I found this sitting in my drafts folder and it made me crack up laughing remembering how silly this was— it’s from months ago, likely when I was stuck in Princeton, Florida, needing to measure for the installation of something at A Beautiful Place Out in the Country.
The store in question is likely the Florida City Walmart Supercenter.
I once formed this theory that this was basically the last tail end of all civilization after arriving there on the tail end of a session of battling Z-Bola and witnessing a late night bus pull up there and the passengers disembark to the tune of its engine shutting down with a long sigh and several dozen empty beer bottles being thrown one by one on the sidewalk.
I guess it’s finally come to this. Walked into a Miami location of a typical big box store that’s slowly losing all relevance to buy a tape measure. Got stopped at the front door by a security guard for a metal detector check.
His detector never went off even after his forcibly and painfully whacking it into my steel jewelry and he waved me on.
I had to go find someone with a key to a locked cabinet for the tools. He arrived with a police officer in uniform who tailed me until I checked out. The police officer was annoyed with me going over to the grocery section to get a snack and yelled at me to go check out and leave instead.
The store had signs up indicating that they will soon cease accepting cash at their registers citing safety concerns, and will be reducing their operating hours to 9 AM-7 PM come summer. It seemed the no cash policy was already in place as a customer was arguing with the cashier over it. The cashier pulled out the empty drawer and showed it to the customer who was angrily shaking a $50 bill and didn’t seem to understand this meant that not only would they not accept cash, but even if they did, there’d be no change!
This is why we cannot have good things.
There may be a couple of things I miss about South Florida, but this was never one of them. As long as you don’t try to go to the Walmart in Redding, none of the retail stores here are sad warzones. Actually, the Redding Walmart is just a giant box full of sadness, gated off aisles, and locked cases from which you can buy nothing, and it’s a small miracle it hasn’t been closed down entirely. Nobody will miss it when it goes away.
In case you’re wondering why I cannot really see myself working in the South Florida area again —
This was a posting I saw a couple months back recruiting for one of my old jobs. Yes, the one where I had to kick the Z-BOLA out of the transmitter every few days.
Post Date: 01/08/2018
– Radio Station – Non-commercial
Job Title: Broadcast Engineer
Location: Miami, FL
As the Broadcast Engineer, the Candidate will be responsible for all technical issues deemed necessary for the full and complete operation of the Station. That means the Candidate will oversee and ensure that the station is fully functional on a 24-hour basis.
Salary: $25,000 to $35,000
Send cover letter and resume to: (some circle of hell with a parking lot the engineer is also called upon to guard in the evening)
The sad part is, it’s not on that board anymore and the station’s staff page seems to indicate someone filled the position! This doesn’t surprise me – just about everyone I knew doing any sort of broadcast engineering work in Florida has asked me recently if anyone’s hiring over here in California, as the stations there have been downsizing positions like mad, treating remaining fulltime staff like trash, and bringing in random unqualified contractors based on personal friendships instead of actual skills.
Then again I just checked the same job board’s current results for California and this stupid gem appeared from the local TV station that Sinclair Broadcasting is doing their damn finest to run into the ground at high velocity with nitroglycerin in its pockets. Everyone involved and my own freaking DREAMS have warned me about this place.
Post Date: 04/06/2018 Organization Type:
– Television Station – Commercial Job Title: Director of Engineering Company Sinclair Broadcasting Location: CA Job Description:
We are currently seeking a Director of Engineering. A qualified candidate will coordinate or perform maintenance of computer and broadcast equipment of the television broadcasting stations.
Duties and Responsibilities:
• Oversee engineering staff in separate locations.
• Plan, manage, train, and coordinate technician’s activities
• Oversee Station Master Control operations and supervise the master control operators.
