My life is a series of adventures. No, really I mean it. It is a wonderful thing to be able to have so many different adventures. Even the most mundane experience can be turned into a thrilling I can’t believe this is happening to me sort of thing.
Today’s adventure is called Jack versus the Rent-a-cop. Where I come from the term Rent-a-cop isn’t one of endearment. It is a knock against the security guard. Perhaps that is a bit unfair, but then again I have run into far too many who take themselves way too serious.
This particular episode finds our dashing hero visiting some people at a gated community. As the title of the post suggest this particular locale uses a security booth which is staffed by a rent-a-cop whose job it is to screen the visitors. I would think that at times it must get pretty dull for them. Every day you check people in and out. I suppose that if it was my job I might get caught up in some sort of silly fantasy about me solving the mystery of where Osama has been hiding.
Anyway, on this particular day I had an interesting exchange with the community’s beloved rent-a-cop. Here is how it went.
Jack: Hi. I am here to see Mr. and Mrs. Randolph.
R.A.C: What’s your name?
Jack: I am Jack B.
R.A.C: Hi Jack. Your paperwork is at the back gate.
Jack: I am sorry, what paperwork are you talking about?
R.A.C: The paperwork you signed when you started working here.
Jack: I don’t work here.
R.A.C: Sure you do. I recognize your truck.
Jack: I am sorry. You’ve confused me with someone else.
R.A.C: No. I am quite positive I have not.
Jack: No really. I don’t work here. Please call Mr. and Mrs. Randolph and they’ll confirm.
R.A.C: It would be much easier if you just went to the back gate.
Jack: It really wouldn’t. They’re home is on the first block. Going to the back gate is completely out of the way and more importantly, I don’t work here.
R.A.C: Didn’t they tell you to take your badge with you? If you had it I would just wave you in.
Jack: I don’t have a badge because I don’t work here.
R.A.C: If you went to the back gate they’d give me one.
Jack: But I don’t work here.
R.A.C: Sir. You are holding up the gate. There is a long line of cars behind you. They are going to be cursing at me.
Jack: They’re not the only people. Please, please call Mr. and Mrs. Randolph. They live at 1060 West Addison. Their telephone number is -867-5309.
R.A.C: Sir, you are holding up the line. I am going to have to ask you to move.
Jack: It is not my fault or my problem that there is a line. Buzz me in and the line will start moving.
R.A.C: Sir, I told you to move your car into the middle or go to the back gate.
Jack: And I told you to call Mr. and Mrs. Randolph. Wait, I’ll call them on my cellphone and have them call you.
R.A.C: If you don’t move I am going to call the police.
Jack: What do you expect that will do.
R.A.C: They’ll arrest you.
Jack: Arrest me for what? For speaking with a fool. I am tired of this. You are completely incompetent. What is the name of your supervisor!
R.A.C: I am not telling you.
Jack: And I am not moving.
R.A.C: You see this uniform. It means that I am authorized to handle situations.
Jack: No it means that McDonalds let you go because you can’t handle making a Big Mac. This is beyond the pale.
R.A.C: Has anyone told you that manners go a long way.
Jack: Has anyone told you that the customer is always right.
R.A.C: Are you going to move.
Jack: Are we playing twenty questions. Ok, here is one. What is about 55 years old, is in dire need of therapy and resembles Larry from the Three Stooges.
R.A.C: That is it. I am calling the police!
Jack: Please do. I’ll be happy to show them my badge.
R.A.C: You have a badge? Why didn’t you show me. I would have just waved you in.
I’d like to say that Officer Fife wasn’t this difficult. I’d like to say that I didn’t waste fifteen minutes of my life on him because I could really use them for something far more productive. Sadly none of those things are true.
I can say with complete confidence that for the first six or seven minutes I was exceptionally calm and polite. Eventually that gave way to irritation and my demeanor changed a bit.
If there is any saving grace it was when my friends the Randolphs shared a few stories about Officer Fife and his incredible customer service. They must be so happy to pay a HOA fee for such fine service.