Tuesday, October 9, 2012

So, do you have any weapons on you?

Keys in hand, dangling from a four pound key chain,  I pushed the double doors open and walked into the sunlight towards my car.

A tall, lanky older gentleman with big bushy grey hair and a long cardigan sweater approached me:

"Hey, can you take me to Plant 19?"

I was just leaving "Plant 6" (as it is called) of the former Hamilton Sundstrand.  I teach pilates there and wear a contractor badge.

A million thoughts are streaming into my mind at this point.

Here's one possible solution:

The confused older gentleman has just not been able to tell anyone at work that he has most recently come down with dimensia, but he knows he needs to be at a random place called "Plant 19" and has no idea how to get there.  So, he picks an unsuspecting motherly-daughterly type of person to ask for help since I'm not going to make fun of his mental illness.

And me, being me, am always going for possible worst-case scenarios.. the above scenario is  exactly what I thought was happening. After all, we'll all get old sooner or later, so let's all lend a helping hand.

So I was trying to figure out how much work this was going to take and if I was going to eventually end up driving him to.. let's say...Japan, which is (probably) where Plant 19 is..

So, I answered, "Do you have any idea where this Plant 19 is?"  trying to not sound like a clinical psychologist at this point, but probably over-pronouncing every syllable like everyone does when they assume that all older people have hearing problems also.

So, he said, "yeah.  It's just right over there.."

"So, then, why is that you need me to take you there, again?"

"I locked my keys in my car, and I have a meeting that I'm supposed to be at right now.."

Ah! That explains the flustered-ness and lack of introduction and all hyper-focus engineerishness about him.

"OK then.." as I sized him up one side and down the other.. "Do you got an weapons on you?"

He was graciously surviving the interrogation.  I took a look at this under-developed turtle-shell of a man and figured I could pin him pretty easily if he didn't have any weapons. But still.. I'm not taking any chances.

He very freely admitted that he did not have weapons, and I believed him.

So, I started walking towards the car and said, "So, what makes you so sure I don't have any weapons on me?"

At this point, if he had had any , and I mean any other option for transport, he probably would have taken it.  But no.

He answered, "You're wearing a badge.  They do heavy security, background checks and drug testing..I trust anyone with a badge."

Typical.  Logical. OK then.  Let's get in the car.

So, we're heading toward the car, and I said, "Uh.. I have to warn you.  I have a really hard time finding my car, and when I do find it, it's always messy inside."

"I have the same problem.  I can never find my car, either.."  O.K. then.  Great minds think alike.

Neither of us carry weapons and we can not find our cars.  (Well, technically I would carry a weapon if I were by myself at night..)  And I occasionally loose my keys or lock them in the car.  So, really who needs to introduce themselves formally when you have bucketfuls of things in common???

So, I eventually find out his name was Ted or Ned.  And then that crazy Dr. Suess rhyme is going through my mind .. "Hello there my name is Ned. I do not like my little bed.."  But I digress.

So, all this to say that I did not have to take him to Japan.  Plant 19 was basically a mile or so away.  So I packed a thorough psychological eval in those 9 minutes.  I won't go into detail of all of his personal problems, but I was surprised how well he is holding together.  And how nice it was to meet a stranger, as random and unplanned as it was.

And as I was thinking about the events of the day, I thought I would just check the back of my jacket and see if it had the words "BUS DRIVER" or something hacked on with duct tape.  It didn't have anything of the sort.

What did have was a picture of LUCY with the words "PSYCHOLOGIST $.05"



Herding Grasshoppers said...

Love it, Jena!


Nita Brainard said...


Kathi said...

It took me several chances to get completely through this, because I kept getting interrupted, but it was so funny that I kept coming back until I read THE WHOLE THING! You are such fun!

Mrs. Parunak said...

That's awesome!