Sunday, January 9, 2011

Flood telethon - is it just me?

There's a flood telethon on Nine now. It all seems a bit ghoulish and hyped up.

In 1980 I worked on a telethon in Sydney for the Children's Hospital. It was Good Friday and I arrived there at 6pm to commence a shift (with MDFM). We sat in a large group, answering phones, up on terraces in the studios at - well, don't remember where, but it was Channel 10. As a staff member of Telecom I was asked to volunteer, and I didn't mind. For me it was a new experience. I would most definitely do it again, however, it seems that the annual fundraising telethons for the Children’s Hospitals are a thing of the past these days.

Sitting in the terraces we answered the phones, we were separated from the studio where the entertainers were. The entertainers were singers and Aussie TV Celebs and actors who volunteered their time. They didn’t show maimed and/or dying children to stir up sympathy, but that would have been a bit tasteless.

It was really annoying on the phones as some morons came around every hour or so rattling cans to collect money from the people on the phone. Firstly, we were volunteering our time for the telethon, and secondly, rattling the can for money from us was bloody pointless because we'd already been hit an hour before for our change and we couldn't hear ourselves on the phones with all the noise. The shifts were 8 hours so they wouldn't be catching anyone new with their tin. Along with the rattling money tins they were giving us pep talks - truly annoying noise when you're trying to talk on the phone in a room full of people talking and some of the callers were very hard to hear.

I did have a call from someone who recognised me when I was a very young teenager and he donated on the strength of that and in memory of his twin brother who died years before (I knew the brother better than I knew him), which I thought was interesting.

So, is it just me, or are there other people who find the telethon rather boring viewing, with the gushing descriptions of the flooding and what a disaster it is and how hard up people are (I’m not denying it’s dreadful for those people hit by the floods). It’s not like floods have never happened before or will never happen again, but the reportage of the floods is... annoying!

I met Ian Meldrum, but he was off his face, er, tired and emotional. Bunney Brooke was a scream, a lovely lady. I can’t remember who else I met. I was exhausted and left about an hour after my shift finished and went home to the boyf. MDFM stayed to rub shoulders with the celebs. The celebs/actors had nothing to do with those on the phones, and being there late at night I suspect many celebs were tucked up in bed!

Being Good Friday nothing was open, the TEN canteen was, er, well, they had meat pies there and I was starving. So I’ll go to hell for eating a meat pie on Good Friday. At least when I got to the Boyf’s he made me a cuppa soup before I crashed on the sofa.

It was interesting, but it was work. I was given a t-shirt with the TEN logo on it. I'll do anything for a t-shirt - I've got one for the Federal LNP member as I handed out LNP how to votes last election. God, I'm cheap.


Minicapt said...

Without the telethon, how else could you know that you were suffering? Would there really be a flood worth worrying over?


Merilyn said...

This is not good Kae.

kae said...

The floods in Toowoomba town centre are amazing...

I have pix... I'm trying to upload them to photobucket so I can link to them...

Might just find them on the web - the flood video on the news was amazing, seeing the cars one down from the main street of Toowoomba (Ruthven St), being tossed around.

Merilyn said...

Take care as these waters seem to be getting closer to your area.
Look forward to seeing your photos as you have done a splendid job of bringing them to us to see.

Skeeter said...

In tonight's news: All residents on Lockyer Creek downstream of Gatton are advised to leave their homes tonight.
Hope that's not your creek, Kae.