Friday, 9 October 2009

You c*nt I hope you die.

I was just a naive 20 year old when I answered my very first call to a listener on local radio. I can still remember to this day flicking the key and lamp switch and saying. “Good morning Essex Radio how can I help you?” and I shall always remember the answer “You c*nt I hope you die” followed by the old brrrrr of the caller hanging up.

Today with caller identity it is easier to ban that kind of call, but how do you deal with those kinds of listeners? It is important to keep your cool, sound disinterested and ask questions to clarify.

The other night I took a call (withheld number of course) from a deeply unpleasant racist, who armed with Bruce Forsyth telling the country that the ‘P’ word is just a bit of fun told me just what the ‘P’s of London could do and where they should go if they didn’t like being called that.

I asked for his number he replied ‘You think I am going to give you that mate.’ And I explained to him that I would only have taken it to ban him for his incitement to racial hatred.

There followed a cat and mouse game where he continued to call on a withheld number. (I just knew it was him and didn't answer) until he couldn’t hold his anger back any longer and rang on an identified number, which enabled me to block his call, but not before he gave me a tirade of F words and threats aimed at myself and the presenter of the show. I said nothing and just let him swear away until in frustration he then put the phone down. Job done.

It doesn’t always work like that and often they catch you with your guard down. It does sadly prove that there are a few nasty people out there who carry a lot of anger and hatred around with them and like nothing better to let it out by calling local radio.

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