Downtown, you know, where the hobos, drug addicts, and derelicts like to congregate. And us with no locked doors or security anywhere and sitting right on the main drag between the homeless shelter, the government-funded free clinic (with free needles!) and the rehab building.
Oh yeah, nothing quite as fun as spending ten minutes in hyper alert mode because of the jabbering meth-head sitting in front of you, who smells like she just lit up in the damn parking lot before she came up to see you.
She comes off the elevator, and RUNS at my desk, which is all of twenty feet away. She didn't stop herself, but plowed through my chairs (where customers sit) and ran full-on into my desk before she finally stopped moving. Then she started jabbering about something regarding her parents' 59th anniversary. Well, we don't run the 59th anniversary for free (we do every five years from the 25th anniversary on, then every year after the 60th). But as she babbled on, I saw the date she'd more or less written down was from 1948, which would have made this her parents' 60th.
So I hand her an announcement form and a pen, which she promptly jabbed into the paper so hard that it broke (the paper was on the desk, so she really jabbed the desk). Fortunately, it was just one of my junk pens so I wasn't attached to it. I handed her a slightly sturdier pen and she set to scrawling all over the form. Mostly letter-like substances.
At this point, she remembered that she had a photo, and produced one from thin air, which was too badly damaged by god-knows-what for us to use. I told her we couldn't use it, and within 30 seconds, she had covered up my desk with dirty, burned, crumbling photos that had dates on them within the last two years. I managed to pick out one that wasn't completely worthless and she swept them all back into a pile and dove back on the form.
She wrote her parents' names so large that she ran out of space on the line provided before she got to their last name, and went into an utter panic that she had no more room to write it, then finally figured out she could just kind of wedge it in sideways. Then she wrote down her parents' address...with explicit driving directions for me for some reason.
Then she had to call her parents to find out when they were married, even though she'd tossed a few dates at me. Then she wrote down the date her mother told her
, which was in 1948. I mentioned off-handedly that it would make the anniversary their 60th, not their 59th as she kept saying, and the woman, upon hearing that, scratched out the date her mother told her
and replaced it with a date that would make the anniversary their 59th.
While she was doing all this, she was chattered about 100 miles an hour about the form, how she was filling it out, the texture of the paper, how big she was writing, how the pen felt, etc.
When she switched the date and turned it into a 59th anniversary, I explained to her that we didn't do 59th announcements for free and she should go downstairs and do a paid announcement. She immediately grabbed up all her supplies and bolted gleefully back to the elevator to do so.
And after being on edge, tensed up waiting for an attack, and smelling meth for ten minutes, I went to the bathroom and hurled out my guts.
I'm not going downstairs until I'm sure she's gone. I already had to bathe my workspace once again in Spring Violet and am nursing a horrible headache and nausea. I have the feeling that if I had to take a drug test within the next couple of days, I would fail just from being in this chick's presence. I'm starting to wonder if I might need to go to the damn hospital.
And of course, my coworkers fled to the back of the room the instant the woman crashed into my desk at full force. Thanks a lot, guys.
I know I'm the newsroom security but shit.