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Monday, June 11, 2007


I hear my motion detector go off, and I look out from around the car I’m working on. No one in sight, so I walk to my office, because I thought I heard the office door close too. Sometimes folks will walk in the office, thinking I’m in there. I open the door, and there’s a guy in a business suit swiveling around in my desk chair, looking through the papers on my desk. He’s in his thirties, with well groomed dark brown hair, and a little portly for his age. I allow the office door to shut, and stand there watching him silently. He hears the door close, and swivels toward me, leaning back in my chair as if he were greeting an outsider. He folds his arms over his chest, and gives me a big ingratiating smile. He has good teeth too. Possibly not for long.

“Bernie, sit down,” he reads the name stitched on my shirt, and points to the chair next to me he should be sitting on.

I won’t bore you with all the stuff shooting through my head. Age has mellowed me out, and given me a different perspective on life’s little annoyances, like people assuming ownership of things I’ve worked a lifetime to attain. Since this is the first time in the thirty years I’ve been here anyone has sat at my desk without my permission, I figure it’s a live and learn experience. I decide on the Terminator approach I save for occasions when I might say something that will lead me to mayhem. My kids call it The Vulcan Death Stare. Five seconds of it, and this guy jumps out of my chair, smile gone.

“Oh, I’m sorry, is this your chair?”

Five more seconds, and the guy I will refer to as The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit, TMITGFS for short, blathers out an introduction. He represents a security agency I will refer to as Acme.

“We are the small business solution for security needs,” TMITGFS continues his spiel. “Someone could have come into your office and escaped through your small door with an armload of valuables just now.”

“I don’t keep anything of value in the office,” I speak for the first time. “You should know that since you were going through my desk when I came in. Is that a new sales technique Acme came up with to get one of you reps killed?”

“I…I just wanted to demonstrate the weakness of your security system, and why it would be good to…”

“Want to know how much I’ve lost in seven years working here as a mechanic, and twenty-four years of owning it? Zero.” I tell him. “Want to know how much I’ve saved not paying security firms who never show up, and couldn’t do anything if they did? Eighteen thousand dollars plus installation.”

“That’s the beauty of this new system,” TMITGFS informs me excitedly. “Acme can install the system and maintain…”

“No, they can’t,” I cut him off again, realizing near death experiences have no affect on him. “Please leave the same way you came in, and don’t come back. Take a bit of advice, and adopt a new first meeting technique before someone blows your head off.”

“Uh… can I have a business card?”

I step aside, holding the door open silently. His survival instinct takes over and TMITGFS leaves without further conversation.

Civilization is not always what it’s cracked up to be. :)


Jordan Summers said...

He is VERY lucky that you are so civilized. *ggg* I cannot believe the nerve of some people. (shaking head)

BernardL said...

Like all of what happens in reality, if you can bypass your first impulse, it can all get pretty funny. After that goofball left, I ran back to my notebook computer to write it up. As you well know, writing is therapy. :) Thanks Jordan