Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Welcome to My World

Working for a not-for-profit can be the adventure of a lifetime.  Especially when it's in the inner city.

We see all types of people come into our building.  Most of them are in need of some sort of assistance.  Sometimes they're in trouble, and sometimes they just need a little something to help them through the time until payday.

And sometimes...sometimes we have run-ins with what I term "characters."

We can go months at a time without one.  But for some strange reason, we've had three during this week alone.

The first was obviously a street person.  Dressed in many layers, she came in to complain to us about another branch that was refusing her service.  Come to find out she had caused such a disturbance at the other branch that the police had to be called, she was arrested, then taken to a local hospital for a night of mental observation.  She was upset because the other branch banned her from coming back. While she was here she talked with several other people, loudly and with great vigor.

The only problem was that the people were invisible.

She has been back twice since her first visit, but we declined to open the door for fear she could cause bigger problems.  She needed more help than we were able to give.

The next was a man who couldn't afford a taxi to take him to where he needed to be.  He brought his take-out lunch into the office with him, then proceeded to pretend he was a dog by getting on his hands and knees and eating from the Styrofoam container on the floor.  We were able to talk him into going to a treatment center, although he decided it wasn't his cup of tea when he got there.

Two down, one to go.

Today was the man whose car had been parked illegally on the street in front of the building.  He started out nicely asking if we knew where his car had gone, but became very irate when we told him the police had towed it.  He thought we had called to have it towed, and stormed out of the building, throwing his hands in the air and yelling all the while.  He ran up the street and back down, screaming to himself, then came back and leaned on the door buzzer and shook the locked door repeatedly.  We wouldn't let him back in while he was that angry, so he ran up and down the street for a while, then came back three more times to repeat the whole scream, lean on the buzzer and shake the door business.

Finally, he left for good.

Then, just for good measure, the first lady returned.  She spent a good fifteen minutes leaning on the buzzer and trying to get into the building through any means she could.  We warned everyone that needed to leave about her, then guarded all the entrances until she gave up and went on her way again.

The good part of all this is that my world is never dull.  It may be a little crazy, but that's what keeps it interesting.

And interesting is better than dull any day.

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