Monday, May 19, 2008

An afternoon with the deranged

When I woke up this morning, I did not think today would be as eventful as it has been. I dropped Greg off at the airport, got to work horrendously early (6:50) and went about my normal Monday routine.

Until I got back from lunch.

Our new runner mentioned that two people were sitting on our front steps. Assessing that they were not so nefarious looking as to scare me, I decided to take the nice approach and ask them to move along. I politely explained that this company does not permit loitering and that the proper authorities would be notified is they did not vacate the premises. The man that was sitting there silently got up and left, while the woman also perched on the stoop began to rant about how she had to go to the bathroom. I calmly explained that we did not have public restrooms, but that the Sheraton next door could probably accommodate her. I then reiterated that she must leave, said thanks and walked back inside. She got up and left, so I thought everything was fine. (Typically when police-intervention is threatened, these people move on as to avoid being busted for public intoxication and whatnot.)

Not, so. As I was soon to find out.

About ten minutes after the initial "run-in," this woman returns to the building and walks in right up to my desk and asks me to call 911. She appeared to be fine, so I told her I was calling the police and not an ambulance. Might I add I did all of this in my most accommodating and polite voice, even though inside I was a bit perturbed and slightly scared. This woman had a huge growth/tubes on the side of her face, slightly covered with a big bandage of gauze... that coupled with her erratic behavior was enough to make me nervous.

She was quite verbally abusive, asking me if we just hired "rich b*tches" or if I was the only one. Besides that lovely term, which I think she decided had to be my name, I think I was called something to the effect of a "stupid whore" and a "nice wench." I was also asked about my personal medical history and if I wanted to see her die or faint/throw up on our floor. So ten minutes go by, then fifteen, and no police are in site. The lady whips out a cell phone (hmm... you can't call 911 on that?) and calls a friend down at the homeless shelter. She tries to get me to talk to him, but I don't. There was no point. (Especially considering the fact that she's telling this guy on the phone that I have been verbally and physically abusive and all of these other ridiculous fallacies that I just don't have the energy to elucidate.)

This woman was truly inexplicable, obviously mentally disturbed and completely belligerent. I call the police once again to ensure that someone is indeed coming, only to find out that they have other calls they are attending to.

At this point I am so frustrated and getting more nervous by the second, that I am in tears. At this point, no one had come up to offer assistance or anything like that, just a couple of emails from coworkers in the vicinity. (Which was appreciated, don't get me wrong.) I finally call Jami to come down and sit with me, and she ends up giving me a break from the rantings of the psycho woman. Forty minutes have passed and there is no sign of the police. So Jami calls 911, only to find that the police are actually on their way. (Yeah, it's about [insert word here] time.)

They finally get here, accompanied by an ambulance and a fire truck (seriously?) and we unearth the Vodka bottle she stashed in one of our chairs. Classy, really. And after about fifteen more minutes of questioning and stuff, she's finally taken away in the ambulance.

I guess the good thing about this specific occurrence is that we will be implementing a protocol to prepare us for the next time something like this happens (which is hopefully NEVER), which I think is great. I guess the problem I have with an event like this is that it really does nothing to dissuade me from my negative opinions/impressions about transients. This troubles me greatly. Because it's obvious this woman is not mentally stable, and needs serious help. Part of my tears were a result of feeling so much sadness for her and her situation. But she scared me, she berated me, she didn't allow me to help her. So what do I do in that situation?

When I was in Uganda I held babies who had AIDS and other maladies in my arms and didn't blink an eye, but I didn't want to touch this woman or talk on her phone because I was afraid of contracting something. Don't get me wrong, I do not think it's prudent to use a stranger's cellular device or give them a big hug... and in this day and age you really have to expect the worst... I just think it's sad that the world has come to this.

Maybe she has had a series of bad breaks. Maybe she's a drug addict. Maybe she's just certifiably crazy. All I know is, I hope she forgets that she ever came here and never bothers me again. And next time, I will have my mace.

P.S. So I haven't been getting a lot of comments on my posts lately, which is fine I guess because I think only about five people read this. But seriously, I love feedback, so don't be afraid to comment if you so desire. Just think of it as a way to take pity on the sad little admin that keeps getting accosted by psychopaths.


Cami said...

I want to know where your co-workers were during all of this! Sheesh! Sounds horribly scary...I'm sorry!

Cliff, Kendal and Stone said...

WOW! The things I miss out on working remotely down south. You're such a good sport, I'll tell ya. This seems like a regular occurance. At least it keeps things interesting up there at the front! And good ole' Jami.

Kelly and Stacey said...

Lauren that is SO scary! I can't believe nobody came to help you, and especially that the police took so long to come. That is ridiculous.

Courtnie said...

Lauren, I have to tell you that I check your blog on a regular basis. Hope you are okay with that, I guess I am a blog stalker! :) Anyway, your posts are great and I love the "item of the day." Really, you keep me sane with my 2 kids here at home.

Glad things are going well. And sorry about the great start you had to your week!

Courtnie (King) Cotterell

Ashley said...

Sick. Your job makes me sad.

Josh & Kenna said...

I'm sorry that transients can be ass holes. Next time call me and I'll fed ex myself up there with some blow darts.

Kimba said...

Just found your blob, and WOW. What a fabulous work day! And I agree, someone should have come up to help you earlier.

Also, the Macbook Air commercial? Yael Naim sings it. Very catchy tune, and I love that Greg was humming it in his sleep. Very classic!

Andrew and Maren said...

That is so creepy! I think you handled it so well though, way to stay positive as long as poccible Lauren!

"Duellie" said...

If I had been there and not in State College...well, use your imagination.

Blogdor said...

Lauren, I suffer from the same lack of comments. I think when your blog is too "smart," people realize their comments will detract from the perfection of the post. Or maybe our blogs are boring...