I have decided that call in radio hosts in West Africa have one of the most difficult jobs. There are so many obstacles conspiring to prevent dialogue. Lacking internet, a book, or phone credit last night, I was lying in bed scanning the radio and came upon J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement address, which was supposed to be the basis for a call in show on Talk Radio 90.9. So the speech ends, and the announcer says, “Please call and tell me what you think about this speech.”
Cue the predictable call in show mishaps.
Caller 1: Hello [Impossible to hear caller 1 because he has not turned his radio down, discussion ensues to get him to turn his radio down, further communication issues, finally he turns his radio down.]
[At least 1 minute has passed now.]
Announcer: What did you think about the commencement speech?
Caller 1: Really, I have not been listening, I just wanted to call in. What is the discussion about?
Announcer: There is no discussion yet, keep listening. [Hangs up on Caller 1.]
Caller 2: Hello, this is Turera.
Announcer: Turera! Hi! How are you?
Turera: Fine. It was my birthday yesterday.
Announcer: I know, I was out of town.
Turera: I know. I had a great celebration. I was feeling sick, but now I am better.
Announcer: Glad to hear that.
[At least two minutes of collegial small talk. Turera does in fact have some interesting thoughts on the speech, but at least 7 minutes have passed since the speech ended.]
Caller 3: [Provides some thoughts on the speech, and then some thoughts on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.] You know, you haven’t replied my mail.
Announcer: I was out of town.
Caller 3: I know, what did you bring for us?
Announcer: Ok, fine, let’s take the next caller.