It is now a couple of days after the fourth but it was one of those days that will remain embedded in my mind for a while. Part of the day was slow and somewhat uneventful but other parts were of the most intense that I have recalled (right up there with the first few weeks that we opened in our new building).
I got up early that morning and drove to Lowes to get some flowers for the deck. A couple of days before, the girl who leads the closing team told her crew to leave them out in the rain. Her thoughts were in the right place but she did not recall my instructions to never do so. By morning, they were gone. Someone drove by, saw them, and loaded them into their own car. They are either hanging on someones deck or were sold to get money for more drugs. I fear the latter. To me, drugs are the thing that is spurring on the things that have happened both to me and to some of our other close by businesses.
As the case in many other busy businesses in town, I am also aware of the transactions that occur in our lot from time to time. My lot is off of the road and quite often loaded with cars so it is an easy choice for such acts. I am always watching for such things and stand ready to assist the police if it is needed. The first time that I noticed such a thing was last summer. I was watering those same plants on the deck when I saw a truck come in and just park by the apple trees. As I watered, I noticed them just sitting in the truck and thought they were waiting for other friends to meet them there for lunch. Then, I spied the woman walking across the lot. She seemed somewhat out of place and I stopped and watched as she walked up to that truck and began to talk with them. I saw her hand something in to them and then saw her receive what looked like a box of candy. It looked like a large box of good and fruity that you would get at the movie or something. The woman then just kept on walking. I was angry but knew better than to confront and as they backed out, they noticed me looking at them. The man stopped his truck and stared at me. The woman next to him, raised her hands in anger as if to say "What are you looking at.". I wanted to point at myself, my eyes, and then back at them as if to say, "I am watching you.". But, I just kind of ignored them and kept on watering my plants as if I did not see their gestures and they pulled out of the lot.
So, as I hung my new plants up on the deck, I noticed a small red car pulling into the lot and taking up position in that same area of the trees. The young man driving had sunglasses on and seemed to be looking my way. I felt that he might be looking to see if I noticed him. I finished my plants and noticed him still sitting in his car and then was sure that I knew what was going on.
I became angry especially after all that has happened to us in that light with the break in and such and went out to my office and grabbed my camera. As I walked through the waitress station, most of the crew was making ready for the day. "Does anyone want to help me confront one of these druggie fruitcakes!", I announced in my anger. "I am tired of them attempting to use our lot and am not going to have any more of this. If the police cannot stop it, I can.". As expected, Toni fell in line right behind me along with one of the other girls.
As I bolted out the door, I let them know what I was going to do. "First I am going to take a picture of his car and then we are going to tell him to leave and not come back.", I announced. I readied my camera and noticed the young man getting out of his car. "Good, I will take his picture also.". Toni stopped in her tracks and said, "Hey Lyle, it's Kenny.". I stopped and looked up to see one of our bussers get out of the car. He must have been either talking on his cell phone or listening to some music on his stereo.
We all broke out in a laugh as I apologised to the stunned Kenny for my thoughts but for the rest of the day, the crew got quite a laugh at my expense and teased the drug dealing Kenny relentlessly. I recall one of the waitresses asking him once what he was doing (she needed some drinks for a customer). "I am waiting for a call from my supplier.", He stated back. She stopped and looked at him and said, "That is not funny.". I turned to her and said, "Yes, it is.".
If you laugh at others, you must be prepared to laugh at yourself.