Monday, December 19, 2011

Working Christmas

I was doing some math the other day, and I figured out that I worked my first Christmas 30 years ago.

More math:  I've worked between 20 and 25 Christmasses over the years.

Don't cry for me.  When you take a job in broadcasting, you have to understand that working holidays is part of the package.  I'm continually amazed at the number of kids entering the business who just don't get it.  What are they teaching them in college?

Anyway, back to my first "professional" Christmas.  It was at WARM 590 in December of 1981.  The work wasn't difficult-- putting on a tape of Handel's Messiah at midnight, followed by hours and hours of pre recorded Christmas music on reel-to-reel tapes.  It was torture for someone who doesn't like Christmas music, but it was a job, and I was happy to have it.

Now, remember this was the time before massive broadcasting conglomerates.  The ownership cap was seven AM and seven FM stations-- total.  There are companies that now have close to those totals in one city.  I was locked in the WARM Building in Avoca, all night, all alone-- just me and the Carpenters singing every Christmas song known to man, with an occasional Feliz Navidad thrown in.

We had a Christmas tree in the lobby.  The office staff had a habit of unplugging it at 5 PM, the end of their day.  I had a habit of plugging the tree in again.  It gave the place some needed warmth, and it needed it badly.

The hours dragged, but finally, at 6 AM Christmas morning, my shift came to an end.  If memory serves, Vince Sweeney was my relief.  I stayed for a few minutes to chat with Vince, and then, I was on my way home, to sleep through Christmas.

Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, so I'll be working and that's not a problem.  As I mentioned in previous blogs, I'm not a holiday guy.

Remember, if you are working on Christmas this year, you are not alone.  Happy Holidays!