7:56 a.m. Right now I am eating Nutella straight from the jar. It's been one of those mornings. Last night, around 6pm, I got a call from Sugar, the supervisor out east. Sugar and Hummer are friends and Sugar is the one that got him the job with my company. "Did Hummer call you?" she asks. I can hear Sugar chewing on something. Gum? Pork rinds? "Uh, no." I sit down. "What's going on?"
According to Sugar, she and Hummer had been talking on the phone yesterday...just shooting the breeze...and Hummer happened to mention he thought he might have gotten picked up by his Subject. Might have? Sugar tells me that Hummer had been following the Subject all day and when he passed her house after she'd returned home she pointed at his vehicle while talking on a cell phone. Hummer decided to go a few blocks away and lay low for a while. A few minutes later, a cop pulls up behind him. It appears that the Subject had noticed him several times that day and was concerned she was being followed. The cop let him go after he found out Hummer wasn't a stalker or a serial killer.
But do you think Hummer broke off and called corporate? Of course you don't.
I am royally pissed off for a number of reasons, one of which being I had to get a call from another supervisor telling me what happened. I can't believe what I am hearing and after thanking Sugar, I hang up and call Hummer.
Hummer greets me cheerfully when I call and I almost feel bad for what is about to happen. "Hummer, I just got a call from Sugar." He becomes very quiet on the other end. I continue. "I hear that you were picked up today." Hummer stutters and says, "Well, I wasn't sure if I was picked up or not." I struggle not to ask him if he is really that dumb or if it's just an act. "Hummer...she pointed at you and called the cops on you." Silence.
"Hummer, did you call corporate?" I know full well he didn't but sometimes you need to rub a bad puppy's nose in the mess he made. "No," he says, "I didn't think I had to call unless she identified me as an investigator." This is such a rediculous statement that I laugh. "And how is she supposed to do that, Hummer? Yell after your car asking if your a private investigator?"
I interviewed enough liars when I was a federal agent that I know all I have to do is keep asking questions and he will eventually get caught in his own web. "Hummer, you've been working for this company for three years. You've been picked up before. You've called corporate before when you knew it was appropriate. Don't try and tell me you didn't know if you were picked up. She called the COPS on you, for Pete's sake!" More silence.
"I want you to call corporate immediately." (It's 8pm there and I'm fully aware nobody will answer). "Then I want you to send me an email explaining exactly what happened and why you didn't contact the office immediately when you knew you were picked up. You will explain in that email why you didn't break off the surveillance and instead chose to stay on for two more hours and further jeopardize the integrity of the investigation." I want you to write me a two page essay entitled, 'Common Sense And Why I Lack It'.
I hang up with Hummer and decide to have another slice of pizza. If I was a drinking woman, now would be the perfect time. I walk outside in my bare feet. The sun has gone down and the neighborhood is quiet. The sidewalk is still warm from being baked by the hot sun all day. As always, I head to the rocks and find my happy place with the seagulls and the pounding surf.
This morning I am awakened at 6:30am by a ringing cell phone. It's Hummer. He is appropriately contrite and tries to explain that he didn't want to disappoint me and that was why he didn't report being picked up. He admits that he screwed up and promises it will never, ever, ever happen again. An image of a submissive dog exposing its belly flashes into my mind and I am embarrassed for Hummer. He either really is that submissive or he's desperate to keep this job and will go to any length to do so. We have a more calm and rational discussion about what happened. I tell him that it's going to be rough and Stinky Jimmy will want to fire him but that I will handle it. (Cuz I'm the good cop.)
After I get off the phone I turn on a little Ella Fitzgerald. Someday. When I'm awfully low...when the world is cold...I will feel a glow just thinking of you. And the way you look tonight. I sit back in my Lazyboy and listen as a sweet ache fills my heart. With each word your tenderness grows...tearing my fear apart. And that laugh that wrinkles your nose...touches my foolish heart. Images of love lost and happier days flash behind my closed eyes. It hurts and I embrace it. Welcome it. I let it wash through me like a cleansing rain. Charming. Never, never change. Keep that breathless charm. Won't you please arrange it? Cause I love you. Just the way you look tonight.