Free Chapter + Toenails

Friday, November 16th, 3:30 p.m.

            It’s Friday afternoon and I am the only employee left in the building, except Gary who is doing his air shift. This seems to be the Friday pattern. Come 3:00 p.m. everyone disappears. I wish I could disappear as well, but at least it’s quiet, except for All Things Considered blasting out of multiple speakers. The lack of coworkers gives me the perfect opportunity to kill some time by snooping through their areas.

1. Horg has a small desk in the music library, and a wall covered with sulking musician glossies and a desk filled with empty candy wrappers. Horg has gained the freshman fifteen since moving into the dorms this semester. His roommate, Jack, is a jock. Their moms decorated their rooms with matching Target décor. They immediately despised each other, but quickly realized that they both enjoy getting drunk. Now the Goth kid and jock are best friends. He has a picture of the two of them on his desk. He may like Jack as more than a friend, but this has yet to be determined. 

            2. Vivienne reminds me of Carrie from Stephen King’s novel--if Carrie had survived that horrible night, and had gone on to finish high school, and everyone had kept making fun of her, and throwing pig blood on her. And then she'd gone off to college where her teleportation powers had faded, and she'd decided to go into radio. Her hair is just as stick straight and blonde as Carrie’s, although she usually coils it into a bun. Her desk is spotless, and if I move one of her Precious Moments figurines by just a centimeter she will notice. It is tempting but terrifying—so I do it, turning a smiling clown figure towards the corner of the desk, putting the clown in time-out. 

            3. Lois, Gary, and Cliff occupy the production end of the building: two recording studios, a large room used to answer phones during the pledge drive, a music library stacked with thousands of CDs, and the control room. Surrounding these main rooms are their offices, basically nests carved out of corners and old closets--a series 
 of mounds, empty Slurpy cups, and worn out bean bag chairs burping their contents onto the carpet. It's a mysterious place of electronics and outdated periodicals, while the other end of the building remains a land of administrative peril, the front desk being the fork in the road, both paths leading to Crazytown. 

            4. Cliff has been the station engineer for fifteen years, but unfortunately he hasn't learned anything new in ten years. He frequently asks me to help him attach pictures to emails. His desk and work area are a jumble of cords and nails, all covered in a thick layer of dust. The most interesting thing I know about Cliff is that he is married to a professional fire eater. She is a very large woman, covered with tattoos, and she travels with a small circus. He wears a pocket protector and she eats fire, it’s an odd match, which makes it all the more intriguing. He has a picture of her on his desk, her mouth aglow. Each time she comes into the station I hope that she will offer us a free show, but it never happens. I wonder if she can get workman’s comp if her mouth burns up? I like to imagine her lighting Cliff’s smokes from across the room, or charring a steak as she throws it in the air.

            5. Stuck haphazardly on Lois’ desk is a picture of her dog Fuzzy. He's a three legged mutt that she occasionally brings into work. Fuzzy knows to be quiet once the on-air light goes on. He’ll lay patiently by Lois’ feet for hours without a peep. Lois is the station's cool breeze of normal, while trapped in a sauna of delusional. Lois loves her job, and while Gladys will eventually die at her desk, Vivienne will be recruited by the IRS, and Gary will star in a jazz inspired porno, Lois will still happily be hosting Morning Edition, years from now.

            6. Back in the administrative end of the building I find a note from Vivienne to Marjorie—a Post-It Note stuck to Marjorie's cube wall. She wants paper clips. The note implies that the paper clips I bought her yesterday were NOT the right size, and they were NOT going to work for her project. She needs JUMBO paper clips. Colored JUMBOS. I want to rip the note off the wall and toss 
 it in the recycle bin, or leave another note saying how I'd love to spend my weekend shaping metal with my teeth, crafting perfect paper clips for her project. I leave the note and swallow the anger. 

            7. I don't know who did it. I don't want to know who did it. But someone has left a tidy pile of toenail clippings in the middle of the conference room table. I leave a Post-It Note about the toenails for the cleaning lady. Passive aggressiveness, pass it on. 

Free! Free!

Diary of a Public Radio Slave is FREE today! I'll be doing more of these FREE days over the next three months, so snatch yours up today on Amazon:

99 Pennies

The e-book version of Diary of a Public Radio Slave is just .99 cents through December! I want to see if the whole .99 cent phenomenon works. I will also be compiling a list of places to promote your .99 cent book. So if you haven't purchased the book go do it! Now. Now I said.

Now Available In Paperback!

The book is now available in paperback on Amazon for $9.99--and of course it is still availabe as an e-book for $2.99.

It is almost Fall pledge drive season at most public radio stations. 10% of all revenue from book sales will be donated to public radio stations across the country.

I suppose you want to know what I am going to do with  the other 90%. Buy a candy bar? Buy a first-class stamp? Make wishes in a well? I'm hoping to make enough money to buy one box of diapers for the baby. If I have enough left over I may go to Arby's.

So 10% will go to radio stations and 90% will go to diapers and curly fries. That sounds about right.

Sample Chapter from Diary of a Public Radio Slave

Tuesday, November 20th, 11:00 a.m.             

