Help Wanted in Engineering and Oppression Prevention! uh

I’ve addressed some pretty out there engineering job openings in the past, but this one is the strangest I’ve ever seen. Please go ahead and grab a glass of water and drop a couple of Alka-Seltzer in it, because you may need it. I’m going to inline my comments in a nice shade of cyan reminiscent of P2 phosphor.

KBOO is Hiring: Chief Engineer

Published date:
Thursday, February 7, 2019 – 11:59am

Please submit resume and cover letter with the answer to the question “Why is KBOO Important” by March 4th, 2019 11:59 pm to engineerhire@kboo.fm 

I’m sorry but what— this is one of the strangest, most pretentious things I’ve ever seen on an application. This is not a standard cover letter by any means. This is just W E I R D

or mail/bring your resume and cover letter to: Station Manager 20 SE 8th Ave. Portland OR 97214

KBOO Community Radio Department: Operations

Job Title: Chief Engineer

Reports to: Station Manager Employment

Status: Exempt

danger, will robinson

Hours: 40 hours per week

Positions Supervised: Live Events Engineer, IT Systems Admin Contractor, Transmitter / Translator / STL / EAS Contractor, and Volunteers

Revised: January 2019

General Description: To oversee and maintain the technical operation of KBOO’s studios, its transmitters and translators at an optimum level.

Qualifications

  • Broadcast engineering and electronic experience necessary.
  • Ability to work with, train and assist a diverse group of people and the ability to explain technical matters to non-technical beginners.
  • Experience in installation, modification, maintenance and repair of broadcasting equipment, including but not limited to: CD players, digital audio equipment, cassette recorders, computer hardware and software, audio mixers, microphones and telephone systems.
  • Driver’s license and vehicle for travel to transmitter / translator sites.
  • Ability to improvise and achieve results with materials and resources on-hand.
  • Knowledge and experience working with analog and digital equipment.
  • Computer skills.

So far, so good….. though I worry about this being an exempt position. This gets REALLY nasty when you’re required to work more than 40 hours a week, but do not receive any compensation for it. But now, all aboard the WOO TRAIN

Essential Functions

  • Identify and address institutional and individual acts of oppression at KBOO. Ensure there is interruption of the oppression, follow-up and support for those impacted as well as documentation/record keeping of the incident.

I’m sorry.

What? This is very strange, but it continues—

  • Work to implement KBOO’s affirmative action policy in recruiting, training and maintaining volunteers.

This is a very strange task for an engineer – serving as a volunteer coordinator, but at least it’s not asking one to fight oppression…. whatever that implies….

  • Maintain signal and audio quality.
  • Act as Chief Operator in maintaining FCC logs and required documentation.
  • Maintain broadcasting equipment in good working order, including studio equipment and system phones, transmitters and translators.
  • Coordinate with staff for the station’s audio equipment and studio needs, including purchasing and soliciting bids.
  • Supervise the IT/Systems Admin Contractor.
  • Supervise the Transmitter / Translator / STL / EAS Contractor.
  • Supervise and provide support and backup for Live Events Engineer.
  • Work with other staff to coordinate training for engineering volunteers.

So are you coordinating volunteers or are you not coordinating volunteers?

  • Guaranteed 24-hour emergency engineering support for the station, either in person or by delegation to qualified engineering volunteers and contract engineers.

oh, that’s where the “exempt” part gets ya.

  • Coordinate with staff to plan and implement engineering budget, including long-term strategic planning for engineering needs.
  • Coordinate facilities maintenance at tower and translator sites.
  • Participate in engineering projects as assigned by station manager (i.e. production room remodels).
  • Oversee engineering aspects of new transmitters / translators (i.e. planning and project implementation).
  • Lead/staff the engineering committee meetings. Generate agendas each month and ensure there are committee minutes that are put up on the web within 5 days of the meeting.
  • Attend technology operating team and staff meetings.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Keep KBOO in compliance with FCC rules and regulations relating to engineering and technical issues.

Salary

This is a full-time position with a starting salary $31,426.38/year. The employee shall be eligible for annual step increases subject to conditions in KBOO’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Okay, wait. 24/7 on call…. salaried exempt… under 32k a year…. in PORTLAND? How do they expect one to live like that?

Probationary Period

Any person hired will be required to join and pay dues to CWA Local 7901 after 90 days. There is a six month probationary period. This period is not to be construed as a contract.

Wait, this is….. union…..

WHO APPROVED THIS COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT AND WHY ARE THEY NOT ON FIRE? Please make them be on fire. Thanks.

Benefits

Benefits include medical and dental coverage, disability and life insurance, and credit union eligibility. This position also offers paid vacation, sick leave, and 11 paid holidays per year, in accordance with KBOO’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. FSLA-exempt employees receive paid compensatory time off. Eligibility for the pension plan is one year after the date of hire.

Nice benefits under that Collective Bargaining Agreement, but WTF IS WITH THAT SALARY?!

Working Conditions

KBOO has over 150 hours per week of local programming, produced by volunteers who need to be trained on studio equipment. KBOO is a union shop and all (non-management) staff are members of Communications Workers of America (CWA) – Local 7901. All employees are expected to provide time to answer questions and to help volunteers learn. The engineer is called upon on a daily basis to help volunteers with using the studios and equipment. The engineer conducts workshops to train people as engineering volunteers. The engineer will work, coordinate efforts, and learn from contract engineers on special projects. KBOO’s environment is hectic and stimulating. You must enjoy working with a wide diversity of volunteers.

