Guest blogger: Jim Curran Is Overworked

This comes to us from Allan. Enjoy. ~O

With someone mentioning the word “overworked” and the CBC in the same sentence

The Air Farce used to do their radio show out of the tiny, and what is now the Danny Grossman Dance School, auditorium on Parliament Street here in Toronto. The Metro Morning show was broadcast live from there as well, and open to the public. Joe Cote was the host, and he sat on stage at a small table and did the exact same routine that occurs today with Andy Barrie.

Shortly after I got out of broadcasting school, I sat in the audience seats, alone, watching the show. Joe came down and said hello, and asked if I’d like to join him on stage.
I declined.
Instead, I sat and watched the show quietly, and carefully.
And relaxed.
One person caught my eye, especially. The guy delivering the traffic report.
He would walk at a moderate pace from the stage and up into the seats about halfway. There he would sit down and talk on the phone for a few minutes, then just as calmly walk back to a chair on the stage. He repeated this routine about every twenty minutes it seemed. For a couple of hours.
I sat there on the verge of disbelief. You could actually get paid to walk back and forth like that. True, he did have to talk for a moment or two each time, but he was clearly only repeating what he had heard on the phone.
It was stunning. You needed neither brain nor brawn to perform this task. And it was worth money.

To this day, more than twenty years later, that same guy is still doing the traffic report on Metro Morning.
I have nothing against the man personally. I’m sure he’s a delightfully intelligent and talented individual.
What I’m getting at, I suppose, is …

Isn’t it time the CBC stopped demanding so much from it’s workers?

56 comments:

  1. Allan
    Posted April 2, 2008 at 6:41 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    No, he isn’t.

    Christopher Hitchens is God.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 2:47 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Jim is god.

  3. Anonymous 22
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 2:13 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I REALLY don’t get this.

    I must be a really old fart. I remember when it was a good thing to be a specialist and be good at what we do. Jim is all of that.
    I firmly believe that the reason that ‘Jim’s Quiz’ didn’t work was nothing to do with Jim’s broadcasting or personal abilities. It just wasn’t a very good idea. Compared to what he does as his main gig, it was a waste of his and our time.
    Keep doing what you do, Jim. You get major respect for making it look easy.

  4. inconnu
    Posted March 20, 2008 at 1:27 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Amazing the legs this subject has. To the naysayers, did you ever think about the obvious: Jim’s popular! People LIKE him and maybe, just maybe, he’s one of the reasons Metro Morning is No 1 in Toronto. Keep on with your comments though; this thread may last longer than MVP! (But not nearly as long as “Jim’s Tunes”, which went on for well over a decade, if memory serves. Not too shabby for one who “couldn’t even pull that off”.)

  5. Anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2008 at 1:01 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Uhhh…I agree with the comment. Host after host had tried to make more out of Jim than just traffic reporting and it always fails miserably. In this day and age no one would ever be hired to do such a narrow assignment. Commitment to his job? What job? He tells people traffic. They tried to get him to do Jim’s Quiz and he couldn’t even pull that off. Sorry all you Jim fans–I know he’s been around for a long time. I guess he can be admired for that alone, but not for any particular talent in broadcasting.

  6. peterj
    Posted March 18, 2008 at 5:53 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    @Anonymous: “Quimet” has got to be the most apt typo (deliberate or otherwise) ever made. It looks and even sounds the same. Whaddaya think, Ms/Mr. blogger-in-chief, time for a change of surname? :)

  7. Anonymous
    Posted March 16, 2008 at 12:49 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “Isn’t it time the CBC stopped demanding so much from it’s workers?”

    ITS goddamnit, not IT’S

    just because it’s radio doesn’t mean we have to forget about spelling.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted March 16, 2008 at 12:30 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    That link you provided for “Work at CBC, lose your soul” was the funniest thing you have ever posted. A total non-sequitur.

    I was about to write you off as a bitter old fart with too much time on your hands, but you’re not bitter at all. :-)

  9. Allan
    Posted March 15, 2008 at 8:26 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Buy a Mac – attain enlightenment?
    Could be true.
    Work for today’s CBC – lose your soul?
    High probability.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted March 15, 2008 at 6:05 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    another Anonymous said…

    ‘Allan is a Mac man!
    Now my world really is crumbling.’

