Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Life As A Mobster's Wife

I work in what you might call a "challenging" neighborhood. You know it's rough when your lunch options are Dunkin' Donuts or the creepy Mr. Softee ice cream truck that drives by on the half hour. But so far my work has been good and I've enjoyed working with my clients in the area-- so no major complaints. We start work promptly at 9:00am... we are expected to be there on time without being late, but the doors open right at 9:00, so you can't really be early either. Well, my schedule relies on Mr. M Train and Ms. L Train, so sometimes I don't arrive exactly at 9:00am and encounter some issues. This was my situation last Wednesday. I got off the train like 15 minutes early, so I stopped in at the local deli/convenient store/99 cent store/laundromat (they're really into multi-tasking) and got my 50 cent hot tea and waltzed on to work. I get there and the doors are locked and the bars are chained (I said it was "challenging") and I just have to wait for a supervisor to get there, since I am but a lowly entry-level social worker. I notice just down the sidewalk a bit a man with a shopping cart filled to the brim with stuff who is talking to himself. I don't think much of it and continue to enjoy my earl gray. My friend with the cart then decides to wheel over to approach me. The following is the conversation that took place... I will refer to the man as SCM (shopping cart man)...

SCM: You work here??
Me: Yes I do- can I help you?
SCM: No you don't-- you're LYIN'! This place has been closed for YEARS!
Me: (Confused) Um, well, we were open yesterday.
SCM: No you WEREN'T... you're LYIN'! (slight pause) You smoke crack?
Me: (Even more confused-- and slightly alarmed) Um, nope. Nope, I don't.
SCM: Ah, you're LYIN'. You don't gotta worry, I ain't gonna tell the cops! I got a kilo o'crack-- you wanna buy a kilo o'crack?
Me: (Wishing desperately for my supervisor to arrive) Um, no I'm good thanks.
SCM: You smoke weed? You smoke anything?
Me: No- I really don't. I don't smoke anything. (Kind of thinking I should have just said yes so we'd have something to relate about!)
(At this point I'm convinced he's just NEVER going to believe what I say)
SCM: (creepily and slowly looks me up and down) You look like a mobster's wife!
Me: (I had no words... what the HECK do you say to that? What does that even mean? I don't look Italian!)
SCM: (spots my tea) You know, someone's gonna throw that tea in your face and then put a jinx on you and then say have a nice day!
Me: (Still no words... at all.)
.... then SCM walks away with his cart. Cursing about his kilo o'crack.

My supervisor arrives about two minutes later and as she's unlocking the door I tell her a summary of the interaction I just had, to which she responds "Sara, why are you talking to these men?? Do not talk to these men!!"

... At what point in that conversation did I INVITE any of those comments? What exactly was I supposed to do? Guess I'll have a chat with Mr. M and Ms. L and make sure that they deliver me to my work no earlier and no later than 9:00am. MY BAD.

I mean I guess the only thing to do at this point is look for one of those long skinny cigarette holders and some fur to complete my mobster's wife costume for Halloween. Thank you for the brilliant idea SCM. I'm sure we will meet again...