Sunday, February 17, 2008

Missing in action

I don't think I have ever been absent for this long! And I have stories! Stories of the chupacabra. And a neglected life. but all that must be pushed aside for a story that will make you go, Wha? and for my Seester to get really upset. So Seester, don't read because I had another adventure the other day and you aren't going to like it.

Friday afternoon as I was counting down the minutes until I could wander off happily into the sunset on my way to Sacramento for a weekend of family goodness, I got a strange phone call. It went something like this

Man's Voice: Hi this is (garbled) with (garbled) and I would really like to meet with you after work to go over the numbers. Maybe dinner, are you hungry?maybe we could have lunch or a drink or just meet after work...

Me: no, I'm not hungry I had a big lunch, which numbers are those? (my sneaky attempt at figuring out who was on the phone. I knew it was either the carpet guy or my loan guy.)

voice: you know, the numbers, so can I pick you up after work...

at this point, I tried to explain that I was going out of town this weekend and I was not available to go out after work. Nevertheless, my conversation was insignificant as he continued to talk at me until I agreed to have him pick me up at work when I got off and have a quick drink to go over the numbers.

After I got off the phone, I went in to the girls and told them I had agreed to go for a drink but I didn't know with whom. Vicki made me comb my hair.

The person called back and I was able to discover that it was the carpet guy who said he made reservations at Outback Steakhouse (Right across the street. Last I checked, they don't take reservations, but they have changed ownership so that may have changed as well) and that he was running a little late. I reminded him that I was on a tight time schedule.

After giving Vic all his info, I went out to wait. While outside I learned that they had found a body which might be the girl that had been missing for several weeks in the area (yes, it was her. Please shed a tear for the theft of a life that had just begun. She was 19) He arrived about 20 minutes late. Yes, I should have just left. I did call to see where he was but there was no answer.

I climb into his truck and we head off. And he turns the opposite direction from Outback. Apparently, he decided to take me to a different restaurant. About 2 blocks down the road, I considered jumping out of the truck. He was driving me crazy.

Conversation bounced around from questions about me (apparently I am different from other girls around here and he is facinated with my green eyes. ick) to discussion about work. He asked me a lot of questions I couldn't answer, and a lot of questions I didn't want to answer. Inside information about other contractor's bids so that he could lowball the competititon. Totally not ok. Meanwhile, we are getting further and further from my car.

He turns up the road where I got my ticket. then turns down another road. I ask where we are going. Once again, he has changed the plans and we are on out way to his "step grandparents house. they are really rich, I will love it there. We'll just have one drink. they are out of town." I remind him that I need to get going. That I don't have time for a sit down meal, or for a visit. That I need to get back.

He's talking a mile a minute, we're heading down a dirt road in an exclusive neighborhood. He can't find the house and I am wondering how close he is to these grandparents if he doesn't know precisely where they live. He blames the snow and the recent development in the area. After he gives up on finding it and we turn around, it comes out that these people are actually an ex girlfriends grandparents but they are all still friends.

His stories keep changing.

He asks why I don't have a boyfriend. I pause, blinking twice to gather my thoughts

"Don't roll your eyes"

"I didn't. I was composing my answer. I don't have a boyfriend because sometimes that's how it is. I have someone I date. If it turns serious, great. If not, that's how it happens sometimes" (by the way, when I told Cowboy that part of the story he got very quiet. I didn't mention the "get serious part")

Apparently he would like to date me. We stopped at a gas station and I ducked into the bathroom (it was sheer force of will that I didn't pee on his car seat. full bladder, bumpy road.) I pondered whether I should come out. I thought about calling Vic.

On the way back to my work place,, he continued to scheme ways to get work from us. All of it included me giving him inside information. Some of it included undercutting his boss. It also included NOT telling Poo we had gone out and about or had those conversations.

He tried to suggest coming to Sac with me but I told him no. That I had plans while I was there and would be spending time with my family. (If I won't ask my cousin if she will put up a roller girl or two, why the hell would I ask her to host some guy?)

We hopped on the free way and I noticed his car was acting funny. We pulled over and found that his gas pedal was sticking. It was getting caught in the carpet. He broke it off. This did not fix the problem. Earlier, he told me he had the truck for a couple of months. At this point, he revealed it to be a couple of years.

He approached me again about dating. I took the diplomatic route and told him he was too high energy for me. (I'm really quite mellow. I couldn't get a word in edgewise) we agreed to be friends. He said that he was nervous because he likes me and that because he is nervous, he had a couple of drinks before he came and picked me up. (I did not smell alcohol on him but wondered if he wasn't on some sort of drug. The couple of drinks story did not match the story he told me earlier about being at a job site) I was shocked that a man would drink and then pick someone up for a business meeting. But then, we know now that it wasn't strictly business, don't we? He dropped me off at my car and went on his way. I went home and promptly told Poo the whole story. He informed me that a coworker got fired for dating a contractor at her last job. There is now a policy about dating contractors. If not a work policy, a personal one. Poo said he would take care of it.

I don't want to get the guy fired or anything, but he was asking me to do unethical things. Things that could get ME fired. And he was asking me to hide things. I tend to believe that if I have to hide something, I shouldn't be doing it. Plus, I was VERY uncomfortable.

I called Vic when I got back in my car and told her the whole story. She wonders if he isn't a possible suspect in Brianna's disappearance. Her ex husband, the Marshal wondered the same. I just learned that the suspect targets women with long hair who are in good shape. I also learned that the carpet guy does not match the description of the offender.

Regardless, I am reminded that I am blessed and protected. That sometimes I make decisions that are not for the best (I had met this guy before and did not get a weird feeling from him. He seemed very normal and professional) and that I thought I was done having those adventures. I am reminded that I need to be ever vigilant.

I won't be having off site meetings with contractors anymore. I realized that there aren't any numbers to be discussed that can't be discussed at my desk or with my boss. There is no meeting that can't wait until Monday.

Be safe.

The rest of my weekend was blessedly uneventful.


Osbasso said...

Are you kidding me?? Be careful, woman!

Sensei Ern said...

I can understand a guy getting nervous when approaching you. It is like playing int he Superbowl for the first time.

Unfortunately, we guys do stupid things when we are nervous. To the women we approach, it looks like creepiness.

This guy needs to learn to "be where he is at". Trying to mix unethical business dealings with dating, and on top of that, adding the influence of drugs or alcohol, and things go real bad.

Stay safe. Carry a pistol with you next time.

Ginamonster said...

osbasso, I wish I were

Sensei, nervous is one thing. frightening me is another. You aren't the first to tell me to get a gun.

rebturtle said...

Gina with a gun is scary. I've seen her shoot before, and she's good....!