• Operate the station in compliance with all FCC rules and regulations
• Assist and advise in planning of future equipment installations, requirements, and budgetary recommendations
• Supervise maintenance of computer software, hardware, and local area network applications on systems throughout the stations
• Establish procedures to ensure that all IT equipment is operational and secure
• Keep software versions up to date and follow software license compliance, including all corporate directives for IT security
• Supervise preventive maintenance and/or troubleshooting on almost any electronic device or support electronics whether in-house or installed at transmitter; including but not limited to: cameras, video equipment and/or audio switching equipment, processing and monitoring equipment, microwave transmitters and receivers, satellite receivers, and computing equipment
• Supervise and/or perform transmitter maintenance of all transmitters, translators, and microwave systems
• Respond to trouble calls with broadcast or computer equipment (sometimes after regular hours and weekends)
• Other duties as assigned
• A minimum of 10 years’ experience in broadcast television engineering, preferably with prior engineering management experience.
• 21st century skill set, a great team-oriented attitude and a dedication to quality.
• Strong leadership skills and exceptional communication are absolutely essential for the successful candidate to possess.
• A strong IT background.
• A college degree, SBE certification, and A+ certification are preferred.
• Hold a valid driver’s license.
I guess I’m still on some curious lists from my job searches back in South Florida, because I was just delivered this beautiful gem along with a voicemail message from someone with SEVERE background noise (sounded like a cross between a call center and a school cafeteria!) and a very heavy Indian accent. I could make out about three words of it. Sadly this will probably be the start of a gradually increasing stream of electronic harassment from them until they exhaust lines of communication I haven’t blocked yet. 😀
For now… enjoy this PERFECTLY written English copy. Worked on anything on the ground that is emitting radio frequency? Bahahahaha.
I’m not including the sender’s contact info because my experience has been that these are nothing but fake offers intended to get people to submit resumes that can be mined, sold, and traded between recruiters like some kind of horrible benefit-free commodity. There are VERY FEW actual tech jobs in South Florida and recruitment is pretty much exclusively handled through H-1B visa program openings, personal friendships and professional connections*. Usually, though, the recruiters throwing fake jobs around at least have someone fluent in English write them up. This is just lazy:
My name is Ankit and I am from Mindlance (Largest Staffing Firm in USA). I got your resume from a Job Board and it looks a perfect fit for one our client’s requirement based in Ft. Myers, FL. Please find the job description below and let me know your interest.
Role: Radio Communications Technician II
Location: Ft. Myers, FL
RADIO COMMUNICATIONS TECHNICIAN II
Spot light call notes
Need to know how to propagate the antenna;
T1;T3 Microwave BG; Telephony
Networking exp is only needed to connected radios
Competitive company to look for candidate: Harris/ Nextel exp in the field
Good qualified Questions: Do you have a FCC/ GROL License
Biggest challenges: is knowledge/Exp of LMR – Land mobile radio; Know what is Radio Frequency
Exp with LMR Land mobile radio; worked on anything on the ground that is emitting radio frequency
Need to be here every day 8-5 will travel 60 miles in FT Myers
Ex Military; Key words
Communications, Signal, Two way
Performs complex radio communications technical work. Work involves installing, maintaining, programming, and repairing base station and control antenna systems and communications, microwave, control, audio, and associated equipment. Works under general supervision, with moderate latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment.
EXAMPLES OF WORK PERFORMED
Installs two-way radio mobile transceivers, electronic sirens, emergency lighting systems, mobile video systems, computer equipment, and associated electronic equipment.
Installs, maintains, and repairs two-way base communications, microwave, audio, control, antenna, transmission line, and associated electronic equipment.
Installs microwave and control consoles at base station and repeater sites.
Tests operational capabilities of mobile installations.
Provides ground assistance for base station, radio tower, microwave antenna, and transmission line installations.
Programs mobile, portable, and fixed radio equipment.
Maintains and repairs radio communications towers, guy-wires, lighting, and associated electronic control equipment.
Maintains, troubleshoots, repairs, and aligns communications, microwave, control, audio, speed measuring, test, and associated electronic equipment.
Maintains, repairs, and adjusts equipment in vehicles and stations to precision tolerances specified by the Federal Communications Commission.
Assists in procuring repair parts and equipment.
May construct special electronic and test equipment.
May train others.
Performs related work as assigned.
