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Uh... 7-19-01

( from the message board at: http://www.goodlight.net/wbai/ )

Thu Jul 19 07:29:03 2001

I'm about to go away for five weeks so I thought I'd post some facts as to what transpired Tuesday evening at the station before it gets spun into something unrecognizable by some revisionist somewhere.

I got to the downstairs lobby - late, despite my best efforts on the L.I.E. - at about 7:55 pm. I waited for the guy in front of me to finish signing in on the staff sheet and then signed myself in.

As I started to head towards the elevator, the guy at the desk (either someone new or someone who didn't have that shift in the past, since I didn't recognize him) asked me where I was going. I said, "10th floor, WBAI." He told me I had to sign in as a guest. I was standing half in the elevator at this point trying to explain to him that I was a staff person. He then demanded to see a staff card. The last time anyone asked me for a staff card was two weeks after we moved in - however many years ago that was. The little blue paper card has long since turned to dust. I tried to tell him this along with the fact that I signed in the same way I signed in every time I came to the station for years and that the guy who was usually there never said to do it any other way. He insisted that there was no other guy and that I had to sign in as a guest. Then he turned off the elevator so that I couldn't get upstairs unless I complied.

So I signed the stupid guest sheet, by now thoroughly pissed off since this moron was making me late for my show for no reason other than the fact that he just felt like harrassing someone. I asked him why he let the guy in front of me up without challenging him. I asked him why he let my guests up without any problem but somehow felt that he needed to challenge a staff person. After I signed the thing, he decided that he wasn't going to let me up after all. He said he had to check with someone upstairs.

Now I was really upset. I demanded that this idiot stop interfering with the operations of the station and allow me to get in. Andrea Sears passed by and said that I was a legitimate staff person. It made no difference.

Then the guy changed his mind about calling upstairs and instead called down the hall to his supervisor. I put myself in calm mode temporarily to try and appeal to any reason that might exist in this person. It was a futile attempt. All he could say after hearing what had gone on was "Where's your ID?"

By now there was a crowd of building security people, none of whom I recognized and none of whom recognized me. They said I looked like a demonstrator and one person said that I could have a bomb in my paper bag that I used to carry my show materials in. It was a truly insane scene.

Somehow I made it into an elevator that hadn't been turned off and one of the security guards followed me in. He said I looked suspicious.

By the time I got to the 10th floor a bunch of the people from downstairs had already arrived there. Paul Williams was there to deal with these people and apparently told them I was legit. But he told me I needed to calm down, which was odd since the only thing I was trying to do was get into the station to do my show. It seems to me that the people who need to calm down are the ones who are hurling accusations and preventing legitimate staff people from getting into the station. I asked if I could just get into the station to do my show. Nobody said anything so I punched in the code - yeah, I found out what it was - and went in.

I really tried to keep calm throughout this whole ordeal but there came a point where that just obviously wasn't working and I began to lose my temper. I think any reasonable person would have done the same thing. If you listen to tonight's show (www.2600.com/offthehook) you can hear the state I was in.

Later, after we were off the air, I ran into one of the cleaning ladies who said she absolutely loved the whole narrative, especially the part that described just how thick these people were being. She said the supervisor guy was an ex-cop. It turns out she was really into the station but got transferred from cleaning there when her boss thought she was enjoying it too much. But meeting that person almost made up for the rest of the crap.

Right before posting this, I found the following in my email from someone else at the station who was watching the situation:

"As we left the building last night, the staff downstairs was talking about you. The phone was ringing and a short man in a cleaning uniform was saying if it was the guy from the radio he was gonna get you. He was gonna punch you. His name was Ernesto. The cool guy who's usually there is Edmond. There was a suit there who was telling Ernesto that he was gonna tell Utrice and told us that you said terrible things about the cleaning crew on the radio and how dare you."

I'm so glad I'm not going to be here for a while. But, seriously, this kind of harrassment should not be tolerated. I *expect* management of the station to deal with this situation and prevent it from occurring again to anyone. And I would be thrilled if there was video and/or audio of what transpired so everyone could see. Surveillance is a two way street sometimes.


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