never happened because I wasn’t picked. Why? Because I worked for CBS Radio and TPIR is a CBS show. I was disqualified before I even walked into the studio. So we just sat there and watched the woman in this pic (red shirt) live my dream of winning it all.
It’s ok I couldn’t play. I love my job.
I get to play music. I get to meet cool people. I get to sleep in everyday. I walk into a little room and 5 times an hour, I get to talk for 12 seconds on the radio and then go web surf. And they actually pay me for it. Crazy isn’t it? So I think you can understand why I don’t want to screw that all up?
When friends, family members or listeners ask me to get them tickets for something, I politely have to say no. What’s even worse is when someone asks me to rig the contest so they win. Giving away prizes unfairly is the #1 way I’ve seen colleagues lose their jobs over my past 25 years in radio. When sponsors and clients give radio stations tickets, trips or money to give away, the station has a legal obligation to give listeners an equal chance at winning them. Stations that don’t? They get sued. And 100% of the time for the employee, it’s grounds for being fired on the spot. No warning. No second chances. You’re done. And good luck finding another radio station that will hire you when they find out why you were terminated. Spoiler alert. Won’t happen.
The 4 common responses.
“But I won’t tell anyone.”
Sorry, it’s not fair to our audience that gives me my livelyhood. And it’s not worth losing my job… unless you can cover my salary and pay my mortgage. I also require lots of money for food. If you know me, you know how I eat.
“But then why do you get to go to these events?”
Sponsors or record labels will often invite us to check out their product, band or team so we can be familiar with them when we’re on the air. Or as it happens sometimes, listeners who won a prize never claimed it.
“But my friend has (medical issue) and/or served in (military mission).”
I wish I could bend the rules in those situations. These stories tug at my heart strings. And as you can imagine, some are exaggerated or made up. But either way, I still won’t risk my job. There are a lot of non profit groups and charities than can work some magic in scenarios like that.
“So what good is being your friend?”
Actually it’s not good at all. Because guess what? Friends and family members of DJs are generally disqualified for playing our contests. So not only can I not hook you up, you can’t even play our contests our listeners do to win the prizes to begin with. So yeah, if you need to unfriend me, I understand. 🙂