As I anticipate going back to work on Monday, Derek reminded me of a long-forgotten aspect of working at CKSL here in London in the mid-1980’s.
Gord Hume was our General Manager and Grand Poobah. We worked hard. Live announcers were on air around the clock, often on six-hour airshifts and I had one 7-hour marathon on Saturday nights. I worked what came to be known as six-and-five weeks. One week I’d work six days, with just one off. The next I would work five days, with two blissful days off. We appeared at countless events and did it all with a smile. Gowan’s coming in at 10 tomorrow morning and I work from midnight until 6 am? No problem! I’ll be back here to introduce him to listeners, sure.
Gord had some fun and smart ideas to foster a team spirit. One of his best was the management switch day. Once a year, managers would trade departments for the whole day. The Creative Director might become the News Director. The head of engineering would find himself becoming a temporary Program Director. And on it went. It was brilliant! Managers developed empathy for each others’ responsibilities. Employees felt empowered because they suddenly became experts upon whom the rookie managers leaned. Everybody got to know everybody else and get a sense of how the entire operation functioned.
Another one of my fondest memories from that era is of a scavenger hunt. Gord was on my team and he was determined to win. We lost! But he drove like a maniac to his home (a mysterious place to us on the lower rungs of the radio ladder!) and gave us permission to tear the place apart looking for items on the list. I moved on before Gord the politician came into being but as a boss, he was awesome. In a heated moment, the Program Director revealed that he didn’t even want me on staff(or any other woman, for that matter) but Gord insisted that I stay! How can you not have good memories of a guy like that?