Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Farewell Small Town X: you wouldn't let me leave without a bang!
It has been some time since I last posted on this blog, and the irony is that this will be my final post. I moved to Small Town X August 18, 2010 and on December 9, 2011 I say farewell and move up north and back to a population exceeding 6,000 people. When I moved here I felt as though I would do nothing but celebrate the day that I found myself escaping from this place, and although the next chapter seems exciting and welcomed, I leave Small Town X with gratitude and respect for my experiences over the last year or so. But what would be a proper goodbye after a roller coaster of experiences without one last crazy story to share with you. So without further a due, I give you my last week in Small Town X.
After discovering last Tuesday that I would be moving from Small Town X in a short ten days, I was overwhelmed to say the least. My first and most nerve racking concern, where was I going to live? It was an all consuming question, and I could not stop stressing about finding a place on such short notice. But leave it to Small Town X to teach me that there are more important things to be concerned with. While meeting with a couple individuals in the office, one of my employees ran in saying there was an irate customer and that I would need to handle it, and may need to call the police. I remember thinking that I HATE irate customers and getting yelled at mostly. I ran through the doors toward the back and was not prepared for the next four minutes of activity. As I went through the doors, I could hear someone screaming in a way that I can almost not describe. There are definitely different kinds of screaming. There is screaming in fear, excitement, frustration, rage and then this, crazy incoherent screaming. I knew in an instant this was not someone upset about a price or rule, this was something very different. As I reached for the door to the outside, in came the back of another employee physically trying to keep this man out. Every expletive in the book was being used, especially a particular four letter word, but what got the blood pumping and the adrenaline increasing was what message was being yelled in between them. It went something like this, go ahead and call the police you ... I am going to kill all of you! You are all dead! At that moment another yelled call 911. We had no idea if he had a weapon, all I could do was run to the phone a few feet away and called 911 as 3 employees continued to try and get the door shut and locked and run to the other doors to get them locked.
The dispatcher answered and I gave the only information I had at that point, an irate customer is out of control at work and is saying he is going to kill us. While I stayed on the line, gave instructions to my employees and tried to get people away from the door the police arrived in record time. I heard them grab him, and I ran out in time to see them throw him against the squad car in handcuffs and take him away. So much in about 4 minutes. The next hour was spent contacting potential employees that could be involved, giving my statement, helping others give theirs, answering questions and helping those that were involved work through what had happened and how to calm down. Needless to say, I hope that this is the closest I ever come to being seriously in danger at work, but it made me grateful for all the people I work with. No matter what the disagreements, the arguments, the conflicts in personalities that have taken place over the last year, when he came through those doors spitting and assaulting the men trying to protect us, everything vanished and the focus was protecting one another. There was no hesitation, no consideration for person or self, they protected one another. It was an incredible thing to witness despite the fear associated with what was going on. No matter the ups or downs, the highs and lows, this experience, and this time in Small Town X will keep a special place in my heart. I would expect nothing less than leaving with a bang from Small Town X. And a bang is what I have gotten. Thank you Small Town X and all the people that it is composed of. Who would have guessed that this city girl could have discovered that she is a little country under it all. For the final time.
Posted by JLS at 3:17 PM