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As I’ve avoided working nine-to-five jobs for many years, I’m not much at
playing the game of “office politics” — which is a kind way of describing
the lying, cheating, back-stabbing and other sorts of underhanded power
brokering that goes on in most office situations.

However, as I’ve recently had the opportunity to produce some segments
for one of TV’s more popular investigative news shows, I’ve had a change to
observe what the desire for power has done to one particular person — up
close and personal.

It’s not a pretty sight.

Most of the salaried producers on this particular show earn between
$60,000 and 80,000 per year. The reporters make upwards of $80,000. Yet,
oddly the person who runs the whole shebang in this operation is a
$15-per-hour secretary!

Her name is Lucy. Let me describe her. Lucy is tiny — barely 100 lbs. —
and what would normally be described as pretty. Dark flowing locks, big
almond eyes, and an absolute perfect little figure. She is extremely sweet.
Yet from the moment I met her, I had this spooky feeling that said, “Watch
it, brother.”

Lucy is constantly flattering everyone. Her favorite phrase is “You’re
sooooo helpful.” She says it to everyone — her office mates, the janitor …
you name it. Lucy is, extremely friendly.

Before I’d known her for five minutes, she was embracing me in a big bear
hug — as if we were long lost bosom buddies. Speaking of, er, bosoms, I
couldn’t help but notice the extremely thin material of Lucy’s wispy little
costume, which she manages to wear some approximation of each day of the
week. This penchant for physical encounters of the arousing kind is
something that Lucy is clearly very practiced in.

Lucy never gets mad. If she doesn’t like something you’re doing, what she
says is, “I’m a little concerned.” One day she said it 57 times. She said it
so many times that, frankly, I became a little concerned that I might
strangle the living bejesus out of her!

At the time Lucy was “helping” me (she’s soooo helpful) with a piece I
was producing about a cult. I was glad to have Lucy helping me; what I was
not particularly glad about was having to listen to her ideas on the topic.
I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but I don’t need to hear some 26-year-old
airhead’s ideas about a subject that I’ve been studying for over 15 years.

I wondered why Lucy worked so hard at “helping” me until I discovered
that her name had a habit of miraculously showing up onscreen as “producer”
of several segments on which she’d also “helped.” Oddly, the name of the
person who’d actually done the bulk of the work on the stories was often
strangely absent.

OK, you’re saying, this is Hollywood. This happens all the time. Yes,
that’s true. But consider we’re not talking about power mongering amongst
heavyweights, but rather, by a person hired to answer the telephone!

I decided that I’d sit back and observe Lucy to see whether I was judging
her too harshly. From this new vantage point I saw that Lucy seemed to
operate form under a thick layer of goo which she lathered on everybody with
whom she came into contact. Besides her icky sweetness and her huggy,
kissy-poo approach, Lucy had another tactic. A master stroke, to be sure!

On her desk sat two jars which were constantly filled with sweets.
Everyone who came into that office eventually wound up with his hand in a
jar; what’s more, they usually came back for more. How perfect!

Like her counterpart, the black widow, Lucy lured her victims into her
lair with something tantalizing (in the black widow’s case the offer is for
sex, the sweetest candy of all). Then when she was sure she had them … she’d
go in for the kill!

I watched with absolute fascination as Lucy maneuvered herself into areas
she had absolutely no business in — interviewing people, writing scripts,
editing segments, watched her bald-faced lie in order to get what she wanted
from people. I watched as she blatantly stole other people’s ideas and took
the credit for herself. All with a big smile or her face.

The oddest part was that nobody seemed to notice. It was as if Lucy had
everyone in that office under a spell. I began to become obsessed with Lucy,
not as a person, for she was not a person — but rather as the epitome of a
strange and terrible disease. And then without warning, I saw into the heart
of her. The vision was beyond hideous.

Lucy was a ghoul — a vampire. A horrible, heartless unfeeling creature
who assimilated everything she came into contact with, making it part of
herself. She was literally a demon from hell!

I felt an odd compassion for Lucy as I imagined her in ten years. I could
see her wearing one of those tight, pinched faces with eyes that were bright
yet blank. If she didn’t burn out, no doubt she’d be one of the powerful
ones, the ones who buy people body and soul — like Faye Dunaway in the film,
“Network.”

Unfortunately, my compassion for Lucy was only temporary. Because Lucy’s
disease, lust — absolute, insatiable lust for power — is something we’re
all infected with, yours truly included. Observing it unbridled in one of my
fellow humans has only made more aware of it in myself.

For people like Lucy — and there are millions of them — we can only pray.
As for ourselves, we must continue to stay aware so that we don’t become …
one of them.

GOLDMAN HOOH HAH: I’m just going to say one thing, gang, and — with Y2K
coming on — I’ll bet dollars to dehydrated foodstuffs you already know what
it is: Super Snoopers, Super Snoopers, Super Snoopers, Super Snoopers. Get it. Get it. Get
it. Get it. And don’t forget:
SuperSnoopers.com — the the ultimate Web
spy site — is coming soon.

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