I recently read that the Dean of Admissions at MIT resigned because she fabricated her academic credentials way back in the 70's. Which reminded me of a bungee supervisor at the Park, who also acheived power through a lie. (dun Dun DUN!!) His name was Bill, but we called him Weeble. Because that's what he looked like. He was red-faced and shiny and round. And while Weebles, with their wobbling and their not falling down, give joy to children, Bill was a total douche. And though Marilee Jones fibbed on her resume, she apparently was very good at her job and was beloved by the MIT community and the world of higher education. Bill was completely incompetent. And he wore lame sunglasses.
Now you may be saying, "Come on, Therese! Are you really equating the dean of one of the most prestigious colleges in the U S of A to a low-level supervisor at an amusement park remembered more for its injury rate than its rides and attractions?" Yes. Yes, I am.
Anyhoo, one of the former bungee supervisors had moved to Colorado and his position needed to be filled. Enter the Weeble. According to his resume, he had been a bungee supervisor someplace in upstate New York. Or maybe it was the Jersey shore. The point is, no one checked his references. He got the job. At first, we just thought he was a dick. But a dick you kind of felt sorry for, because he was the kind of dick who desperately wanted to be popular.
Then we started noticing that, though he would frequently climb the tower to offer the jumpmasters his opinion, he never jumped. He would always walk back down the stairs. Weird. And he was frequently out of his area. He'd be spotted in down in Motorworld, or up at Surf Hill. Once, he even came to check on me at the summit of the Alpine Slide. Which, despite what has been said about Water World, really was the easiest position in the entire Park. You literally just sat there all day because, legally, someone had to be there. There was no contact with patrons, since they got off at a mid-station. You might possibly have to maybe take a cart off, if they missed it at the top of the slide. And someone might call you to ask about the weather, since the spot was at the top of a mountain and thus offered a pretty sweet, and long, view. It was a great place to get a tan, read, smoke the smoke... But I digress.
He would show up for the interdepartmental water polo games (held afterhours in the Wave Pool) not to compete or to cheer on our team, but to leer at his female subordinates in bathing suits. The day after one match, he came up to me at the tower and said, "Therese, I saw another side of you last night. Of your top half, that is." Ew! Inappropriate, and worse, not even funny!
Management caught on to his duty-shirking, sexual-harassing ways pretty quickly. Upon a belated check of his references, it was found that he exaggerated his qualifications. He had worked at another bungee facility, but briefly and not in any sort of supervisory capacity. The Weeble was shown the door.
Several months later, as I was buying a ridiculous pair of white vinyl go-go boots at the Joyce Leslie in the Rockaway Mall, my friend Stacey came tearing up to me with a look of horror-spiked delight on her face. She had spotted Bill and his lady friend at the back of the store shopping for racy underthings. You stay classy, Weeble!