Monday, August 28, 2017

I have no words

I’ve been struggling for the past two months to write a blog on expectations.  I’ll finish that one sooner or later.  In the meantime I was just handed a subject for a blog last Friday.  It was dressed in a tuxedo, given a brand new haircut and freshly shaved.  In short, it was quite the beautiful subject.

Team Mates is in an industrial building.  We are located on an easy access road and have enjoyed our last 11 years, growing at a fairly average but successful rate during that time.  We are not a glamorous business.  At present, we employ 22 wonderful people and me. 

A new taproom moved next door to us a year ago Friday.  They sell their own beer and have made quite the hit in town.  I met the owner early on and he’s a great guy.  The head brewer also is a wonderful person and overall, I know they put a lot of effort into their beer and promotions.  This week, they are celebrating their first anniversary.  They did a charity golf event today and have big plans for the whole weekend.  Great marketing is a good thing.

The result of this is that the parking lot around our complex started to fill up early on Friday morning.  We, as next door neighbors, have three permanent signs that say “Team Mates Parking only from 8AM until 6 PM” in front of three spaces, right in front of our offices.  These are reserved for customers who arrive to pick up their goods each day, or come to consult on embroidery issues that they have.  While we aren’t retail, we do have a fair number of visitors. 

Friday was quite the madhouse next door and as a result, all of the parking spaces near the taproom were occupied.  People actually had to walk around the building to get to their watering hole of choice. 

This led to people wanting to park in our three marked spots.  Mostly, they arrived late in the afternoon, around 4:30 which is very near the end of our work day.  I watched several start to pull into our spots and then back right out.  Finally, one car pulled in, stayed for a moment, apparently reading the sign, and then two younger people got out of the car and locked it.  They looked at a couple of us in the office, turned and walked to the taproom. 

Okay, I’ll admit.  It made me angry to see someone completely ignore the signs.  I dashed off a quick note, saying “Do you have trouble reading?  Did you notice the people who were looking at you from the office window in front of you?  The sign says “No Parking”.”  I’ll admit.  My anger forced me to name calling.  I wrote “Ass hat” and put the note on the guy’s windshield.

The couple came out to their car about a half hour later.  I was getting ready to leave, went to check the shop area and finally locked up and walked out.  My truck was parked next to their car.  They waited for me to finish closing up the shop. 

“Did you leave that note on my car?” asked the young male. 

“I did,” I replied. 

“My daughter was in that car and she could read it,” he said very angrily.  The car doors were open at that point, so his daughter could hear the conversation.

“Okay,” I said.  No, I’m not the best at confrontation.  I don’t think that quickly and really didn’t want to see him start around the car as he did.  “There is a sign that says that this is reserved,” I said quietly as I put my bag into my truck.

He stopped in front of his car.  “It’s not my fault that your business is so irrelevant that no cars are parked in front of it,” he said, still angry.

I was speechless, could do nothing more than put my workout bag into the truck.  He was not done and I muttered “You don’t want to fight.”

He wasn’t done.  “You don’t get to do that, you fat fuck!” he shouted.  Oh, the door was still open and his daughter, who had been locked in the car while he was inside the taproom, heard his tirade.  His girlfriend joined in and called me names as well.  All I could do was mutter, “Wow, words hurt.”  I should have been on my game.  Ah, well.

He popped into his car as I quietly put the rest of my gear away.  Finally, he and his young girl friend got into the car and pulled away.

For my part, I guess I’m just slow.  I really didn’t see that one coming.  I guess I’m supposed to be hurt.  Irrelevant?  Do they teach those words still?  Does he understand the meaning?  And of course I’m overweight.  I sit at a desk a lot, even though I work out really hard twice a week, ride a horse, throw hay.  I like those activities.  Oh, last week when I turned 63, the 22 year old who worked out with me was comatose when I went back to work.  But yeah, I’m overweight. 

I won’t stereotype.  They were young.  I’m slow and not one for debates.  I need to ask the obvious, though.  “Did you know that it’s illegal to leave a child locked and alone in a car?” or “If your daughter was able to read my handwritten note, did she also read the sign that says No Parking?   Maybe she could have helped you sound out the words.”  Sadly, I didn’t. 

I am shaken.  Not by the words.  They really don’t hurt at all.  I am shaken because up to now, the young people that I have known have been more respectful, less entitled and they actually seemed to take responsibility for their actions.   

Of course I do have a closing lesson. 

Mommies, pay attention.  Inform your children and teach them to never, ever start a sentence with “It’s not my fault” no matter what they are going to say.  We old fat fucks really don’t listen after we hear that phrase.