My nine year career as a communicator, broadcaster started with passing an FCC third class license test in Bangor Maine at age fourteen.
Initially, I worked at a 1000 watt Houlton Maine radio station owned by Howdy Doody. “Buffalo Bob” owned three Maine radio stations in Houlton, Millinocket and Calais.
I then went on during college and after to work the Bangor Maine broadcast market. Ending up the career at a radio station owned by horror writer Stephen King. When I was treasurer of TKE fraternity and working at Bangor stations I would get home at 1am, tour the house and turn off lights, the heat down. Get ready for an 8 o’clock class at UMO.
When you spin records, rip and read news, help find lost cats and dogs, you try to be helpful.
You picture each and every segment in the audience that you don’t actually physically see. But the Arbitron quarter hour rating numbers show otherwise. You don’t ever whine when the “on air” light is on. No complaining. It’s all about being helpful, friendly, connecting with the listener.
The listeners you mass communicate to with the big iron stick, guy wired out back behind the studio with the transmitter in it. All of us tuned to a specific frequency, channel and my job to try to make every one feel unique, special, informed, entertained.
Depending on the time of day, the topics brought up can vary just like in a relationship, a marriage.
Tied to the weather, a local event, drive time special music to motivate to “get to work on time”. Reminding the Maine roads were a little slick this morning so leave a little earlier. Or that school is delayed one hour because of the recent storm over night.
Or remind the listener of all the possible weekend happenings to consider with their day off. Or mention that some of us, the announcer included are working the weekend to make the listener’s brighter.
You look out for the person on the other end of the signal.
Try to engage with them. Want them to come back. To dial you in, leave it where it’s parked, rip the knob off, solder it solid to where you got it. And like a marriage or relationship, familiarity, routine, love grows to make the connection stronger. Unless a better radio station woos you away.
You take requests as a broadcaster and have more latitude on what you play at a smaller Maine radio station. Not so structured. More local and home grown. The new music is introduced, the golden oldies that carry a million memories are rotated in to the music mix to gain a solid, loyal listener base.
Sometimes the special request, dedication gets a free clam basket from York’s Dairy Bar across the road on US Rt 1. And a longer record like Free Bird, Stairway To Heaven gets cued up, spun to get the food retrieved easy does it. Without hurrying, worrying about a skip or spilling the cole slaw before getting back to the console sound board.
Keep the music, information, news, weather, entertainment rolling and heaven forbid if dead air happens when you mistime a network break. Mighty John Marshall at Z-62, a rocker would fine me twenty five cents a second for “dead air”.
In real life you need pauses, “dead air” and just because someone is not communicating does not mean anything is wrong.
I have had to learn that not everyone is a babbling brook of communication. And to become a better listener. Actively tuning in to the frequency, adjusting to other modes of communication.
The tone, attitude, body language and what the other person is trying to tell me. If I would just stop being defensive, and know they did not stop loving me. But are a little up in arms over this, that. The other person in a relationship if you trust them, love them will help you work through turmoil, valleys and troughs in your life. Let them.
Ask any number of happily married, veteran, long time married couples the most important relationship component. More often than not, communication back and forth daily so problems don’t get stalled on a parked conveyor belt is needed.
Busyness hurts active listening, communication.
So do too many kids with over booked schedules that take the better part of our attention for two decades. So does prayerlessness. The television always on or something interfering with genuine communication between two people can kill a relationship. Or starve it of the richness it could have, deserves.
After kids leave the nest, many couples suddenly look at the other and wonder, who is that? They are married living alone. And it is their own fault because time to enjoy each other did not happen daily. I did not take a daily lunch and ate on the run. Stupid me, I do now.
Those pauses, date nights, making the other person you love number one energizes you too. The better you do, the better the other does and together unity, oneness can be reached, maintained.
Provides time to care, share with your mate. The act of preparing a meal or taking someone out for a bowl of fish chowder is so important to a relationship. Look at your priorities, shift your focus, see what really matters. It’s your life, relationship. Your kids are watching, learning too.
Really listening can help outlock the mysteries in your mates “little black box”.
When you wonder later what went wrong, why the plane went down and there were no survivors.
No communication or shutting down for long periods of time causes the other person to jump to the wrong conclusion. To worry, to return to old, outdated information from back when communication was happening.
The person you remember from earlier when communication was a kinked hose but not cut off totally is not necessarily where that person is today.
You need current information, to know the truth of today to set you free.
Otherwise you stay stuck in the past, miss the today and lose hope, dreams, faith in tomorrow. Not what God intended in the garden at that first “arranged” marriage.
Lack of communication can be because no time is slotted, scheduled for it. Or anger, resentment pushes the other away because one or both of the partners in the realtionship feel their needs are being missed, not met. Often only God can meet the need that is missing, not the mere mortal mate.
Remember too men fix things, make a mess of it trying and only have eight crayons. Pretty simple creatures and out classed, gunned by women who are way more connected to their feelings, not so compartmentalized.
Hand written notes left in hidden places, the sound of piano hymns playing, singing is all communication.
Something I miss as I enter my home that is 32 feet from my Maine real estate office. Communication does not just involved the tongue. And sometimes that is a good thing.
Acts of love, duties done willingly for someone else without expecting recognition or something in return should become random acts. A habit built in to the relationship maintenance so it stays strong, growing, healthy.
You do not realize what you had that was good until it is gone. And you don’t want to just remember the bad to cauterize and discard. We are not in junior high, it is time to grow up. Slow down, listen, learn, and remember.
Communication with expressions from work or general public conversations is not helpful either. I would be reminded that something I said was like I was talking to a customer response.
The type of communication, taylor made to the person on the receiving end can enrich a relationship. Shows you care, that their words, thoughts, feelings are worth total undivided attention. That they matter. Which benefits both of you greatly.
Cliches don’t help serious communication.
Can cause frustration and then things said in anger that go over the top. And the bitterness, hurtfull communication can not be taken back. Is like a bullet that shatters a bone, fragments and is impossible to totally retrieve, take back.
Maine, we try harder when we live in a smaller under populated state. Need each other and know it depends on each individual to be a better “we”. Thanks for following the Me In Maine blog posts.