Wednesday, September 19, 2007

TV People: Crazier than Book People

In my apparent never-ending (subconscious) decision to work jobs that sound much more exciting than they actually are, I’m temping as a receptionist at a local TV station. Reception work, for those of you who’ve never done it, is basically comprised of long periods of boredom relieved only by a sudden incoming rush of calls and the occasional visitor.

Overall nothing hard to handle, but then you get that extra dash of crazy to spice it up.

I mean, I know this job is going to be interesting after one of the higher ups starts a conversation (post recent visitor interaction) with, “I just want you to know that you’re sitting behind bullet proof glass. Not that anyone has ever brought a gun in here that we know of.”

And ends it with: “You know, ever single person I’ve ever interviewed in prison has claimed to be innocent too.”

That’s right, people, Television has brought about an extra special level of crazy (not the people who work in it necessarily, but those who watch it above all us). I thought book people were bad—given to random unanswerable queries and bizarre requests—but TV people have upped the ante.

And I think I’ve figured out why. You see, give a book person a book and they’re occupied. It is hard to read and do something else (it can be done, sure, but it takes talent). Television, on the other hand, allows you to do other things while viewing…like start an email campaign against the Carl’s Jr. “I Like Flat Buns” commercials, and flood your local station’s email box with letters ranting about how it is racist.

Here I thought the problem with the commercial had to do with the sexy teacher. Who knew?

One thing I have learned that will benefit the authors out there is this: keep your pitch to the news desk concise.

If you’re angling to land a feature/entertainment piece on your local station, don’t ramble. Just hit them with your elevator pitch and why you and your book are relevant enough to make it on the news.

Oh, and don’t ramble to the receptionist. As the gatekeeper, s/he just might send you straight to voicemail if s/he thinks you’re wasting the station’s time.

1 comment:

Daszzle said...

I work in publishing and my boyfriend works in TV... I so agree with you that TV people are crazier ;). As a comm. minor in college several of my profs were adjuncts from the TV industry who would happily share with us their craziest stories. I'm sure that bullet proof glass is only just the beginning when it comes to random and slightly freaky facts. Enjoy!