The "F" Word on TV

I temped eons ago at Channel 11. At one point, I temped for almost every tv station in existence in New York as well as for all the soaps. I loved temping for several reasons:

  1. It was far more interesting than my career in finance.
  2. I found that the typical job didn't require much thought and work UNLIKE what I did for a career which consumed my time and my energy thinking!
  3. It was easy to commit corporate espionage. Temps are rarely vetted and full-time employees take advantage of their slave labor and give them access to work that's under lock and key from their colleagues.
  4. I got to meet people who I'd never meet in my career in finance.

And now we segue to the story, one of my tales from the crypt. Grab a cup of java and get comfortable:

Around twenty years ago, I got a short-term job at Channel 11 WPIX TV, a local New York City tv station. I did weekly programming schedules. The woman in charge took maternity leave and hired me in her stead, fearful a colleague would usurp her position.

Back then, I was bored of my consulting jobs where I made a lot of money dealing with the same kinds of people that made me leave my full-time employment in the first place. I tried my hand at other things. There were plenty of opportunities for someone who had an education, unlike today. Outside of finance, other industries didn't mind taking a risk on someone who didn't have the precise experience within the parameters dictated by the position.

Channel 11 was mostly known for filming the Jerry Springer show. Jerry featured all sorts of trashy people with horrible tales which they couldn't wait to tell the world. While it was going on live, Jerry accidentally said the "F" word.

"Oh my FUCKING God!" shrieked the top guy in charge of programming while watching tv in his office. "Jerry Springer said Fuck!" Rapidly, he dialed his boss. "Fuck!" he shrieked in the phone, "Jerry Springer said Fuck so be prepared for FCC fines." In seconds, corporate executives freaked out screaming, "Fuck," while scrambling to meetings to deal with repercussions of the "F" word said on local programming.

In ten minutes, I heard 'fuck' repeated far more in Channel 11 among all the personnel than I ever did on the streets of New York.

Hours later, the top guy returned to his office in a ball of sweat. Relieved, he said, "Someone must've been sleeping at the FCC because no one caught it!" 

An hour later, he watched the show replay and sure enough, no one in Channel 11 bleeped out the "F" word! "Fuck!" said the top guy of programming. "I can't believe no one edited Fuck out!"

Once again, he ran into meetings. By this time I left the premises. The following day, I saw the man in his office, feet up on his desk. "Grace to the incompetency of the FCC, they missed Fuck twice."

This was one of those memorable times when work was fun.

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