    I think NO true Mac person could be so mean spirited, even in jest. I am deeply saddened.

    former CBCer

  11. Kevin
    Posted March 14, 2008 at 7:40 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I fully support your right to write whatever you want on the Interweb, I’m just sick of seeing it somewhere that I expect to be funny, or (actually) satirical, or maybe even relevant.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted March 14, 2008 at 6:20 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    go express yourself somewhere else pinhead

  13. Allan
    Posted March 14, 2008 at 12:32 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.
    ~Noam Chomsky

  14. Anonymous
    Posted March 14, 2008 at 11:48 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Allan is like season 5 of The Wire.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted March 14, 2008 at 7:15 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Allan is a Mac man!
    Now my world really is crumbling.

  16. Blistering Barnacles
    Posted March 13, 2008 at 10:29 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ouimet, I agree with most of the postings. Less Allan is definitely more. If in doubt, ask your mother. Or maybe you’re just channelling Shelagh Fielding, Ă  la Wayne Johnston. Regards, as ever…

  17. Anonymous
    Posted March 13, 2008 at 2:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “Allan” 7:13 PM

    “and it’s driving you crazy that you can’t stop me”

    Quimet, ban “Allan” now.
    erase his postings, refuse his submissions, make Teamakers an “Allan-Free” zone because “Allan” must be stopped….

  18. Anonymous
    Posted March 13, 2008 at 2:00 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I am not a member of the so-called “CBC elite,” but I am a Torontonian who needs to know what traffic — TTC and otherwise — is like in the mornings.
    And Jim does a bloody good job of letting me know. I like his voice, his temperament and after all these years, I also trust his experience.

    Goodness, Ouiment, why this new low?
    Please get rid of this loser.
    Although, he can’t possibly get any worse now — nothing could be as low and stupid as this post.

    ———————–

    “The critic (read: Allan) is a man who prefers the indolence of opinion to the trials of action.” ~John Mason Brown

    “It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

    “Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves.” ~Brendan Francis Behan

    And to borrow from Cicero…
    I hope that Allan will start to criticize by creation and not by finding fault, or looking for fault where none exists!

  19. Anonymous
    Posted March 13, 2008 at 1:52 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    While I defend Allan’s free speech right to make such comments as he sees fit, it’s a shame that his bitterness and neurotic sense of personal failure – as demonstrated by his regret that he never managed to displace the professional and eminently likeable Jim Curran – are allowed to waste the time of people who want to engage in an impersonal and relatively objective discussion of the successes and shortcomings of the CBC and its staff.

  20. Allan
    Posted March 13, 2008 at 10:24 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Sorry, Jim, I’m in management, so I don’t get involved much with regular people. But perhaps after my boss sees this, the next time we meet I’ll be able to ask you what I’ve always been curious about – “do you want fries with that?”
    Now seriously, please don’t go telling anyone where I work. I’m way too busy for autographs and interviews.
    (PS – recognize a radio guy? – you’re funny)

  21. Allan
    Posted March 13, 2008 at 8:09 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Oh, shit.

    I mean … poo.

  22. Jim Curran
    Posted March 13, 2008 at 5:57 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Thanks to all the people who sent the link to ’śThe Tea Makers’ť and Allan’™s blog.
    Thanks too for all the kind comments.
    Allan, when I was in the store the other day looking to upgrade my Mac, why didn’™t you tell me then about your concerns and criticisms?
    Perhaps you didn’™t recognize me.

  23. Allan
    Posted March 13, 2008 at 3:54 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “star fucker”?
    The only star I ever fucked was BJ Cook, but then, didn’t everybody?
    I think even Bill Clinton got in there.

    And now, with traffic, here’s Jim Curran …

  24. Kevin
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 9:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Jim Curran is not a tall poppy, and that’s the difference. I’m all for taking the powerful and the egotistical down a peg or two, but you’re not doing that. You’re picking on somebody that doesn’t deserve it to make a point you could never make through logic or evidence. It’s despicable, even if it never had any effect on the man in question.

    And you’re the last person who should cry censorship. You have your own blog, a couple in fact, where you have just as much access to the public for your rants as you do via this one. Not being given a ready-made audience is not the same as censorship. If it is, then our local longboarding opera singer is being censored by not being booked into the Hummingbird Centre.

    Sometimes opinions are unpopular because they’re wrong, not because you’re a lone crusader being gagged by the Man. Learn the difference, you pointless little individual.

  25. joeclark
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 9:56 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The post was satirical. Real satire, the kind that hurts, not the gruel ladled up by the neutered eunuchs on the umpteen redundant news-parody shows that somehow manage to survive year after interminable year on CBC.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 9:38 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    ‘And it’s driving you crazy that you can’t stop me.’

    No, not crazy, just away! If Ouimet chooses to give this ‘Allan’ a platform, I can stop reading Teamakers.

