Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Heat Seeking Homeless Man

Yesterday, I had an entry that was almost ready to post, until I did a bonehead thing and deleted it by a mistake. Autosave didn't help; it only had the first three words of the first sentence (either Autosave doesn't autosave that frequently, or I'm a damn fast typist!). Anyhoo... didn't feel like typing it all up again, because I'm lazy that way.

However, today is a new day and all, and since I'm running on Starbucks decaf, I have the energy to attempt it again. So here is my yesterday story today:

The office I work in is very small and basically deserted in the mornings. There are only a few companies represented in this building, most of which are very small operations like ours. However, the bigger company - a telemarketing business - doesn't start work until later.

Why is this even important? It's important because until the telemarketers come to work, we are basically the only people in the building. Michelle and I start at 7 am. Whoever comes in first locks the front door. If I was the second person in, I would also lock the front door, but got out of the habit when Chris went on a month-long keyless existance. Since she often came in about 15 minutes after me, I would just keep the front door unlocked so she could get in without having to call us to let us know she was outside.

After yesterday, I am no longer going to keep the front door unlocked.

About 7:15 am yesterday, a homeless looking man came into my office. He asked me where was the office that was taking job applications. I asked him if he was looking for Infomarketers. He said yes. I gave him directions to their main office, and then he told me that he had gone there, but the doors were locked. I told him I was sorry, I didn't know what to say; obviously they weren't into work yet, but I had no idea when they would be in. He thanked me and went on his way.

Or so I thought.

A few minutes later, I saw a shadow in Chris' office. I looked up, and there was the homeless looking fella heading for our refrigerator. I said "Excuse me. What are you doing in there?" He mumbled something about hoping there was coffee, and scurried away.

I felt uneasy after that, so closed the main door to Chris' office and also the door to Becky's office. I sat back down at my desk, and felt the need to go to the bathroom. Since I didn't hear him leave the building, and the woman's bathroom is in a secluded area of the building, I decided to stay put.

About 15 minutes later, one of the guy's from Infomarketing came down to my office. He asked me if we were okay. I said yes. He said he found a strange man lurking around the hallways, and became concerned for our welfare. I related to him the story of my own encounter with the "strange man," and he shook his head. He then said he was glad we were okay, and went on his merry way.

That episode creeped me out in a way I am having trouble relating. Maybe it's because I was attacked once. I don't know... but I didn't feel safe for at least an hour or so after the incident. When I finally heard people walking the halls, laughing and talking, I felt more at ease. By the afternoon, the incident was (almost) forgotten.

I'm sure the guy meant no harm. It was snowing, and he probably hoped he could snag a cup of coffee and a warm place to hang out for a while. Still, there are many people in the downtown area who DO mean people harm. Just two weeks ago, a man was shot in the face at an intersection I'm at at least twice a day. It could've just as well as been that guy who stumbled in our office, instead of the coffee-seeking toothless man.

Yeah, from now on I'm locking that front door after me. No matter what.

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