Sunday, August 17, 2008

A tale from the on-air production booth

Lisa Bu

On-air producing is hectic: answering and forwarding callers to the studio, checking listener emails, checking instant messages on 2 accounts, communicating with host and engineer via computers, listening to the interview -- all at the same time! But the stressful job has its reward: each on-air producer has a sizable collection of moving, hilarious, or weird stories involving callers.

Here's one in my collection: A phone line flashed. I picked up the phone and asked the caller his name. He said "wrong number." I told him that the number he just dialed is Wisconsin Public Radio's number. No problem. Goodbye. One minute later, he called again. I started to get impatient because I needed to keep phone lines open for REAL callers. So I quickly pointed out that he's still talking to WPR and hung up. But he was insistent and called yet again. This time, after some confusing exchange with him, I finally figured out that he WAS trying to reach us and "Ron Number" (not wrong number) is actually his name! It turned out that he is a professor at the university. Guess which department? Mathematics. How perfect.

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