When Social Media Causes Antisocialism

So it finally happened.  Today, I was eating lunch with my wife (thanks for coming to see me at work!!) and my cell phone rings.  My cell phone rings any time I get a voicemail at work… annoying, but it allows me to respond to voicemails immediately.  I figured it was a call from a Petland store about surveillance video I was trying to get of a Chihuahua being stolen. 

It wasn’t.  It was the supervisor of all dispatchers for Pickerington Police.  Now, if you follow NBC 4 on Twitter, you know about Jason Mays and his famed nightly beat calls.  You also know that Jason one day aspires to move his clan (approaching tribe size) to Pickerington.  Jason talks to the Pickerington Police Dispatchers each night.  I’m sure he’s tried to sell them on twitter.  Jason is a born network builder, he does it more easily than anyone I have ever met.

Apparently, Jason forgot to talk to the dispatchers’ boss about being social.  This person called and left me a voicemail seeking an explanation for a fax she found from NBC 4 that proclaimed Pickerington Police Dispatchers as having one the NBC 4 Fresh Prince award for best story idea on May 2, 2008.

I didn’t know we had a Fresh Prince Award for best story idea.  It’s a pretty good idea.  Find a way to recognize the best story idea each week.

This person didn’t think it was appropriate.  She even asked me if it was the way we normally did things at NBC 4?  Yes, we talk to people.  It’s not all death and destruction; and even when it is, we don’t think that’s all fun. 

So this person tried to corner me a couple of different times about Jason, she even asked me to spell his name (sorry J).  I’m sure she’s running a full background check.  I reminded the supervisor that I would need to speak to Jason, and that I will not call him on his day off.  (i don’t think that’s fair, he’s not getting paid, why should he have to explain his social behavior?) 

So, Jason somehow found out that this person was looking for information.  Back to the history of dispatchers, Jason has established quite a social network among dispatchers.  I, on the other hand, never really got past, “hi, is anything going on?” At that moment they would say, “no” and I would thank them for being so forthcoming and hang up.  Jason has revolutionized social networking.  If you can create a social network among dispatchers, i think that you could make Hitler social.  (Not everyone was like this, and I’m generalizing, but more were anti-social.)

What story idea did Jason hand out the NBC 4 Fresh Prince Award for?  The dispatchers asked him to do a story on kids using their parents old cell phones, and those old cell phones still being able to dial 911.  It’s a problem because it greatly increases the number of unnecessary and potentially dangerous calls into the dispatch center because police are usually required to check out each 911 hang up call.  It’s a great story that would help increase awareness while hopefully lifting some of the burden on dispatchers.  They asked for help, they were being social.  Jason passed the story on to me.  We still haven’t done the story.

The only failure here is on my part.  A very good story idea, and for whatever reason, Marc Dann, weather, someone else’s story idea, we haven’t done this story with Pickerington. 


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