Archive for NCSU

What’s YOUR oddest job?

Posted in The story behind the story with tags , , , , on April 21, 2010 by cwgala

GRIN # 87

From a reader: What’s the oddest, funniest or most interesting job you’ve ever had?

I had to go way back for this one.

In the space of a year I went from being Belkie Bear to working at a heavy metal radio station.

The bear bit took place the summer before I went to college. A few things to note if you’re ever tempted to fill this kind of position. First, the costume is hot-flash inducing and it stinks. Second, you’ll scare little children no matter how much you wave your big bear paw around. It’s pretty humbling, actually. I felt like King Kong in, well, King Kong. Finally, you’ll want to find a place you can air yourself out. Periodically I would head outside and pace in front of the store entrance. It looked like Belkie Bear took regular smoke breaks.

Less than a year later, I was working at WKNC 88.1 at NCSU. After making up the weather, I read the news from a wire service. I felt I was well on my way to a fascinating career in the media.  One day, however, the station manager told me it was time to move into a DJ slot. “But I don’t want to,” I told him.

“You have to,” he said. “You can’t read the news forever.”

I couldn’t?

He put me on the 3 to 6 am shift every Saturday night, coming on right after a guy I called “Satanic Jack,” a brooding fellow with nose and tongue piercings who took heavy metal pretty seriously.

WKNC had  a great music library. Although it was a heavy metal radio station at the time, the library housed Eric Clapton, Jane’s Addiction, Nirvana, Tom Petty–all kinds of music. One night during my shift, I decided to pepper the rotation with a few of those groups–in between the regular bouts of Tesla and Metallica–to see if anyone would notice.

They did.

The phones lit up.

Satanic Jack came in to see what the hell was going on.

And I had a lot of explaining to do. No wonder I didn’t end up in broadcasting.