    I used to find it an amusing inside peek at the ‘corpse’, but now it’s tone is getting nasty! Is another lockout on the horizon? Sad.

    a former CBCer

  27. Allan
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 5:13 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You were all up in arms when the CBC suggested implementing guidelines for blogging.
    And now you’re the first ones demanding censorship.
    And I’m the looney?
    You take your own right to free speech for granted, and then use it to try and deny others theirs.
    CBC hypocrisy in … 2008!
    After writing 340 posts about one particular CBC employee, and no one saying a peep, I suddenly find that just one remark about a specific job and a dozen people flip out.
    You’d think I had slandered the Christ-Child.

    And it’s driving you crazy that you can’t stop me.

    The only one who can have my post removed is Jim Curran, and he actually seems to be having a good laugh about it all, and enjoying the notoriety and kudos.
    But I’m guessing his biggest satisfaction comes from knowing that for over twenty years he’s managed to make sure that I didn’t become the traffic reporter for Metro Morning!

  28. Anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 4:28 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Why is everybody bothering Ouimet about this? She’s just giving a forum to someone, who, asshole or not, stimulates lots of discussion. Is it a cheap shot? It rather misses the point, you couldn’t pay me enough to do municipal traffic and weather for a lifetime, but he’s a civil servant and the public are entitled to ask questions. I, personally, think Jim is doing all that is asked of him and don’t know why this Allan kid should give a shit.

  29. Anonymous 22
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 4:16 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I like that the Teamakers is ‘neutral ground’.
    I even like that Allen gets space to add his two cents. I mean, he does get enough rope to hang himself doesn’t he.
    It was an idiot thing to say. And a VERY silly judgment to make.
    But now we know where his credibility is at….

    And, as for the management types who are trying “out” Ouimet….they don’t really get what this space is about, do they.
    Says a LOT about them too.

  30. Anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 3:10 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Allan’s a jerk. get rid of him.

  31. DMc
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 2:02 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Wow. Yeah. Cheap shot.
    One step forward…

  32. Anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 10:25 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    It is to no surprise that the CBC elite cry out for the banning of Allan. Totalitarian regiemes always know best.

  33. Anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 9:00 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Allan is what we term a “star fucker”.

    People like him are somehow validated when they get the attention of a person who is seen or heard on broadcast. They feel they have some kind of relationship with these people because they come into their lives on radio or tv.

    In this case, I would add sad, attention-seeking to his title.

  34. Anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 7:39 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    any credibility that teamakers once had has been
    erased and forgotten because of “Allan”….

    “Allan” is an assh%&*

  35. Anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 5:26 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Guys, lay off Allan. Do we blame moths that are attracted to the light?

    Ouimet, now that you have morphed your blog into this shooting gallery, it is time for you to voluntarily out yourself. Employees who come under your spotlight (or your surrogate’s) have the right to know their accusers.

    We know Senator Joseph McCarthy’s name. What’s yours?

  36. Allan
    Posted March 12, 2008 at 4:57 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    JILL DEMPSEY IS OVERWHELMED

    On Metro Morning, this morning … you can hear it here

  37. Jools
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 9:37 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I realize that I’m but one of about 20 people expressing the same sentiment, but I have nothing but admiration for Jim Curran’s dedication to the job. Allan, I don’t know where you’re coming from on this.

    And Ouimet, I also don’t understand why you keep giving Allan a soapbox on which to stand. If Allan wants to take potshots at CBC staff, why doesn’t he start his own blog? This blog was a lot better when it was just you, Ouimet.

  38. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 9:23 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Why does CBC do traffic on radio?
    Only because of the illusion that TTC riders need it.

    Other cities didn’t do traffic, and when they instituted it, ratings didn’t rise.

    Yes, why not have two hosts instead with twice the knowledge for live radio.

    Should CBC be encouraging single occupancy automobile commuting when it is bad for the environment, is handled in an offhand matter and doesn’t affect ratings?

    Are any CBCers (on-air) overworked when they have so many assistants these days doing the prep-work?

  39. Allan
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 8:12 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    This last post, at 9:46, showing disdain for the rights and opinions of your own audience, proves that the problems at the CBC are far bigger than simply getting rid of Stursberg.

  40. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 7:46 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Allan is like one of those obsessive, get a life, CBC listeners who email us daily, usually with petty complaints. They say it’s their right because they are taxpayers. I don’t know whether to laugh at them or feel sorry for them. But in the case of an email from someone like Allan, picking on Jim Curran, I know what I would do — hit DELETE and include him in my spam filter.

