Thursday, March 23, 2006

Stories from the front. No really.

I had a pretty interesting day yesterday, so I'll tell you about it.

Yesterday I had to go into DC to deliver some supplies to the EEOB (Eisenhower Executive Office Building). But I don't have security clearance, of course, so I could get nowhere near the building. The plan was for me to come into DC, call the man taking the supplies into the building--we'll call him Bill--once I got to Constitution Ave, and then park on the curb in front of the Cosi across the street from EEOB and he would come meet me with a cart and take the supplies.

Got lost--of course--getting to Constitution, but once I turned on the street I pulled out my cell phone, with total disregard for the law (actually I just plain didn't remember it) in DC where you aren't alowed to talk on your cell phone while driving uniless you have a headset. So Bil answers, I say hi, and then I pull up to a roadblock where a lady policeman yells at me for being on the phone and tells me it's a $100 fine and that I need to get off the phone immediately unless I have a headset. I mumble something about meeting someone at the White House, where of course I wasn't going, oops, and speed off, still on the phone, and tell Bill I'll be there in 10 minutes.

Find the Cosi, park, and he takes the first load of supplies by hand as he doesn't have a cart. He tells me to go park somewhere on the block and I find a nice spot in an area designated for motorcycles. I figured I'd move it if a policeman or a motorcyclist came along. So I sit in the car nervous for about 20 minutes until Bill returned and told me I had parked right in front of a Secret Service vehicle. He said you can usually tell if it's a really shiny black SUV and then you look on the dash and see a "Special Vehicle" tag. I kind of wanted to take a picture but figured I'd probably get arrested or something.

But Bill was cartless upon his return, and said he wasn't going to take any more stuff because he was spending his whole day making trips. I told him I wasn't leaving without calling Boss B cause she would yell at me if I came home without all the supplies physically going into the EEOB.

So she talks to him for about 10 minutes and he can't get a word in edgewise, then he tells me to go park in this garage. What he neglected to tell me was that all the garage workers are insane hispanic men who yell at people like me and that the garage is a seedy "don't leave your valuables in your car because we sure as heck aren't responsible for them and honestly you're pretty much screwed anyway by the simple fact that you picked this garage, you idiot" place. So what do I do? Leave my digital camera sitting on the console, with the window rolled all the way down. As I tried to put the keys back in the ignition to roll up the window and protect my valuables, the hispanic man taking over my car yells at me to get out of the car and leave the keys in and that he'll "take care of it." Good God, I hoped so.

Bill and I unloaded the supplies on the curb outside the garage, the car got parked (passive voice used there because I have no idea how it got parked or who parked it, but I'm assuming it got parked somehow), and I sat on a concrete planter (and got splinters from the cedar bush) next to the paint stripper, saw horses, and some sort of mayonnaiselikecontainer filled with some sort of alcohol and waited for him to get back and rescue me. When he came up the sidewalk with a cart, I stood up and did the "hurrah!" signal with my arms in the air. Went back into the garage, paid the nice hispanic lady at the desk, and mulled about not knowing what to do but assuming someone was bringing my car. Finally it came up the ramp and someone I had never seen before stepped out of my car. I don't know what the tipping protocol is but I was sure not going to tip those crazy people. At a rate like $8 for anything under an hour, that's the most expensive parking space I've ever had before, especially since the parking garage was overfilled at a ratio of about 1:3 (one legit car to 3 haphazardly stuffed in cars)so they were making way too much money off that godforsaken place anyway.

Anyway everything was fine. Camera, supplies, everything. I'm never going back to that parking lot again, and I told Boss A that it was one of the worst experiences of my life and he promised me that he'll have Boss B yell at them for it next time she goes there.

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