Making the jump to a large broadcasting corporation for the first time in my career, the differences between working for a small independently-owned company and a national business are more than a little obvious.
First of all, I learned that "independently owned" is just fancy talk for "no money" -- bitch all you want about corporate radio, but the truth is that we have just as much control on air as the personalities in the smaller markets, at least from what I can tell. The only difference is that we actually have a petty cash budget, bonuses, and 401(k)s.
Something else that fascinates me about my new job is the considerable amount of employees who actually work in the very same building. I've been here for over two weeks now, and I've probably met about only 40 percent of my colleagues, which, when you're a single girl like me, helps keep it interesting.
My first week here, I became chummy with a number of my fellow workers, even going as far as to "friend" them on MySpace. A few days later, I received a certain peculiar e-mail from a male staff member, which contained this message: "lemme know if ya wanna go on a KC safari... or a movie or a drink or whatever..."
Being the new girl, I really appreciated the offer to show me around the city, but I couldn't help but be a little confused by the "movie" comment. When someone is new, you don't take him or her to a movie. That's like taking them to an Applebee's or a Wal-Mart -- they can do that any damn old place. What can I possibly learn about Kansas City while sitting in a darkened theater, gnawing on a Twizzler and watching Ghost Rider? No, you only nonchalantly invite a stranger to the movies when you're trying to finagle a date.
"Holy shit," I thought. "Did I just get asked out?"
If so, I probably don't want to even think about what his idea of "whatever" could possibly be.
A bit embarrassed, I quietly shared the e-mail with my cohost, who read the same amount of romantic interest into it as I did. "But he has a girlfriend, doesn't he?" he added, something I was not aware of.
Not that I would've taken him up on his offer even if that was his intention and he was available -- it just wouldn't be very smart to consider an inter-office fling, especially this early in the game. Granted, I do know a few successful couples who work together, but knowing my track record, the chances of such a positive union would most likely be brief and awkward. And God forbid any drama bleeds into the workplace, leaving my peers to not only gossip, but also wonder just who this new girl thinks she is.
A few days later, I noticed the reserved e-mailer working in the production room hours before his regular shift. When I asked why he would voluntarily come in at such an ungodly time, he replied that he couldn't sleep because he broke up with his girlfriend the night before. I apologized (for what, I don't know), shrugged sympathetically, and headed back toward the studio. No drama for me, thank you very much.