Monday, August 1, 2011

Once Upon a Time When I Worked at...

I like to tell stories about my fun times in my previous jobs. One of the places I worked, my first big girl job ever, has THE BEST stories. So I figured "Hey you know what, I'll chronicle them. Yea, that's what I'll do." Then I realized I don't really have that many so I just tell you one today and see if I have any other "fun ones" pop-up in my filing cabinet brain.

When I first got out of school I found a job in a "Management Training Program"...yea I used quotes for that...anyway it was for a major rental car company. You probably know them, they'll pick you up. And that's what I did, I picked people up. I also washed cars, and vacuumed them, and toted folks luggage, and was cursed at, and worked 65+ hours a week. It was pretty awesome. This little gem of a story is about a gentleman I went to pick up in the Falls Church area, which was just a short distance from where my office was located.

It was during the winter months, so it was usually dark by 5pm. We stayed open until 6:30pm (yea I got there at 6:15am...anyway) most evenings and I was asked to go pick up a gentleman in Falls Church around 5:30pm. I went alone, as we always did, and navigated my way to his condo. Back then I didn't have a smart phone. We were using Nextels to communicate with the office. Most of the time we went out of range though and so my chirps would always go unanswered. I hopped into the Buick LaSabre we hoped to rent him (even though he reserved a $19 car, I was supposed to upgrade him). When I arrived at his condo, I knocked on the door, but there was no answer. So I stood there for a few seconds, waited to see if I could heard anything, and knocked again, louder this time. I heard shuffling inside so I knew someone was in there. I announced myself "The Devil's Rental Car Company, I'm here to pick you up sir!" *said all joyfully and like a teeny bopper* More shuffling...then the knob moved, and the door cracked open. One eye stared directly at me. I smiled.

Me: Devil's Rental Car Company. Are you Mr. X?
Mr. X: Mmmhmmm one sec *door slam*
Me: *blink blink* *start turning around to go back to car*

I hear the door start to open so I whip around on my heels. Mr. X proceeds to shimmy his way out of the doorway without opening the door more than 7 inches tops. I have no idea how his body fit through the door. But it was completely obvious he did not want me to see inside his condo. I'm watching this spectacle with his back turned to me. He's holding a carry-on sized suitcase, trying to pull that through the small opening. Comedy. I'm just smiling. I can't wait to see how this all plays out. He literally forces the luggage out of the door and flies around with it swinging in the air, missing a slice to my leg by mere centimeters. I jump back. Then I look at him. Oh. My. God. His face is covered in goo. I'm just staring at him. There is Vaseline all over this guy's face. I stop staring, b/c its rude right? And what if he's been burned or, I don't know, I just didn't want to stare anymore. He's obviously self conscious about it, that's why he just peeked through the door and had his back to me the entire time. I decide to just escort him to the car...lets get back to the office and get this show on the road.

So I get to the car, hit the unlock button for the doors. He opens the back door and throws his luggage in. Shuts the door. And gets in the front seat. Soooo, this is a little strange. I mean most of the time the folks I picked up would ride in the back b/c they thought I was a taxi driver. But that's cool, maybe he doesn't want to be rude. So I get behind the wheel, start the car, he gets in, and scoots all the way over, on the LaSabre's bench seat, to sit right next to me. Thigh to thigh. *awwwwkwarrrrrd* I turn and smile at him.

Me: *very politely* Sir, you think you could scooch over a smidge? *smile widely*
Mr. X: *big toothy grin* Nope!

He then shoves his face about 2 inches from mine and says: Yummm you smell nice!


Me: Thank you, that's very nice of you. If you could just scoot over a smidge, I'll go ahead and get us back to the office.
Mr. X: *still in my face with his Vaseline almost touching the tip of my nose* just a fine young little girl ain'tcha?

I start the car, I put in reverse, and I begin the worst 5 conscious miles of my life, to date. This man will not scoot over. He's in my face. I'm driving, facing forward, and he's breathing in my ear. He's laughing. Like crazy serial killer laughing. We get to a stop sign. I ask him politely one more time to "Please remove yourself from the driver's side of the vehicle. It is unsafe for you to be without a seat belt on, and this close to me while I'm driving. Please move to the passenger side immediately or I'm going to stop the car." He sniffs me, in my ear. I chirp the office. They aren't answering. I chirp incessantly. They won't answer. I say, out loud, in my chirp "I have a situation with my pickup. I NEED you to handle this, before I do." Silence. He laughs again.

*Please note my panic has now turned into rage* We are now driving down 123. This is a busy road, its rush hour, and I feel safer b/c if anything were to happen I'd be surrounded by 5,000 of my closest NoVa commuters and he would never get away with chopping me up and throwing me into the Potomac. We get to a red light and I can see his hand about to reach out for me leg. I lose it.

Me: Don't you dare. Don't you even think about it. Get the FCK away from me. Scoot over right now or I swear to God I'm going to call the police and then I'm going to rip your jugular out.
Mister X: *Smiling* Feisty. (whispers) I like that. I'll move over since I'm making you uncomfortable. Do I make you uncomfortable *My Name*? *Sliding to the passenger side*

We drive another mile. My heart rate slows a bit. The blood in veins is starting to recede below the boiling point. I don't answer him. It is completely silent except for his heavy breathing. I just stare straight forward. But my mind races - I'm going to die. I am going to be killed in this car. He is going to get out a knife/gun. Why did I just say that to him? Holy shit I'm going to die in this stupid Buick LeSabre. I hate this job. I hate him. I'm too young to die. Why me?

As we get closer to the Devil's Rental Car Company office, I start to feel a little better. Perhaps he's going to let me live to see another day. He's a serial killer, I know it. We pull into the drive and he starts to reach for my arm as I put the car in park. I fling open the door and almost hit the cement trying to get out of that car. I ran inside, told them he was a psycho and I was going to the back, they could deal with him.

I sat at my desk, unable to cry, hiding from him. I could hear him at the front desk. He came in laughing. That cackle. He slammed his hands on the desk and said "Where is she? Where is that beauty? I want to eat her for dinner." And made this sucking sounds with his teeth. I just hid....put my face on my desk. If I couldn't see him, he couldn't see me. Or at least what I told myself.

We still rented him a car. A Ford Escort. When he returned it, he asked for me. He asked the guy at the front desk if I had mentioned him, talked about him. He told him I probably thought of him sexually. I was, fortunately, out on another pickup. The seats were covered in Vaseline. Front and back. We charged his credit car for the cleanup fee. He sent a note back with the invoice and it said "I thoroughly enjoyed this rental and I apologize for the mess. I just hope one day that nice young lady *my name* can join me for a fun weekend in one of your rental cars. Signed, Mr. X" Psycho.