Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Fear is evidently not a factor for you.

Today right before I was getting ready to leave work - seriously, right before - I was logging off my computer and changing my shoes (yes, I pull a Mister Rogers every day at work, changing out of my sneakers into my work shoes, and then when the day ends, I change back into my sneakers - they're much more comfortable) when the phone rang.

In case you want to skip the story, here's the moral: Never answer your phone right before you're going to leave.
Or maybe it's shorter than that: Never answer your phone.

Not having had the benefit of knowing the above mentioned moral at the time, I answered my phone.

"Programming, this is Pat." I said.
"Are you who I talk to to complain about a commercial?" a whiny sounding male voice asked me.
"Um. Well, no. Not technically, but I may be able to help you. What's the problem?"
"I hate the fucking show Fear Factor. I never watch it, because I can't stand to watch people fucking eat bugs and have shit dumped on them. I have a very weak stomach, and I don't appreciate having to see people eat intestines."
[brief pause] I was thinking, "Okay. Then, you know, don't watch the show if it bothers you so much. Simple." he continued:
"Now I can avoid the show, but I can't avoid the commercials for it when it's on every fucking 20 minutes. And why do you have to show the grossest fucking parts on it? I've already puked twice due to this commercial, and nobody I've talked to wants to talk to me about it. I ...

Long story short, he wants us to stop promoting Fear Factor. Blah blah blah, lots of swearing, a few threats (he said that if it didn't stop, he would come down to the station and "punch someone out" - he then said that he was only saying that in anger and he apologized for issuing a threat), blah blah blah.

I told him that I would talk to our promotion department about perhaps producing a promo that focused more on the physical stunts (heh. "physical challenge"). Interestingly enough, a few weeks back, our promotion department came up with the idea of highlighting the 'grossest' parts of Fear Factor, in an effort to bring in a younger, more male demographic. The promo guys collected several weeks worth of episodes in order to get a 'gag reel' (if you'll pardon the pun) of sick stunts to put onto the spot. I didn't tell him this.

In hindsight I should have
a) told him that swearing was unacceptable
b) told him that threats were unacceptable
c) hung up on the psycho

On the bright side, I did get his name (Todd M. [last name withheld to protect his innocence]) and number (I won't put that online either. Yet. [evil wink]) (he only got my name and the fact that I work in the programming department. No way am I giving him my direct line) And I told Tina about it - she wanted to call Todd back right then, to assure him that we were not going to change our style of promoting the show, and that he should probably just look away when the commercial came on. It being nearly 20 minutes later when Tina and I talked, I told her to just wait until tomorrow when Todd called back (and I am confident that he will. He told me as such, and even if he hadn't, I just get the feeling that he's that type of individual).

So, yeah. New psycho in town. I shall keep everyone informed.


Amy said...


... Huh.

Simon said...

Excellent. *frown*