Yesterday in Santa Monica, I walked past a store I’d passed perhaps a hundred times before but never entered: Gallery 319. They appear to specialize in artwork — paintings, lithos, photographs — related to music or sports.
I’d never entered, and once again I walked past it on my way to an appointment. But then I flashed on something: In a couple of weeks I’ll be seeing a friend who used to love The Kinks.
Maybe this place had some cool Kinks-related piece? A long shot, but I did an about face and, curious, went inside.
As far as I could tell, there was only one other person in the gallery: a woman bent over a desk or table, intent on…something. To me, she had the look of a shop owner.
I know she knew I was there, because when I entered a startlingly loud bell rang. She didn’t look up.
I stood a few feet inside the doorway and glanced around at the walls. Looked like some pretty pricey stuff. Didn’t see anything Kinks-ish, but who knew what else they might have in the back, in storage, or otherwise available?
The Looks Like The Owner woman still had not acknowledged my presence. Not a glance, not a word. I had walked into her gallery with money in my pocket and a desire to make a purchase. But it was a desire, not a need. And I’d be damned if I’d apologetically interrupt her concentration to ask if she’d be interested in selling me something.
So I turned and walked out — half expecting her to call out, “Was there something you were interested in?” Nope. My exit made no more of an impact than my entrance: the loud bell rang again, nothing more.
Maybe she’d caught a glimpse of me, instantly spotted me as a former radio guy, and assumed there’s no way I could afford any of their pieces. I just checked their website which declares, “We pride ourselves on warm hospitality.” Maybe that’s reserved for the artists whose works they display.
Does This Have Anything To Do With Radio?
When someone initiates contact with anyone who works for your radio station, they are saying, “I want to buy.”
If yours is one of the increasingly rare stations that employ a live receptionist, when someone calls and asks to a particular account executive whom she knows is out of the building, is the caller put directly through to the A.E’s voice mail?
Or does the receptionist understand that the caller wants to buy and, instead, say, “Ms. Account Exec isn’t here at the moment, but I do expect her to be back this afternoon. Is there something I might be able to help you with, or would you like me to put you through to her voice mail?”
When a listener calls the studio line to complain that you don’t play enough Maroon 5 — let’s pretend your jocks actually answer the studio line and not just the “warm line” they’ve set aside for their friends — do your jocks say, “Sorry, we do the best we can”?
Or do they engage the caller in a brief conversation about Maroon 5 or ask what they think of another new artist whose music is a bit similar?
Has your program director explained to the entire air staff that those blinking lights are customers?
When your promotions assistant is “working the remote” and notices a civilian shyly standing at the sidelines, watching wordlessly and nervously, does the promo person call out a cheery, “Hi! Glad you could make it here”?
If you answered “yes” to that last question: C’mon, really? I doubt it.
Which is too bad, because that “pathetic loser standing over there gawking” heeded your call to come to your remote. He came to buy.