Because of awful circumstances I’d rather erase from my mind entirely, I fell into a job that proved to be yet another source of incredible stories that no one seems to believe are real. If it weren’t me doing it, I’d doubt it, too.
I don’t make stuff up easily. Because there never seems to be a reason to.
At this job one day, I was telling one of my co-workers that when I first started working there, there was a full-blown riot right out front of the registration office.
Anywhere else in the world, this would be news. Not there. There, it’s just an incident. It’s just a to-do and to be extinguished immediately and moved on from. From hearing other stories from people who have worked there over 10, 20, 30 years, this one didn’t even make the scale. But it was my experience and hilarious in a “Holy Shit” kind of way.
Staring at me skeptically, my co-worker listens as I tell him about the chaos of this particular day. That as the angry crowd filled the gaps around the initial fighting pair, then irrationally deciding to choose sides, that all of my then co-workers…just…vanished. A jumbling, chaotic cluster-fuck grew, brewing bigger and angrier outside the plate-glass windows. Suddenly and immediately, I was alone and trying to check in a guest who’d come to our lovely resort for the first time ever. It left to me to remain calm while pretending that nothing that was going on outside was actually going on outside.
And call 911 at the same time.
“Hi! Welcome! Please, just look at me, don’t turn around. No! Keep looking at me. —911? Yes, Hi. We need EMTs, Police, Fire and Rescue. There are 75 people rioting outside. Send help.—Here is where the store is and this here….don’t look around, look at the map…is where the restaurant is…” I hand the guest, who is now wondering whether I’m hitting on her or trying to kidnap her, her parking passes and usher her out through a side door.
The explosive pile of roiling humans cools down a bit with only minor scratches and multiple Banned-for-Life decrees from whoever was in charge that day. I’d like to assume it was the quickness of the security employees that settled it down. They did a great job. There is also something to be said about the calming effect 10 cop cars have when they come screaming down the wrong way on a one-way street towards a mob of vacationers. Stories were conjured, statements were taken, peace restored.
As I’m telling this new co-worker about the short-lived and kind-of-hilarious riot, I’m thinking out loud, “Was it Memorial Day? Or was it earlier like Easter?”
My co-worker is standing slack-jawed, shaking his head in disbelief because I HAD to have made this up, the current guest, the one who had been standing in line far too long listening to two people having a conversation instead of doing their jobs said,
“It was Fathers’ Day, 2017. Can I check in, please?”