Sunday, June 7, 2009

Seoul Podcast: Interview with Brian Dear and Foreigner Joy -- phone call to a recently freed quarantined teacher: funny or in poor taste?

I'm in my office waiting for my next oral interview test and listening to the interview Seoul Podcast did with Brian Dear (who just got out of quarantine for H1N1) and Foreigner Joy . . . oh yeah, Roboseyo was there too.

During the interview Brian mentions that he has a few phone numbers of other people he had been in quarantine with . . . the idea is suddenly put forth that they should call them while doing the interview . . .

Nobody questions whether or not this is a good idea . . . though Rob did suggest that Brian be the one to start the phone call . . . I think he realized that what they were doing might freak the person out if an unfamiliar foreign voice suddenly called out of the blue . . .

Imagine you're the person they call. You only recently arrived in Korea, and just got finished dealing with what I imagine was a pretty stressful introduction to Korea: being put into quarantine for H1N1.

Imagine that you've been worried about your job and its security. Imagine that you're still under a microscope at your workplace to see if you're sick. Imagine that your workplace is paranoid about any negative media attention.

Imagine that if your name appears in the media and your workplace gets angry about it that you could lose your job through no fault of your own . . .

Imagine you're out and about with friends trying to get a feel for the country, and discover some semblance of comfort and trust with your surroundings . . .

Imagine that this guy you barely know calls you out of the blue, and tells you you're on a podcast without asking if you want to be interviewed, and without any kind of warning or giving you a chance to say yes or no to being interviewed . . .

The thing that gets me about this is that the people involved all seem to be good people--so what gives?

I stopped listening to the podcast after this because I'm pretty disappointed (again) with the lack of respect that this person was shown during the phone call . . .

I'm curious what rationale might be offered that makes calling this person justifiable (especially with no warning or explanation of what was going on--when you're new to the country how can you have any understanding of what Seoul Podcast is, and who listens to it, etc? Answer: You can't.), and I'm also curious if anyone asked the teacher for his permission to put him on the podcast recording and then publish it on the Net . . .

From the podcast,

A: "You're on with the Seoul Podcast right now, we're doin' an intervew, and they wanted to talk to you about the pig flu thing . . ."

Here are the responses given by the teacher . . .

B: "Wait, who talked to you?
B: "Are you bullshitting me?
B: "Oh my god ..."
B: "This is not amusing . . ."
B: "I have no idea what you guys are talking about, and I hear laughing, so you guys are just fucking around, so . . ."
B: "Yeah, I don't know who you guys are so . . ."

Lastly, the podcast did not BLEEP OUT THE TEACHER'S NAME . . . seriously, what the hell is going on?

Not impressed . . . it's one thing if you choose to go on the show, choose to put your name out there, and choose to broadcast personal info about yourself . . .

It's quite another thing when it involves foreign teachers who have not been given full disclosure about what the show is, what the purpose of the recording and interview are, and what will be done with their participation . . .

J

9 comments:

Kristen said...

Agreed. It was the only ten minutes of a Seoul podcast that I have ever or that I'll ever listen to. I was pretty disappointed and annoyed with their phone antics.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should consult with the person who was involved to see if they thought it was in poor taste. You're writing a blog based on how you think someone else should feel about being cold-called. Do you even know if it was actually a cold call or not? Is it possible that the person in question WAS fully aware? Just because you seem to have a personal problem with the podcast, doesn't necessarily mean that anyone else does. Get all of the information before pontificating on what's in poor taste.

Jason said...

Hi *ANONYMOUS*,

I tried to get some info from the source and nobody replied to my email . . .

It's too bad that the comment/question I left on the Seoul Podcast didn't get a reply, and my email too . . .

By the way--get the issues right! I'm writing a blog about how someone might feel about being USED for other people's amusement and profit (or am I missing that the half-assed reading of an advertisement on the recording was for profit?). . .

Oh yeah, and endangering this person's employment for entertainment purposes--yeah, I'd say that that is in BAD TASTE.

If someone involved in the production actually produces something proving I'm wrong I'll be the first to put up an apology and retraction of my blog.

Until then . . . ,

"FOR SHAME!"

Jason said...

Hi *ANONYMOUS*,

Another question: did you even listen to the podcast?

J

Foreigner Joy said...

I can see how you didn't jive with that part of the show. I felt kind of sorry for the guy. To me it sounded like the experience of the quarantine left him paranoid. While I was on I didn't really know what was going on...but I think they were just trying to get a sample of people experienced with the whole thing.

Jason said...

The show in general is not my cup of tea . . . and that's fine.

They do their thing with the podcasts, I do my thing with my blog. Each of us is free to do what we want with our writing and ideas and how we express ourselves . . .

With that in mind I expressed my opinion about that particular part of that particular podcast.

I think the podcasts with Stephanie White's story were excellent.

The quarantined teacher podcast is the 4th podcast I've listened to--and two of those podcasts I didn't even finish listening to . . .

Anyways, I think the whole thing was in poor taste--that's my opinion.

It sucks that you had to sit through that--must have been awkward.

Anyways, this whole thing is done and over with--and it the teacher has no problem with it then it's water under the bridge.

John from Daejeon said...

Looks like there has been a response: http://stafford.squarespace.com/

Cold calls are the calling cards of lowlifes who are especially adept at calling while I'm eating or sleeping. At least the fax ones are dying out with time; however, now we have to deal with computers, via Russian and Chinese criminal organizations, who would like to steal all that we work so hard for.

Jason said...

Hi John,

I saw the response . .. not worth bothering to reply to.

I don't know much about the Chinese and Russian thing . . .

Anyways, I'm just looking forward to begin on vacation in about 3 weeks . ..

Have a good one,
J

Roboseyo said...

Next week on the Seoulpodcast... voice phishing for people's banking information!