FOOD POISONING REALLY BITES

You know, I know better than to eat salad that a) I didn’t prepare myself or b) isn’t kept cold at all times. Bad Shae. Bad.

MORE TALES FROM THE RECEPTIONIST

Friday… ah yes, Friday… well, since it was Friday, I don’t know why I was surprised when they showed up at my desk. The especially odd and dangerous walk-ins always find their way to my desk on Fridays. I’ll call my most recent walk-ins Fred and George.

Fred, a recent prison parolee (he showed me his card), comes in and leans on my desk. George has already made himself comfy on the couch and uses the phone while Fred tries to tell me his “story.” I don’t say that to be cold or uncaring, I just wish people didn’t think that they need an elaborate story to get help. In fact, the more elaborate the story, the less credibility they sometimes have. If help is really needed, first, ask for help and keep the explanation very short…like, “I need help with rent,” and leave it at that. I’m less apt to believe a person who feels it necessary to stand there and tell me some story that is totally improbable and gets more unbelieveable as the layers of the story are added.

For example (taken from real conversations I’ve had), after the second or third time they’ve been on disability while their husband’s been laid off after after 10 strokes, 5 various organ transplants (in the same person, including the appendix) and/or numerous prescriptions needed for their fibleroid catatonial leuchosis (a combination of all the false diseases some of these people have told me they’re besieged with), well, let’s just say where I work you do not get extra points or money for “creativity.”

Granted, there are many people who come in who genuinely need help. They tell me that they need help, I point them in the direction of our benevolence office which is well equipped to help, and they get help without needing their 5 various organ transplants story. Those people can come see me any time.

Back to Fred. Fred is telling me his story (which was nowhere close to making sense) and the phone was ringing off the hook, so I stopped him and asked him, “what do you need?”

He wanted money, of course. To protect me and the other people in the building, we are not allowed to give out money and we have a place offsite for benevolence (it’s with the food pantry and clothes closet). I explained to Fred this fact several times, but he didn’t seem to get it. The more I said, “no one in this building is going to give you money,” the more he disconnected from what I was saying.

I consider myself very intuitive. At this point, I should have called security, but I was distracted — so distracted that 3 callers in a row received wrong service time information, etc. Why was I distracted? The more disconnected Fred became, the more he stuck his finger up his nose and wiped his findings on the counter of my desk. (Jene’ says that the display of bodily fluids in public is a sign of a deranged person). I explained to Fred again that NO ONE in the building was going to give them money, but I could send them down to the cafeteria to get a sandwich. George hopped up off the couch and agreed. They left and I immediately pulled out a clorox swipe and went to work on the counter, totally forgetting to call security at that point. Jene’ said my intuition was screaming at me at this point and I didn’t listen. She was right. Boogeys distracted me from my intuition. UGH

Well, Fred & George never made it down to the cafeteria. Eventually Officer W had to escort him and his friend out of the building because they were panhandling in the church. W said that they asked every single person they came in contact with for money. Officer W sent them out to the bus stop, and he kept an eye on them, because he was listening to his intuition. He saw George expose himself to 2 women at the bus stop (using the trash can as a latrine — more bodily fluids in public).

Officer W sprang into action. He called for backup and they chased down the bus Fred & George got on and W was so excited — “It was like cops!!” he told me. He got to make the arrest. I know all this because he came back to let me know those two would not be coming back… and after one of the angels from housekeeping disinfected my desk, I felt even better.

It was a bizzare day. Even more bizarre to realize I could be distracted from my screaming intuition over some boogeys…

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