The Bad Guy

Let’s Kill The Desk Clerk

Last Summer the on-site maintenance man where I work was fired. His name was Raymond and he sold crack out of the apartment the company let him live in free of charge. One would think that selling drugs would be enough to fire or evict someone, but no it wasn’t. Like all horrible situations, the healing could not begin until matters became much worse.

The tipping point came when one of Raymond’s “cousins” shot and killed someone outside where I work and hid in the building. The police, about eight of ’em, showed up the next day to arrest the responsible party. Even though I had said nothing to the police at any time (I wasn’t even at work when the murder took place), Raymond’s buddies thought I was the snitch. Later, when Raymond was finally fired for turning the building into New Jack City, harboring murderers in his unit, letting his friends squat in vacant units, beating up residents who were slow to pay debts, and not doing the job he was hired to do, it was me who he and his buddies blamed.

So the following are transcripts of a few of the many exchanges I had with one of Raymond’s buddies on my trips to and from work.

On my way to work:

Glue: [Glue Threw a 40 oz. bottle at my head, it missed me and smashed against the sidewalk] Fuck you, desk clerk! Watch your ass when you get off work tonight, DESK CLERK!

me: [I tried desperately to keep a poker face and pretended nothing happened. I said nothing, but that’s not what Glue thought.]

Glue: What did you say to me?

me: [I just kept walking, muttering curses and prayers under my breath.]

Glue: See that? He’s running…Like a bitch!!! [For the record, I was walking…quickly]

Walking home from work:

Glue: What did I say about walking past me again?

me: You didn’t.

Glue: That’s right, don’t say nothing!

me: I’ll see you tomorrow, Glue.

Glue: Next time you see me, I’ll be killing you! KILLING YOU!!!

me: [I said nothing out loud but thought to myself “Why can’t he just do it now and get it over with?”]

This happened every day for the next week until we had a confrontation while I was at work. He showed up late one night, entered the building when a resident exited, and demanded to kick my ass.

Glue: You going to come outside so I can beat your ass down?

me: I’m a bit busy, can we do this later?

Glue: Talking smart again? That’s why no one likes you.

me: Jesus, what do you want? To wound my self-esteem or kick my ass?

Glue: Come outside right now!

me: Listen, if you want to kick my ass you’re just going to have come here, behind the desk. I’ll sit right here and you can just beat the shit out of me. I won’t even fight back…I promise. [After I said that, the survival enthusiast in me was shouting “What the fuck are you saying? Call the police! CALL THE POLICE!!!”]

Glue: Then buzz me in.

me: I don’t think you’re understanding me. I’m not going to exert any effort into getting my ass kicked. If you want to wait a minute or two, I’m sure a resident will open that door and you can commence with beat-down.

Glue: First thing I’m going to do is bust that smart mouth of yours.

me: And before you do that, let me tell you something.

Glue: What?

me: You’re a bully. You take time out of your day to show up here and fuck with me at my job. Why are you mad at me? Are you mad at me for something I did, or are you mad at me because your nephew got busted selling crack out of his apartment and now you have no place to squat?

Glue: If it weren’t for you, he wouldn’t have been fired.

me: Honestly, the only thing you’ll accomplish by kicking my ass is assuring that I get a gigantic settlement from the company that’ll assure that I’ll never have to work here again.

Glue: I know it was you who snitched to the manager, at least.

me: Do you think ANYONE here listens to even one word I say? Get your head straight and think…Fuck it! You believe what you want, I’m done with this.

[At that moment, one of Glue’s friends showed up and called him outside.]

Glue: [to the friend] I hear you! [To me] We’ll finish this later.

me: Why are you running away from the easiest beat down ever? Anyone can beat me up, and you’re running away?

Glue: I’ll get you when I’m ready!

[Cut to three weeks later. I had just gotten back from a working another property in Oakland and was outside my usual building smoking…Then Glue showed up.]

Glue: [Screaming] I want to talk to you!

me: [In my head I was scolding myself for taking my break outside of the gate] Yes?

Glue: I want to apologize for everything that happened a few weeks ago. You were right. You come here, do your job, and you don’t need any hassle from me. I’m sorry. This violence has to end, and I’m ending it with you.

me: [Unsure about all of this] I…Accept your apology?

Glue: [He opened his arms] Give me a hug.

So I hugged Glue, and he didn’t try to beat me down or anything. Lord knows I thought he was going to, but he didn’t. After that we shook hands and Glue walked away. That was the last time I ever saw him.

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April 21, 2007 - Posted by | bad jobs, crack, death, drugs are bad, san francisco, Work

1 Comment »

  1. So what if you were running like a bitch?

    Comment by Myrtle | April 22, 2007 | Reply


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