GENERAL QUALIFICATION GUIDELINES
Experience and Education
Experience in radio installation, maintenance, and repair work. Graduation from a standard senior high school or equivalent, supplemented by courses in communications and electronics, is generally preferred. Experience and education may be substituted for one another.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Knowledge of electricity, electronics, and automotive electrical systems; of the installation and repair of mobile and fixed radio equipment; of base station antenna, microwave antenna, transmission lines, and associated equipment; of antenna orientation and radiating patterns; and of Federal Communications Commission rules and regulations.
Skill in the use of maintenance, testing, and repair tools and equipment.
Ability to install and maintain radio and associated electronic equipment; to detect and eliminate trouble in radio transmitters, receivers, and other electronic devices; to interpret schematic diagrams and technical reference materials; to communicate effectively; and to train others.
Registration, Certification, or License
May require a Federal Communications Commission General Radiotelephone Operator License (PG)
I’m a little salty, or perhaps just bitter, or both, that the South Florida Hamboree seems to have disappeared again.
A few years back I got it restarted after a long time missing in action, and it was going very nicely. Last year was its first time taking place in a neat venue in Fort Lauderdale, since the Miami-Dade Fair Expo Center would much rather host a far higher paying gun show every other freaking weekend.
But it’s almost December and I saw not a peep from them other than that someone within the club was whining about a financial loss that happened back in two-thousand-and-smegging-three. I guess everyone there would rather just sit around and whine than hold a useful event.
No announcement of a show this coming year, and since the date would have been in late January, it just isn’t happening. The website isn’t even loading anymore.
It may be strange I’m this disappointed considering I now live on the other side of the country but damn it I didn’t put my passion into this to have it just laid to waste again.
Image not related at all: ShitpostBot 5000 template transmitter-594c4f02e4685 in action. One guess as to who created this useless template 😉
If anyone knows who is behind the robocall bots that flood the entire 305 and 786 area codes with “Hello, this is Rachel at Card Services…”, I suggest that a DDoS of amazing proportions would be justified.
A police officer just warned me not to leave the property of my apartment complex and cross the street over to the trashed mobile home park across the street because they’ve already hauled off five of my neighbors from this complex for walking over there under cover of darkness and looting.
My neighbors. Ha ha hahahahaha *gag* what
So we made it through Irma. No power and our phones just started working this evening. Ham radio was useless as there are few people on it here and the repeaters are awful little things with no emergency power. Until Internet access returned, the only source of local information was BBC World Service being carried by WLRN. Broward County isn’t telling local media anything. Glorious!
The area is a total mess. At this point I’m just looking forward to getting away from it. That’ll be a while though as our gas stations all went dry SEVEN DAYS AGO and none have been refilled. Some stores have reopened on limited hours (due to the curfew I only know about thanks to BBC World Service!!) but they are not restocking.
Had the first real dinner in a while tonight though. We used one of the big iron charcoal grills out in the common area to barbecue some burgers and hot dogs. I never want to see crackers and peanut butter again.
Just looking forward to things ascending back from “third world post apocalyptic” to “third world war zone” as usual. Le sigh. A cold front would be just as welcome.
So here’s why I would have gotten fired this weekend if not for the fact that I’d already resigned with two weeks’ notice.
I found out early today that I would have been expected to come to work and ride out Hurricane Irma right here:
Which is right here….
And those bands are the outer bands of this….
Which at the time was forecast to do THIS.
I’m sorry, I did like my job there for the most part, but if asked to ride out the storm there, in a building which got three feet of water in it during Andrew which didn’t even hit that area much at all…. Well, I’d have just plain refused.
I was hearing stories of how the staff held off on evacuating until it was actually already difficult to get over the causeway due to storm surge and wind.
I’m sorry. It’s one thing to be a dedicated team player with the company. It’s another to endanger your safety to fight a losing battle to keep a broadcast going.
Not much one could do with three feet of seawater in the studios and electrical rooms.
And for that I’m assuming I would have been fired in one of those furious scenes.
This is of course assuming it’s still on a course for us as of morning– there’s some potential for a deviation westwards.
But still, not worth it.
In a couple of weeks, northern California will be my home. The only common natural disasters known there are wildfires. I’m okay with this.