Last weekend, I related the story of the persistent visitor- this weekend, I have the tale of the hapless temp. This is the busy season at work, so the organization hires a small army of temporary workers to augment the in-house staff.
Last Friday, I had to deal with a young man who had been hired to restock the shelves of the gift shop as they steadily became defeated. This guy is a nice guy, and has a good work ethic, but, putting it kindly, he's in orbit. At one point in the night, he realized that he had parked his car in front of somebody's driveway. I want to point out that we have a parking lot, and we actually contracted with the municipality to have an additional parking allocated for our needs. There was no need for this guy to park on the street, much less park in front of somebody's bleeping driveway. Poor guy thought he lucked out, he told me, “There were a lot of cars on the street, I was surprised I found a space.”
When he realized that he had blocked somebody's driveway, it was too late to unfuck his fuckup... his car had been towed. Poor guy had no clue what to do, so I told him that he had to go to the town hall to find out the location of the impound lot to which his car was towed, and to find out how much it would cost to get his car out of impound. Since it was past the hour when the local bus stops running, I told him to walk to the town hall and find out what he had to do, then come back, so I could give him a ride home (I had about an hour and a half to go before I could leave).
He didn't have to go to town hall because he found a police officer in a cruiser, and was able to get the lowdown from the P.O. He came back early, and I had some running around to do- he was very apologetic, and asked if he could stay in the gift shop. I told him that I trusted him, he wasn't the type to risk his job by doing anything unethical, and, at any rate, was there anything in the gift shop that he'd be tempted to steal? Yeah, this guy's the sort of guy I'd trust with my wallet, even if I wouldn't trust him with a book of matches. I left him to his own devices, and the poor guy promptly fell asleep.
After running around dotting i's and crossing t's, I returned to the gift shop, and he was still napping. A few of the event crew members were still in the building, and they promptly dubbed him my “boyfriend”. Thanks, guys, even if I were gay, I think I'd be attracted to someone who wasn't such a n00b.
At the end of the worknight, I told the guy to saddle up for the ride home. I asked him if he knew where the impound lot was, and he told me he didn't know the street (it's a good-sized side street of a major county road). When we traveled past the side street, I pointed out the landmarks, so he could find it later. I then asked him where he lived (he's in a town that's between my workplace and my beloved City of Y______, and I'm familiar with the major roads), and he told me that he lived near the place “where the town trucks are” (that would be a good title for a children's book). I asked him if he lived north or south of the major east-west county road that bisects his town, and he drew a blank, “I don't know.” Uh, d00d doesn't know whether he lives north or south of the major road through his own town? Ruh-roh! I ask him if he lives near a well-known restaurant, and he draws another blank. He tells me, “I know it by sight, I'll tell you when I see something familiar.”
Somewhat stymied by his almost complete geographical cluelessness, I say, “You seem to be visually oriented, I imagine you're a gifted artist.” It turns out he went to art school, and studied traditional hand-drawn and stop-motion animation. He's involved in puppetry. I was somewhat relieved- at least the guy has some skills, I just don't know if he knows how to market them (I know people, I'll drop a word, see if he can get an audition).
All told, it took an extra twenty minutes to help the guy get home- no real effort on my part. I was home at a reasonable hour, and got an acceptable night's sleep before a long, hectic day of volunteer coaching and work.
While I was driving to work on the major county road, I passed my “boyfriend” at a bus stop, perusing the schedule. I thought about pulling over and asking him if he needed a ride, but I decided that he really needed to learn how to navigate his own hometown, and to shake off his perman00b status. Additionally, I had to get to work an hour and a half before he started. More importantly, I had to grab something to eat after spending the whole morning teaching and fighting (for the record, after the formal classes, I fought two tough guys, one of whom makes me come across like Rainbow Brite, and a determined six-year-old warrior- I'm not supposed to play favorites, but Kevin's got to be one of my favorite kids, he's a tremendously cute little guy, and he's hilariously fierce when he gets on the mat). Yeah, I passed him by, for the good of his self-reliance and my stomach.
When he got to work, I asked him how he made out. He found the impound lot, and was able to get his car after forking over two-hundred and fifty bucks. When he got his car, he found a parking ticket on the windshield. Needless to say, he parked in the lot as I suggested. He thanked me profusely, and wanted to give me a couple of bucks for gas, but I told him, “You're already in a hole, I really can't take your money. I've been in situations like yours, when I had to rely on friends for help- just help the next person who comes along, and we'll call it even.”
Poor guy, his entire week's pay just evaporated. How the hell could I take his money?
POSTSCRIPT: Until today, I never knew there was any "Sexy Rainbow Brite" fan art out there (at least there doesn't seem to be any "Rainbow Brite" porn... yet.