A few months ago, we featured a "production nightmare" by one of our subscribers, and welcomed more of the same from the rest of you. Shelley Henry, Production/Creative Director at KTEZ-FM in Lubbock, Texas, submitted the following. As far as we can tell, this definitely falls under the category of a production nightmare!


by Shelley Henry

I have hundreds of production nightmares. They're called clients. And although, like regular people, no two clients are quite the same, I am convinced they all have the same quest: to show the little radio person what hell is really like.

The "boogieman" of my nightmares is actually a woman. We'll call her Flo. Flo owns a local beauty salon and has decided to use her schedule with our station as a "beauty tips" program, although, it's not a true program -- it runs on rotation. Nevertheless, she thinks it's a good idea, and of course, as I learned on my first job at McDonald's, "the customer is always right."

So, Flo comes in every Monday to record a new tip, which really adds to a "perky" Monday at our station! Flo has everything one would need to accurately and believably provide the general public with beauty tips -- the knowledge, the ideas, and the looks -- everything that is, except the voice. Flo has a "whiny," high-pitched voice, and she takes a breath every two seconds. This makes her sound like a child reading bad poetry: "Ta ta - ta ta - ta te - ta ta -ta ta - ta ta."

As if that weren't enough, (and as if having to listen to it once weren't enough) Flo has to hear the spot twice before she'll let it go on (a period of time during which her sales rep and I keep our fingers crossed). Flo is the "expert," so we await her approval. Then she asks for our input. Now, the sales rep and I learned the hard way to lie to Flo. In the beginning, we told her the truth -- in a nice way, of course -- that she breathes too often and her voice needs a little work. She didn't speak to either of us for two weeks, and the sales rep had a heck of a time convincing Flo to let me back into my production room. Nowadays, lesson learned, we smile sweetly and say "that's PURR-fect!"

The nightmare goes on. Flo's spots also have a music bed and donut, voiced by a carefully selected announcer who happens to work overnight. So the spots are left with the overnight announcer, and the next morning we have to call Flo for approval of the finished product. Mind you, the music, the donut, and the announcer are always the same. The only thing about the spot that changes from week to week is Flo's part, and she's already heard that! Even the fact that she has to approve the finished product before it goes on the air -- even though she already knows what it sounds like -- wouldn't be so bad except for one small quirk: THIS is the time she decides her part isn't good enough and needs to be redone!

My parents warned me that if I did not behave, the boogieman would get me. I truly believe Flo is my penance for 23 years of misbehavin'.