Sunday, September 6, 2009

Oh, my usual the one nut in town finds us...

yWell, perhaps nut isn't the correct word, but frankly I don't give a darn (at least I cleaned that up). Anyway, I'm in the shop working my shift counting down the minutes...I'm in the back helping someone find something when I heard a shuffling noise and then someone speaking in a tongue I certainly couldn't understand, so I walk back up to the front and I knew it wasn't going to be good when I saw the abandoned walker. And I see an older (turns out he is 72) sitting on the stool behind the counter, pulled up to the counter trying to explain something to the gentlemen who had the misfortune of being in the chair on the other side of the counter just waiting for his wife. The old guy meanwhile was sitting on my almost completed project...sitting there and he was none to clean. I think he must work on cars for a living if anything because his hands and nails were filthy so I didn't give a damn if my needle stuck him in his ass, I just wanted him off my needlework. So I sit in my chair, tap him on the ass and said "Sir you need to get off my needlework." I have to say he was most apologetic (I think who knows, I couldn't understand him but he looked the part.) I could see the other man couldn't help as he couldn't understand him either, plus I knew it was going to be a long night if I didn't do something so I told him to state the problem slowly so I could help him. He drove in from Virginia to go on the beach apparently, although he sure didn't look like it...anyway, between the car and the beach he lost his keys and I'm not sure if he lost his money as well, but anyway, the police had been to him twice and I'm sure couldn't get away fast enough, but left him after calling a locksmith. But they didn't give him any info on when the locksmith or if the locksmith was coming. He had no concept of time that this happened and since it's 9 p.m. I can't believe he just went on the beach, so I'm thinking it had to take place this afternoon. Anyway, I called both locksmith and surprise surprise, answering machines. I can't believe the police left his guy here without trying to help him out, more than just calling a locksmith. I mean the guy can't speak English for God's sake. Oh my God... he just rolled back in on his walker to ask me to plug in his phone overnight so it would be charged. Honestly, now I'm the center for the homeless. I know my mother would be proud, my father would be saying "Call the police and let them do their job", but here I am with this poor man who will be sleeping in his car tonight. If we weren't packed at the hotel I know I would have given him a bed...why me God...of all the places he could have gone tonight why here? There are more than 142 blocks in Ocean City and yet they all end up on mine. I can't wait for Connie to show up tomorrow and try to deal with this. I told Sara about my exciting evening as she never came back to the shop since she was dealing with a noisy tenant (we all have our problems apparently), but after telling her she went and got his cell phone to see if we could call someone to come help him. After seeing there were over 300 contacts and all of them middle eastern we decided the hell with it since I figured they wouldn't understand a word I said. Then I stupidly said, "Perhaps it's a bomb" and Sara was off and running. She announced the cell phone would be the detonator for a bomb placed somewhere on the property. It was at that point I decided to get the hell out of Dodge and went home leaving Sara and Vernon to deal with the problem without me. I mean I've had a touch enough year with mixing it up with a bomb. Sara was a little indignant that I was leaving she and Michael in the bomb zone, but hey, I was tired and needed a nap. Sara did go out to see if he was asleep in his car, (which to me meant no bomb since he would be too close to ground zero and would take the hit as well...of course Sara pointed out suicide bombers...but really what are the changes this 72 year old man became that at this late date) and he was sleeping in the backseat so she felt better about the bomb theory. I arrived back at work this morning to take up where we left off last night and there he was sitting on the porch wondering where his cell phone was since Connie and Pat had no idea we had taken it over to the hotel. So I went out to once more deal with our little man and called the locksmith who informed me they wouldn't touch a Mercedes. So I called another locksmith who at first told me they had tried to help him last night but he refused to pay $145 for the key. So I went out and confronted the man who said, "I'll pay", so I called the locksmith back and said, bring the key he's going to pay. Of course, the person with the key was off today, so they called him and he told them that it wasn't that he wouldn't pay, the key wouldn't work because it needed a chip that had to be gotten from the dealership. So I go back out and explain that what I had told him before was not the case and there was no working key but I was going to call the mercedes dealership in Salisbury. They said they would do nothing over the phone, but bring the man in with identification and car registration, etc., etc., etc., and then they would see about getting another key. By this time I'm getting a little testy in that no one seem to be willing to help the man