Wednesday, November 4, 2009

the artificial woman--pt. 11 The Sleazy Guy

So Rainbow completed college and earned a BA in Journalism. The Family, always looking out for her, warned her that she wouldn't make any money in this field, but Rainbow loved it and thought that eventually love would lead to making a living. Sister Lynn adopted Rainbow's post-graduate job search as a Project, helping her write the perfect resume, getting the perfect haircut, and shopping for the perfect clothes. Rainbow had nothing at all to do with her job search, except contacting a broadcast professional, for whom she interned, and shortly afterward was hired as a radio talk show producer, working at the same station as her former mentor.

The station didn't know what it wanted to do with itself. The hosts varied, from men who wore $500 suits and had trophy wives, to stage actors, to women who wanted to prove they could be just as disgusting as the men. It seemed the station wanted to be a shock radio station. Rainbow took her job as producer seriously, finding obscure stories in the news, and attempting to find the right people to come on air and talk about current events. Before her first day, she had made contact with the spokespersons for City Hall, the school district, the police bureau and the like. The host she was assigned to work for was impressed. She made friends with the wacky diverse group of people who put the shows on the air.

The first person she met was the Sleazy Guy. SG showed her around the building and introduced her to other co-workers. SG had the looks of a young Richard Nixon, and the voice of Jerry Lewis, the comedian. Her co-workers included JP, the new producer for the morning show, who had a wicked sense of humor, and a head full of brilliant ideas. The morning show host was a woman who was abrasive to her support staff, and looked and sounded like a witch. And then there was Gary, who had a desk next to JP. Gary produced the mid-morning show, hosted by a man who was on his fourth wife and chain smoked. Gary held up very well under this pressure, and would eventually become the staff Executive Producer.

The host Rainbow worked for liked her but not for very long. Mr Bill had the afternoon drive time slot. Rainbow erroneously thought it was her job to research topics for his show and book guests. She would listen and talk to the news staff about the stories they were reporting, and try to plan a show based on that day's news. Instead Mr. Bill would come in five minutes before his show, saying he had watched C-SPAN all morning, and he was going to talk about Social Security. He felt uncomfortable discussing topics that were of interest to a younger demographic. He always liked to brag that he didn't need a producer. Eventually he would get his wish.

Sometimes the Sleazy Guy would be working in the booth with Rainbow while Mr. Bill's show was on the air. Rainbow screened the calls so Mr. Bill would know who he was talking to, and what prompted the listener to call in. Sometimes the listener would wait the whole show on the telephone, not get on the air, and yell at Rainbow, not knowing she didn't control Mr. Bill.
During the three hours Mr. Bill was on the air, Sleazy Guy would comment on Rainbow's butt or the butt of the newswoman in the next booth, referring to her as "barnyard butt".

More than once, he said in his Jerry Lewis voice, "When are we going to have sex Yebdog?"
Once, he came up behind her and slapped her on her "barnyard butt" to which she responded, "Hi, Sleazy Guy!"

Another Sleazy Guy picked up Rainbow in front of everyone, including the boss, and kissed her. This one eventually got fired, at least in part, because of this behavior.

These advances offended Rainbow, but at the same time, she interpreted these as some sign that she was attractive, and not the pariah she was back when Scott and James were harassing her in high school.

Eventually everyone at the station got fired. POOF!

To find another job, Rainbow executed a similar approach to the one which helped her land her first one.Folks at the local CBS affiliate were desperate, and hired her as a desk assistant. This meant she did whatever she was told to do, which in the beginning meant making beat calls to local police and fire agencies, running the TelePrompTer for the anchors, or putting tapes in machines to record news feeds. Because television news happens even on weekends and holidays, she was promoted to associate producer/writer and sometime assignment desk editor at such times when no one else wanted to work weekends or holidays.

The first time she produced a newscast was Thanksgiving. It was baptism by fire, but the suits tried to make her feel good about it.

"We think you're great, so we're going to have you work on a holiday," they'd say.

"Congratulations on this new opportunity," they'd continue.

"Don't be panic stricken, you'll have help," they'd conclude.

Somehow at this new job, the Sleazy Guy reappeared, only transfigured and more powerful.

"Yebdog, I'm jealous of your boyfriends." She didn't have time for any. She was working over 60 hours a week.

"I love it when you stand on the chair." The Sleazy Guy was making reference to the fact Rainbow had to stand on a chair to scrawl the days assignments on a white board.

But again, this talk didn't matter. She took it as a backwards compliment, and believed it when she was told she was busting her butt working because her competence was appreciated.

She realized her assumption was false when she actually applied for a show she wanted to work on and was denied.

Just like any other setback, Rainbow took this personally, and had little confidence to move forward. Soon though she would take on the hardest job of her life--parenthood--something an artificial woman can't do effectively while working 60 hours a week, weekends and holidays.

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