Funny, it sounds like most of your time as the salaried engineer will be volunteer too after those 40 hours a week. I really wonder what the collective bargaining agreement says about that. Then again, it really sounds to me like it’s the most watered down piece of junk ever. Alas…..

We have an air studio, three production rooms, multiple digital editing stations, and other rooms used for live public affairs and music. The engineer’s office also doubles as a workshop and contains some of the transmission and phone equipment. We have two STL’s (station links) to our tower with main and backup transmitters.

There are other engineers in Portland with a wide range of experience, both volunteers and contract hires, which you may work with and learn from.

And they might take pity on your predicament and try to find you jobs in their far better organizations, I’d like to hope—

KBOO has regular membership drives. They require an intense amount of time and coordination. The engineer must provide technical assistance as necessary during these drives.

BAHAHAHAHAHA AND HOW. My experience with these at another station was pretty much that it was two weeks of 14 hour days.

Workplace expectations at KBOO radio include: effective verbal and written communications; conflict de-escalation; skillful volunteer relations and utilization; capable project management; work-area organization; response to phone calls and correspondence; teamwork and cooperation with other employees, volunteers, and Board members; furtherance of KBOO mission, goals and values; meeting attendance and participation; capable departmental budgeting; and punctuality.

Equipment Used

KBOO equipment ranges from vintage analog audio player/recorders, 40-year old transmitters and mixing consoles to state of the art, networked digital broadcast consoles. There is heavy usage of all this equipment. You must repair as necessary and ascertain the need for new purchases within a somewhat limited budget.

Keep in mind…. at under $32k/year…. and the maintenance and repair is probably 40 hours a week in and of itself.

KBOO is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, Women and People of Color are encouraged to apply. Discrimination because of age, race, religion, color, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender presentation, class, creed, physical or mental disability is prohibited.

Meanwhile, I just can’t even. This position will HOPEFULLY remain unfilled until they refine it severely to actually make it worth someone’s time and effort to fill it.

picture unrelated

We’re sorry, the fingers you’re dialing with are too fat

It occurs to me as a result of having posted this to Facebook and having everyone think this is a mini din / ps/2 connector in my hand and not the full size DIN that it is, I must have damn big fingers.

But yeah, that’s a new old stock AT style keyboard my boss accidentally sent me when I needed more keyboards.

Here’s some aktiv-schaum

User interface design and stray socks

I don’t have a washer and dryer at home, so I use either of a couple of laundromats. I never really thought about this before now while horribly bored waiting for stuff to dry, but there’s a very big design flaw when it comes to the user interface of some laundry equipment.

I vaguely remember long ago using a giant Continental-Girbau washer where I was able to just grab all the laundry and flop it right into a basket in front of the machine without anything landing on the floor instead. I never really thought too much about this, but it was pointing out that Alliance Laundry Systems (manufacturers of the Speed Queen and Huebsch brands) dropped the ball… Or, rather, my SOCKS!!!

First off, here’s a more modern style Speed Queen washer. I’ve seen these in at least three different sizes; this one is “two load” and will gleefully swallow the contents of my entire laundry bag as long as it isn’t crammed to the brim.

Notice how snugly the basket fits against the front. Nothing may escape!!

This is a “soft mount” machine with a drum suspension and rubber door boot. It’s on a stand that elevates it a bit. If it didn’t have the stand, it’d meet the basket too low.

This one has a weird indentation but it ends above the basket rim, so you don’t get sock droppage.

Here’s a very old dryer by them, the same design is still produced with barely any changes other than a more modern digital control. Sadly the pretty teal blue VFD is replaced by boring green LEDs on the new ones. Again, though, not only does it have a flat front but a rub rail is positioned to meet the basket.

And now….

Why?

Note the Sock Drop Zone formed here. The tub is recessed with a weird black cone of shame, and as you unload, small items fall and don’t land in the basket. Every time I use one of these, I always wheel the basket away and find like three socks on the floor because they fell through this gap. Incidentally, on this design, anything that goes down the gap between the tub edge and wash basket edge there is pretty much lost forever into the drain sump. It’s a sizable gap about 3/8″ wide, but when the door is closed, the glass window makes it highly unlikely that any items will get near it. It’s more a hazard on loading and unloading, but will cause issues if the machine is overloaded with baby clothes.

So, why the weird sock eating cone of shame? I don’t get it. A fairly trivial change could be made to stop these washers from continuing their sock-dropping reign of terror, but it seems to have never crossed anyone’s minds over at Alliance.

Bizarre.

Important Generac warning

Do not buy a Generac anything, but more importantly, don’t buy one of their automatic transfer switches. It will only work with a Generac generator. Surprise, beeyotch!!

This is a shitpost, I’ll elaborate later. See note inside interface box:

Galvanic corrosion shitpost

* To the tune of Sisters of Mercy -This Corrosion

I have no idea where this EIA flange adapter came from, but it’s aluminum!

Every other piece of EIA flange hardware I’ve ever seen was either stainless steel, brass, tin or silver plated brass, maybe phosphor bronze…. Not aluminum.

This adapter was only in service a couple months carrying 1400 watts of power mated to a typical brass firing and it was already starting to look bad. No heating was observed, but it was only a question of time.

Sorry, you’re just going to have to learn to love those bad jokes. Get ready to scrub your flanges when the lights go out.

Broadcast Tools SS8.2 WideOrbit fun

So as I found following a long epic battle with the dumb thing, the dip switch settings in the manual make no sense.

Turn on 4, 5, 6, and 10, all others off. Otherwise, the GPI inputs will not respond.

This is contrary to what is in the manual.

Picture semi related. Shrek is life, Shrek is love