Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. As a radio personality, program director, and production director…
I am thankful that anyone hired me from the audition tape I made in radio school.
I am thankful that the Bill Wade School of Radio & Television had us memorize all possible 650 questions & answers so I could pass the exam for my First Class Radio Telephone Operator’s License.
I am thankful that my first program director didn’t fire me upon learning that although the Bill Wade School of Radio & Television taught me how to play carts, they hadn’t taught me how to record onto them.
I am thankful that after I moved across the country for my first radio job, I wrote “thank you for considering me” letters to three other stations that had offered me jobs (after I’d accepted the first offer)…
…because when the entire staff of my first radio station was laid off one month after I arrived, I called two of the three other stations and both of them offered me a job. (The guy who hired me for my second gig said, “You’re the only person who’s ever written to thank me even though he accepted a job with a different company.”)
I am thankful that after my first radio job, never again was I required to sell radio advertising in addition to doing an airshift.
I am thankful that I found a profession that didn’t require me to dress up for work.
I am thankful that apparently the only person who heard me accidentally swear on-air at my second job was another jock.
I am thankful that instinctively I knew it didn’t matter if the station engineer or one of the radio salespeople “didn’t think that bit of yours was funny.”
I am thankful for my listeners.
I am thankful for the radio pros in “the trades” from whom I (barely) learned production.
I am thankful for 100% cotton promotional t-shirts.
I am thankful that upon being promoted to Program Director at my third radio station, my compensation was enhanced with a $50 per week grocery trade.
I am thankful for the friends I’ve made at radio stations around the world.
I am thankful for the endless hours of “talking radio” with people who apparently didn’t have anything better to do, either.
I am thankful for having found a profession where there’s always plenty of room to improve.
I am thankful for having chosen a profession that made it impossible for me to “rest on my laurels” because it offers absolutely no job security.
I am thankful that somewhere along the way banks changed their minds and decided to allow disc jockeys to have credit cards.
I am thankful that convenience stores around the country decided to let people pay for their cheese & relish smothered hotdogs with credit cards.
I am thankful for the radio people who’ve done extraordinary things on their radio stations, inspiring me to try, occasionally, to reach for something higher.
I am thankful to be part of a community where being “a radio person” means you share a deep bond with other real radio people.
I am thankful for having chosen a profession that made me an expert on the best way to load a U-Haul trailer.
I am thankful I haven’t had to have a real job since the age of 21.