Thursday, 1 April 2021

Radio Songs #71: Switchboard

I spent a lot of time in this room, answering these phones. That's the original switchboard that was in MCR when I first joined back in 1988. It was updated a couple of years later, before I started on the late night phone in, to a smaller white plastic box with lots of green and red LEDs. My first job was answering the phones for quizzes and requests on the Saturday morning show. Although I don't think we ever played requests. And this was long before the term "shout out" was coined. It was mentions, back then. "Can you give us a mention?"

I've talked before about what the job entailed and how I go it, so what else do I remember? I remember that I took over from a girl called Sorrel, and the reason she was leaving is because she was going to university. This all seemed very exotic to 16 year old me, who'd just sat these new fangled GCSE exams. We were the first year of those, anyone older than us had done O Levels or CSEs, and naturally looked down on us.

Sorrel trained me up on how to answer the phone, and how to put callers on hold so the presenter could pick them up in the studio. Those big clunky buttons, I feel so much affection for them now. She showed me where the kitchen was so I could make coffee for the jocks. And then she was gone. Everyone gave her a hug and wished her well. Tears were shed, but I wasn't yet a part of their family, so I just felt out of it.

I'd never drunk coffee till I started working in radio. This world, it was all so sophisticated.

This seemed an appropriate tune to play today. For Switchboard Sorrel, wherever you are now...

1 comment:

  1. What with MCR, LED and GCSE it's all a bit AC12 around here today. I can't believe how young you all were when you were manning the switchboard. In all my years of working in offices I never had to man a switchboard for which I'm really grateful as my brain just 'switches off' and panics when I see all those controls.

    Wouldn't it be nice if Sorrel dropped by here today.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...