“Who brought the peanuts?”
“I think it was Vivienne. I'm not sure though.”
"Wow, these are good. Have you tried these?”
“No, I haven't.”
“You should, do you want me to bring you a napkin full?”
“No thanks, I'll get up and get some when I finish working on this.”
“Are you sure? These are really good, I think I'll eat 200 and call it lunch.”
“Yeah, that's okay. I'm going to go home for lunch.”
“Suit yourself.”

Two minutes later.
 “Oh, who brought the peanuts?”
 “I don't know.”
 “Wow these are good, have you tried them?”
 “No, not yet.”
 “These are diet peanuts right?”
 “Sure, diet peanuts it is.”

Two minutes later.
 “Peanuts! Where did these come from?”
 “Someone must have brought them in.”
 “Huh, I wonder who?”
 “I don't know. But I hear they're good.”
 “I wonder how much they paid for these?”
 “I really don't know.”
 “They look like expensive peanuts.”
 “Do they? I wouldn't know.”
 “Well, I am taking a cup full. You don't have to tell everyone else how many I'm eating.”
 “I'll keep it to myself.”

Three minutes later.
 “Did you see the peanuts on the table over there?”
 “Yes, I've heard quite a bit about the peanuts.”
 “Oh really? Did you know that I brought them in?”
 “No, I did not.”
 “Have you tried them?”
 “Does everyone know that I brought them?”
 “I didn't know who brought them, so no, I wasn't able to pass on that information.”
 “Well please let everyone know, maybe in an email. They were on sale. I saved about fifty cents. I would like the container back when it's empty. And don't remove the Mr. Peanut label.”

Buy the Book! Diary of a Public Radio Slave

My first novel Diary of a Public Radio Slave is now availabe as an ebook from Amazon. 10% of all proceeds will be donated to local public radio stations--so call your station and make a pledge and then pledge again by purchasing the book!

The book is listed for just $2.99--that's less than a freakin' Starbucks. You'll enjoy the book if you've ever worked in customer service--answering phones, waiting tables--or if you've ever shared a cubicle, or air, with a coworker. Here's more:

 "When Sloan Kennedy is handed a pink slip from her employer and her fiancé, she has to find a way to pay the mortgage on a new house and cancel all of her wedding plans. After a minor breakdown (she allows herself a week long pity party), Sloan applies for an administrative assistant position at the local Public Radio station. The position is a step down from her former job as an announcer, but Sloan is desperate, and at least it's in broadcasting.

While filling out the application Sloan meets Horg (his goth name), a student employee, who is perfecting his British accent, with hopes of one day working for the BBC. Also lurking in the lobby is Gladys, the station's 85-year-old busy body. Gladys has worked at the radio station since War Of The Worlds was broadcast, and she knows all the gossip regarding the station's employees and volunteers. Marjorie, the Fundraising Director, interviews Sloan, in a cluttered conference room, disappearing at one point to blend herself a wheat-grass smoothie. Marjorie hires Sloan, and promptly disappears, leaving Sloan to get accustomed to her new job on the front lines of a public radio station. Sloan quickly realizes that while the majority of her new coworkers, and many of the radio station's listeners are bizarre, her new boss Marjorie is her nemesis. Gladys describes Marjorie as "flakier than a bowl full of dandruff" and the description is accurate. During a marketing campaign gone awry, Marjorie designs jumbo postcards to be mailed to all the listeners, but instead of highlighting public radio listener's superb intellect with the slogan "Survival of the Fittest" the postcards are mailed out proclaiming "Survival of the Fattest." Sloan is left to deal with the backlash of phone calls from irate listeners.

The station is gearing up for a pledge drive, which will include a visit by Sebastian Kohler, a preeminent public radio personality, ala Garrison Keeler. While Sloan navigates the daily duties of an administrative assistant (making vats of coffee and answering the recurring question, "Who is in the bathroom?") she must also deal with the delicate psyches of her coworkers and locate all the items on Mr. Kohler's Green Room list, including a specialty breathe mint, rumored to help squelch Mr. Kohler's notorious halitosis.

Amidst a blizzard the pledge drive begins. While it's bitterly cold outside, too cold for many of the decrepit volunteers to venture out of their homes to answer phones, inside the station it's sweltering. The heater has gone on the fritz, forcing staff to strip down to long johns and tube tops. Cliff, the station engineer, who still hasn't learned how to send an email, is no help in remedying the problem and can typically be found napping on the lobby carpet. The only person not sweating is Vivienne, the germophobic office accountant/announcer, who despises anyone sharing her air space, but especially Marjorie.

Marjorie and Vivienne quickly lock horns over the color of paper used in the printer, causing a tense show-down. And on the day that Mr. Kohler arrives, with a line of fans stretching around the building, tension between Marjorie and Vivienne boils over and the two grown women lock themselves in a bathroom together, refusing to come out. It's a stand-off that leaves Mr. Kohler unattended, and no one to interview him. Knowing that she could lose her job, but determined that the show must go on, Sloan takes charge, going on-air to interview Sebastian about his latest book." --Diary of a Public Radio Slave

Diary of a Public Radio Slave

Coming soon....available as an ebook for your reading enjoyment!!! Oh and that is my name, I've never published it here before. Most of you thought I was a dude. I'm not.