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When to try and when to stop – lessons learned

When you start with a new online station, the support can be overwhelming. This isn’t limited to how one station does it. I’ve ‘worked’ at a few over the past 15+ years and learned a few lessons. “Hooray! You’re here!”. “Welcome to the team!”. “Great show!” Management and others are there with encouragement. They may, or may not, post about your upcoming show on their own social media, “I’m listening to [insert your show name here] everybody tune in!” It is a great gesture that can last for awhile until it fizzes out like a stale carbonated beverage that is left open. Most of the stations are like this. For whatever reason, the enthusiasm, support and camaraderie fades. The next newcomer is boosted while you get shoved further and further into the back of the truck. For the newcomer, the above is repeated. Is that how to run a station of “volunteers”?

Since I just mentioned the word, “volunteers”, these are unpaid gigs and everyone who is “hired” knows this in advance. What the management fails to understand sometimes is that, while this isn’t paid, there is time involved. DJ/Presenters maintain their own playlists and tracks. I have over 10,000 mp3’s. I also subscribe to two (2) “DJ Pools”, the larger one has a library of millions of music tracks. DJ pools cost but are well-worth it to have an almost unlimited selection of music at your fingertips. And, since they seamlessly interface with the DJ mixing software (in my case, Virtual DJ), it is like having a giant storage case of everything you could want sitting next to you. Well, maybe not everything but close. The stations are usually the responsible party for paying the music royalties. The DJ/presenters are still donating their time for preparation, producing promos/ads, and in some cases, paying for equipment, music & more.

I’m always interested in do more within this crowded industry. When a station advertised for an HR Assistant, I applied. After a structured interview, I was accepted! Basic tasks include processing new applications and interviewing applicants. I have done this in the past, so it seemed like a good fit. Training for this role was non-existent. “Visit the website to learn more about it.” Another system was activated to supposedly assist with employee processing. No training for this either. I reached out to the “team” for assistance. As with starting out as a DJ/Presenter, there was some communication and support from management but that quickly faded. After a successful interview, I would hand-off the new applicant to upper management for final interview and processing. At first, applicants were processed by management in a timely manner, sometimes within a few days. Soon, that stopped as well. I would Email management about an applicant or an issue elsewhere and….nothing. One applicant waited for over a month. Then, after someone finally responded, they waited again for training. I inquired about becoming a trainer – I have experience, by the way – that was ignored. A few weeks later, “anyone interested in becoming a trainer can go to [website] for information.” They could not even address the person inquiring about it?

Another applicant passed my interview criteria and was passed on to, and ignored by, management. I was seeing a trend here. I decided it was best to resign from the HR position. I saw no point in wasting my time and an applicant’s time only to have us both ignored. This lack of communication says more about management than anything. At first, “if you have any questions just contact us” seemed great but quickly turned to a sense of “I blocked you so don’t bother”.

Some of this special treatment can extend to listeners as well. Blocked, kicked or “silenced” for something that may be petty or allowed activity coming from other listeners. Just so you know…

Not all management have a chip on their shoulder, a superiority complex or autocratic behavior but when you experience this, it is time to stop trying. Lesson learned.