a girl in her city, watching the sunset

Drought and Absurdity

Because I’m mindful of water consumption and we’re in the midst of a bitch of a drought,  I haven’t washed or had my car washed in many, many moons. (Though, there was vacuuming here and there.) Today, I decided to have it done whilst the detail service came to the office where I work.  Follow me down this morality tale, won’t you?

I walked into the parking lot to find and record my license plate number on the slip I’m supposed to include with my key and payment in an envelope. On my way back to the building, the Car Wash Fella approaches me, asking which is mine, he’ll do it now.

This is the most popular concierge service we have at work, so I’m pretty impressed at his go-get-’em, and I point to my car, (Ollie Cooper) and he takes the envelope I’ve just pressed closed. It’s 9.35a.

The acting receptionist says, “Did he take your key? Yours is the last one he’s doing, there were only two others,” (she named colleagues, that doesn’t matter here). “Oh, yes, he did, oh, OK, oh.” I reply, confused at the whole thing.  I go back to where I face a corner in the bullpen I inhabit, and prep for an 11.00 call.

At 11.53a, I wander to the lobby, expecting to collect my key and scout lunch that might probably involve some combination of bacon, avocado, spinach and coffee.  I mean, it had been more than 2 hours, but $20 express service has ever taken that long.

La Receptionista says, “he didn’t bring back your key.  But, he’s gone, he left.”

She looks away, as if she can see a different place on the glass wall and blinks.   “Maybe he left the key in your car?” she offers, but not very helpfully.  (N.B.: She’s not helpful, generally.)

I stalk out (I have impeccable posture and I wear 4.5” stiletto-heeled knee-high leather boots, I do not usually stalk) to my car, unhappy at having no key.  The car is unlocked but don’t worry, my key isn’t anywhere to be found within it.

Neither have I packed a lunch today.

I go back inside, miffed (this is uncharacteristic, I don’t broadcast when I’m righteously pissed at work.  Work can have all the quirky and the smartest-ditz-in-the-room, but fuming is for walls that don’t talk back).  I mention it to somebody, but I walk to my desk (my bullpen (and my corner) is the farthest walk from either entrance), so when someone approaches me, I stop them from asking me for anything with a my hand up, and he gets that I’m saying (at the very least), “Not yet, not right now, I’m clocked out for lunch.”

I ring the service’s number but get the answering machine, so I leave word.

I email them.

I email my office building facilities manager.

“The detail service left with my car key, please can he bring it back.”

I leave word again for the car wash place.

I go outside, thinking I’d find a smoke to smoke, but I don’t really want to smoke, so I walked two laps around the building.  Half way through the second one, the car washing van careens around the first corner of the lot, stopping.  The fella to whom I’d handed my key bounds out in the same motion with which he’s stopped the truck and removed the key (grr) from the ignition, jovially explaining how hungry he had gotten and he had to go to his lunch, he has my key! He still has to do the windows and tires!  He’s really glad about seeing me.  He tells me two more times how hungry he was and how he got lunch.  I’m about to eat a kitten.

How did he not finish this in 2 hours?  It’s not really that much of a mess except the outside parts.

I don’t care.  I finish my lot-lap and walk back into the A/C’d office and clock in from lunch and go outside to smoke, but I don’t, I try to cheer a sourpuss up by telling my “car-wash-guy-decided-it-was-lunchtime” story and she and I settle on the adjective “absurd.”  When three other colleagues join, I half tell the story, asking OnceSour to chime in with her theories on why he took his lunch if mine was the last car to wash.

I stutter-step on my way in so I can congratulate a Sys Admin on a successful project close and Car Wash Fella whistles and “Hey, Lady!”s me with my key and he really wanted me to tip him.

I love tipping.   I did not tip him.

I’m OK with this revealing I’m a control freak but I was also really hungry.

And this is the story of how this girl learned to not bother having her car washed in the middle of this matchstick-drought.


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