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I honestly had no idea what I had done. Why was my boss tearing ass down a hallway towards the control room with a fiery look in his eyes?
“PULL THE TICKER!!! PULL THE FUCKING TICKER RIGHT NOW FOR GOD’S SAKE!”
The ticker was pulled, and I was about to get reamed. Let me back up a bit. I used to work for FOX Sports Net where I started out as the bottom bitch being the guy who ran the ticker and TelePrompter for our anchors. It wasn’t the most difficult job. I would come in, spend 15 minutes setting up my ticker, and press a button and scroll a wheel for thirty minutes. It was almost highway robbery that I was being paid $15/hr for this job (I had also just started font coordinating, which paid $25, but I hadn’t gotten that raise yet) – great side gig to work through college though.
The afternoon started about as normally as any other day of work. I had a 5:30 call time with a 6:30 show time. So, of course, I arrived at 6:10, cracked a few jokes to the crew about my tardiness, and typed up all the information for the pre-game and post-game tickers. With 5 minutes to spare before we went live, I went and snagged a “free” Monster from our break room (pro tip: anything on the bottom of the vending machine is free game if you can reach your arm up there).
The pre-game went as smooth as a baby’s bottom. No hiccups from anyone, which is the norm typically for a pre-game show since you have hours to prepare for it. It wasn’t until we hit the post-game show that things took a drastic turn for the worse. I remember the whole event very vividly. We were in the B block of our segment and had just tossed it over to the game announcers for their recap when my boss came hauling ass down the hallway.
So what exactly did I do? Well, just take a look for yourself…
“Fist Her” A classic mix up at the time. See, we had a running joke at FOX whenever someone said Fister’s name where we would follow it up with “Fist Her? I barely know her.” or “Fist Her? Why not? Everyone else has.” These sayings were so common that they had come engrained into my head, and into my computer’s autocorrect. This thing had been up on the TV for FIFTEEN minutes before anyone noticed.
All I could say was “Shit, that one’s on me. I’ll change it. By the way, can I start getting paid for my font-coordinator rate?” The second part caught my boss so off-guard that not only was I not fired for that debacle, but I got my raise to font-coordinator rate. Guess you could say I’m quite the shrewd negotiator.
The rest of my time that I worked there, I was forever known as the “fister” for the words I put on air. However, most everyone got a good kick out of it. As one of our producers said “Hey it’s live TV, anything can happen. We all make mistakes.”
Everyone has their own epic work-horror story, but none of them can come close to what I had experienced..
Image via Shutterstock