except my crew...and I have Vernon, Mary, Sara and myself on this, on a day when we were having a mass checkout. So I'm figuring someone will have to take this old gentlemen over to Salisbury to get the process started and go back outside to tell him and there he is with a smile and Sara looking like (holy crap...why are we dealing with this on Labor Day)...apparently he found the key in his pocket (yes, his pocket). So I tried to stay nice and smiled and said, "Well, you put that key in your ignition, start your car and get home to Washington." Bless his heart, he hugged me like I was his long lost sister (although perhaps I should say lover since that hug went on so long I thought he'd passed out.) 1/2 later Vernon went to fill the soda machines and the man was still on 8th St. The neighbors had gotten into by now and told Vernon his battery was dead. Meanwhile he had at least 4 tickets on his car and Vernon had already told the meter reader to stop ticketing his car and explained the situation so they put a note on it to tell other meter readers to leave the car alone. He had tried to get everyone that stopped and parked on 8th street to help him, and one Mexican gentlemen told him as soon as his children got done changing their clothes (in the middle of 8th street no less) he would try to help. But in the end it was Vernon and the boys from Malibu Surf Shop that pushed his car out into the street so that Vernon could get his truck in place to give him a boost. So people I'm proud to say it took all of us to accomplish it, but we have managed to get the 72 year old man who doesn't speak English off the block...I wouldn't guarantee he made it home to Virginia, but we know he made it off 8th street and that's my personal zone to take care of so now I'm free to tackle other problems. I have to say though, I am ashamed that the police force in town didn't help this gentlemen more. He had 2 business cards from the 2 officiers who apparently came to help him, but all they did was call the locksmith. I'd hate to think that if my father had been in a foreign land (O.K. so he was from Virginia but I'm telling you he barely spoke English) didn't know the language and couldn't find anyone to help him. What was the man to do? I thought that was what the police were for! We even called a policeman we knew to see if he could help and he just said, "Well there's not much we can do." Oh, yea, well for starters how about seeing if the gentlemen needs something to eat or some water. How about finding him a place to sleep, even if that means at the police station. How about giving a damn people. What if this was you? I have always tried (and failed many times) to remember that I may be the best memory someone has of Ocean City. While the people peeing in my parking lot don't see the best side of me, let's face it I didn't see the best side of them either and don't care what they remember about me. But when it's a visitor in need, well I'd like them to think of Ocean City as a kind place to be with people who give a damn. One year on the way to Hawaii, my parents stopped for a few nights in San Francisco and my father had something go terribly wrong with one of his teeth. He was in such pain the hotel called a local dentist who came in to his office on the weekend for Dad, fixed his tooth...and sit down here it comes...didn't charge him. Wished him a wonderful time in their city and a wonderful vacation! Now that goes way beyond the call of duty, but the point is after visiting Hawaii my father could only talk about how wonderful that dentist was. And how he saved their vacation. Now I may not have saved the man's vacation...but at least he knows the people at this hotel were concerned and tried to help. (Please don't let that get around, I'm not sure how nice we'll be next time.) Anyway, that's been out Labor Day....full of drama as usual...hope you had a better time. And we're dealing with rain, which brings up another point. I left my house this morning thinking...everyone will get up and get out early due to the weather....did that happen? NO...This is something I don't understand. On check out day, I always get up, get packed, check out and then stop on the way out to eat. That so doesn't happen here. They get up, get their continental breakfast, go shopping, go walk one last time on the beach and barely get back here in time to check out, then ask if they can leave their car on the lot so they can do one last walk down the boardwalk and shop. They all say the same thing..."we're trying to miss the traffic going home." Well folks you can't miss it if you all stay into the afternoon. When it's time to go home...go home I say. Don't drag it out and then tell me next year how much traffic there was so you're thinking of staying even later. They're driving me nuts folks! Yes, Nuts!


Rachel S said...

Thank you for helping that man.

MommyDearest said... first comment is that it's a VERY short trip to drive you nuts...and my second comment is that if you believe in karma you just earn a ton of it for trying to help out this man! very own Sally...WOW! Now that's a Labor Day to remember!!
The Police of our youth are gone. No longer do they help out stranded motorist,kittens in trees,old ladies to cross the street, etc etc.... kind of sad really.
Anyway..big big kudos to you for keeping your cool...helping him go back to the Sally we know and love!!