Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Dead End Street
I left early yesterday to procure wire spools and obscure metal brackets. I found myself in a dreary industrial park characterized by grey skies, diesel exhaust, cracked streets, the hum of machinery, and brown brick. It looked like a great place to commit suicide.
The company I visited was new to me. They compete with my usual vendor. I knew they would be courting my business, and by extension, me. They would suck my ass. They would tell industry insider jokes. I'd be expected to chuckle knowingly upon delivery of the punchlines.
I sauntered in, wondering how I could get away with making my purchase while skipping the guided tour. I failed. I submitted myself to a weird conversation about hockey, cable television pirating hardware, security cameras, and Chinese manufacturing. Every once in a while the sales representative would lower his chin, raise his eyebrow, and talk quietly, implying that he was dishing some illicit gossip. I was supposed to lean closer and nod in appreciation. Instead I merely cocked my head to the left and blinked like an automaton. I may have nodded. I had no desire to play along with this odd game. I didn't want to join the tech geek in crowd.
The sales rep reminded me of my father with his bright eyed fascination with ugly gadgets and his incessant repetition. I left. He said "Take care!" at least seven times as I inched towards the door. I escaped.
No, I had not. I'd left my headlights on. My car battery had drained. I slouched back inside and asked for a jumpstart. The staff looked extremly put out by this request, but had no choice but to render assistance. I am a new customer. I am potential business. No jumpstart, no future commission.
Two of them came outside and got me running. They exchanged a supposedly discreet look that screamed "What a fucktard this guy is!" They were right. I have made some bad automobile decisions and I don't know acronyms for security camera light indexes. I am dirt in their book.
I can live with that. 10:25 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm
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