Speaking Of...

Let me tell you about my former supervisor. This is the one I call "Dragon Lady." This is by no means a slight to her Chinese heritage, but just a name I made up while employed at K-MOUSE.

It is all my fault that she came to work at the station anyway, but there was a silver lining to that choice. I found out that someone else who turned down the Promotions Director position went to work for the country affiliate I started out with, and ended with. She was good people, and I'm glad I didn't ask for her to be hired.

Anyway, on to Dragon Lady....

All of 5'4" and close to 300#. This woman could out eat me. Believe me when I say this. The old joke about having more chins than a Chinese phone book comes to mind. She was in her mid-50's at the time and had no kids. Sadly, she had some infection in her younger days and was forced to have a hysterectomy (I don't care who you are, that is sad).

Anywho, I should mention she had this shiny happy people disposition that annoyed everyone. To add to our misery, she spoke to everyone (man, woman and child) like she was speaking to a three year old. Always in the same high pitched nasally sing song voice. She also enjoyed the phrase "Oh Goodeeeeeeeee!!!" like someone just put a piece of pie in front of her. Did I mention she'd clap her hands like that wind up cymbal playing monkey when she did this? I shit you not.

The only decent memory that I have of her involves food. But even that memory has a dark side. You see, whenever we were out and about...together, in public, unfortunately...she would manage to tell me about all the different restuarants she went to. Thankfully she lived way out west, so I didn't see her in town quite often. I did have the unfortunate experience of having her walk into the same eatery I was at once...only once! Other than that, her eye for good food was impeccable. She could pick 'em. Today, she lives up north of here, so unless I have to stop in the Woodlands on my way to Dallas, I don't ever have to see her again.

"OHHHH," *clap clap clap* "have you ever tried this place?" she would squeal. I swear she squealed with delight whenever she got excited. If we were in the car together for more than an hour, she'd point out at least 20 and no more than 50 (on my mother's eyes she would!) restuarants she's been to. I don't believe she ever repeated an establishment.

Are you surprised she weighed close to 300lbs? Neither am I. It also affected her health in more noticeable ways. She couldn't lift more than 50 pounds. The job description demanded that anyone working in our department lift 50 pounds without problem. Looks like someone lied on their application. She was also borderline diabetic. My family has been going through a lot with my mom's diabetes at this time, so I was able to spot tell-tale signs she was having problems. Dragon Lady's problems ranged from wild mood swings (anger and rage to almost comatose) to eating binges. I knew when she was havinga bad evening with her hips and her blood sugar when she'd show up late to work, call in and say she was bringing donuts. That meant she lifted something larger than five pounds the day before and forgot to eat dinner that evening. Her hip would pop, she'd take a lala pill and show up late for a departure time and blame the traffic. It was easy to tell 'cuz the kolache place she stopped at was right by her house.

Even the kids hated seeing her. Thank gawd I was the local DJ for the station and not her. That singing/squeally voice and condescending attitude with the kids really put her off with them. On more than one occasion, even while wearing the bear outfit, some 6 7 or 8 year old would side up to me and ask if she was for real. More than once she'd approach me at an event and suggest some stupid or outrageous idea that was sure to flop. "Shooter, why don't you go hand out candy to that group of young tweens by the arcade." "In this get up (referring to the bear costume)?" What she didn't know, and I could tell from the looks in the mall rat's eyes was that they were figuring ways to lure my bear trussed arse into the back of the arcade to find anatomically incorrect places to hid their skateboards. I was a skateboard punk at one time more recently than she ever was.

I think she was allowed on the air one time while I worked there. As the community affairs director, I had a weekly radio spot to comply with FCC regulations. This is the dead air on Early Sunday Morning where you hear about whatever liberal whack-tard entitlement program needs more money from people with no business being on radio. It also meant that I had total control over who and what went on my airtime. Well, almost total control. My partner and best friend was out sick one day when I had an interview scheduled. She was my co-host and oh so good at her job. We made it worth listening to, and were even nominated for an award by the Texas Association of Broadcasters.

Dragon Lady saw fit to pitch one to the GM that she wanted to be on air. She saw a prime opportunity and I fought it tooth and nail. In the end, she won out and I had to spend thirty agonizing minutes with her and my guest locked in the production studio. It reminds me of the scene in "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" where Arthur and Ford are forced to listen to the Vogon's poetry. I was playing the part of Ford, in agony. The guest was gracious enough to reschedule the following week. I told Dragon Lady the master tape of that interview was demagnetized by a wayward refridgerator magnet. Someone placed it on the tape by accident while I was in the kitchen getting some ice cream out of the freezer. I played it for the GM before I got ice cream and I think it was her suggestion to destroy that tape. Dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico still thank me to this day.

I really don't think I had a good experience with Dragon Lady. Not one. Ever. She was the bane of my Disney existence. She even followed me around for a few months afterward.

I gave her the name about a couple of months after she arrived. Don't know why, and I don't think she bought a clue and found out. It didn't take long for anyone at the station to know who I was referring to. I think most of them shared the same sentiments about her.

I was out shopping for some more skate wear (it was the image I had and seemed to appeal to most of the kids I met) on a day off when I came across this t-shirt sale rack at the Vans Skate Park. The back design of one of the shirts caught my eye and I bought three of them. I still have one today as a reminder. It was some surfer graphic depicting a Hawaiian beauty riding on the back of an oriental style dragon. It became my Dragon Lady T-shirt. Whenever I said I had Dragon Lady on my back, it meant one of two things; either I was wearing the shirt, or she was on my back. You decide what I was referring to.

Last time I saw her was on Thanksgiving a couple of years back. She was on her way to College Station with her brother and her husband. They were driving that gawdawful wreck of a minivan she plastered Radio Disney stickers all over. Since Mickey's arms didn't reach the wallet, we only had one station vehicle. She offered to put stickers on all our personal cars so we could go around and use them on the company dime for remote appearances. She was the only one foolish enough to put the stickers on her own car. I threatened to cut off her hands if she touched my car.

Driving up Hwy. 290 near Jersey Village on our way to see friends in Navasota and lo and behold, who do I see out the passenger side window? Dragon Lady was munching away while her brother and husband were yakking away about something or other. My parents recognized my horror and recognized the Dragon Lady from pictures. Dad, ever the torturous kind, sped up until my window was level with hers and kept inching the power window down. Her husband didn't like dad pacing him so he dropped the hammer on that 4-cylinder and immediately dropped back from the loss of power. Thank goodness for small miracles.

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