  41. Allan
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 6:52 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    A 1 rating???
    Those damn Toronto Maple Leafs.

    I’d be happy to autograph this page for you, Jim, before you have it framed.
    Just write to Ouimet and she’ll put us in touch.

    Oh, and to the person who claims to a “senior manager”:
    You can’t cope with a piece of fluff from “Allan” so you’re willing to lose the wonderful postings of sadforcbc and J. Frank Willis and Joe Clark and Ouimet herself.
    How does your face feel now that you’ve cut off your nose?
    Compare your approach to that of the respected Hubert.

  42. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 2:39 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    it apostrophe s?

  43. Kevin
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 2:29 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Hey Ouimet, it’s kind of pathetic to go from being a thorn in the side of management to being a venue for kooks to take digs at their local traffic reporter.

    A cursory look at my previous comments should tell you what I think of Allan, but I expected more from you. It’s not like he haxx0red your blog, so maybe you should imply a minimal quality filter and read his rants before posting them.

  44. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 2:13 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    OK, let’s compare.

    Jim: performs an often thankless and always critical job day after day. And he does it with accuracy, professionalism and humour.

    Allan: a vindictive know-nothing who uses this pulpit to bleat.

    Three cheers for Jim.

  45. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 1:37 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    That’s it for me.

    Allan is a mean-spirited, pointless fucking idiot, clearly.

    I just deleted Teamakers from my bookmarks.

    P.S. I’m in senior management at CBC. Ouimet, you just lost all respect from the core.

  46. Mark
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 12:56 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    As others have said, Jim Curran’s gig isn’t as easy as it seems (and isn’t it every broadcaster’s job to make it seem easy?). Apart from reporting on traffic and transit, Jim other role is as a consistently superb on-air sidekick to the hosts of Metro Morning and Here & Now. Ask them how hard he works, and how reliable he is at covering when other elements of the programs are going off the rails.
    I must agree with others than ‘Allan’ needs a new hobby…or a lesson on how to turn off the radio & TV stations that make him so unhappy.

  47. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 12:23 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I am really surprised, Ouimet, that you would allow this ‘Allan’ character dump on Jim. I’ve known him since working at ‘Parliament’ and he is certainly more than what ‘Allan’ implies.

    Please get rid of ‘Allan’. He is no longer funny.

    a former CBCer

  48. Allan
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 11:38 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    (Dear Jim,
    Please deposit the money into my account as per our agreement) … wait, did I just post this in the wrong column? … UNDO! UNDO!

  49. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 9:09 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    BAN “ALLAN” NOW
    because enough is enough – he’s an idiot

  50. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 9:01 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    and what is your job, allan? it seems to be projecting your own sense of shame and failure on people who are actually competent and socially capable. you’re damn good at it too.

  51. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 9:00 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I didn’t bother reading this posting.

    Your site has slowly become irrelevant.

    With Allan’s increased participation, the Team Makers has become an embarrassment.

  52. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 8:36 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ya, this is indeed ill-informed. Jim Curran rocks. He does a great job, a job that is way harder than Allan implies. I dig Allan’s writing, but in this instance, well, it’s totally off…

  53. iNudes
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 7:59 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    OK, I have bit my tongue on many of Allan’s posts, but enough is enough. I don’t mind opinions that are different from my own, but when they’re ill-informed, that’s where I draw the line.

    He’s not solving world hunger but Jim’s job does take talent. You have to track down all the traffic information, and then figure out how to communicate it clearly on the air. Now do that live every 20 minutes for 6 hours a day, oh yah as a split shift, for five days a week. Jim isn’t spending his days sitting in his chair eating bon-bons. What else exactly do you think he should be doing?

  54. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 7:22 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Curran also works a split shift — something like 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM and then 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Overworked or not, that’s a hell of a commitment to a job, and he’s been doing it for decades.

  55. Anonymous
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 6:31 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Ouimet, I think you should stop demanding so much from poor Allan. He’s obviously overworked if he can only come up with twenty-year-old grudges to bitch about.

  56. Craig
    Posted March 11, 2008 at 5:40 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    That was a cheap shot and beneath the standards you usually set on this site. It’s like saying all Peter Mansbridge does is sit in a chair and read. Having done this job at a private station, it isn’t just a matter of being told what to say by some person on the phone who knows all. There are many police detachments and transit people to check with. Information has to be updated and cross-referenced. No, traffic isn’t brain-surgery, but it does require someone to be clear, concise and above all consistent. That’s Jim.


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