only insofar as it is independent
Tuesday, June 20 2006
While I was in Los Angeles several weeks ago, E, the woman at the Hudson Valley radio station for whom I'd been doing web work, wrote to tell me that I'd officially gone "over budget." What did that mean, I wanted to know, that I couldn't bill for any more hours? I asked E this question directly on several occasions and she never answered me. So then a few days later when she claimed (in an email that was long on capitalization and short on details) that there was some emergency with the ecommerce site, I wrote back asking if I could bill for work the work that needed doing. Again, she didn't respond, and days passed. Well, I wasn't going to be a sucker for this radio station, which is notorious for not paying its bills. So I decided not to worry about it. If they wanted me to fix something, they'd have to at least answer my question about whether or not I could send them a bill.
And so the issue sat until yesterday, when another flurry of urgent emails came my way, with the station imploring me to call them. But as far as I was concerned, if they wouldn't answer a direct question about billing then my relationship with them was on vacation. Today, however, I was willing to respond to the emails, just to express my contempt, and so I did.
It was a draining exchange, but at least there was satisfaction in laying out the injustice of what was being hinted at, that I was supposed to do work for free. What, did they think I was desperate to maintain my relationship with the station? I know a lot of young interns are willing to work there for free and plenty of people have given them discounted services just for the honor of working there. But to me the station is cool only insofar as it is independent of Clear Channel and other radio conglomerates. I don't particularly like the style of smarmy white boy music they're fond of playing and since I rarely listen to the station, none of the DJs there seem like celebrities to me.
In the late afternoon Zelig (aka Mr. Tillson) came over to drop off tools and it was good to be able to drink a couple beers and bitch about the radio station with him. For his part, he's been studying up on how to be a high school teacher. He even looks a little like a high school teacher these days with his freshly-cropped hair (flecked, I noticed for the first time in the sun today, with grey) and his trademark, completely unapologetic handlebar mustache.
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