In which I heroically foil an attempted burglary and save the day.

Sunday, May 18, 2014 -- 11:38 pm

Sort of.  A little bit. . .  Not really.

Soooo. . . there was an almost-incident at work this week which began as a simple (but admittedly understandable) misconception and ended with me accidentally calling the police on our janitor. . .

I was working the evening shift with my assistant manager, and after we closed and were getting our coats from the staff room we noticed through the window a rather creeperific man leaning against one of the trees outside in the dark.  Hood drawn up, face obscured, hands thrust in pockets, skulking in the shadows -- legit grounds for anyone to get the heebie jeebies.  We commented to each other that we were glad to have one another to walk out to our cars with, and proceeded to spend the next five minutes comparing the invaluable tips our father's had taught us growing up on how to hold your car keys between the knuckles of the hand in order to best utilize them as deadly, eye-gouging weapons in an emergency.

The man outside didn't move or say anything to us as we left, and we both climbed into our cars without incident.  My assistant manager was first to drive off, and just as I was pulling out of the parking lot myself, in my rearview mirror I noticed Creeper Guy detach himself from the trees and beeline towards the door we'd just left from.

"You sneaky bastard!" I'm thinking, automatically assuming that he's checking to see if we locked the doors (because why be just a creepy dude who lurks in the dark when you could be a creepy dude who lurks in the dark and wants to steal stuff from your friendly neighbourhood library.  Jerk.)

I watch for the inevitable moment when he'll try in vain to yank on the door handle and realize he's been thwarted -- and so I was understandingly baffled when he instead walked right up to the door, pulled it open, and strolled on in.

Shit.  I look towards the road, but my assistant manager's car has already disappeared.  Shit.  I listen for the ringing of the security alarm that should be blaring out by now, but there's nothing.  Shit.  Maybe I'm just crazy and I'm seeing things and he actually just disappeared behind the garbage dumpster. . .?  But no, moments later I clearly glimpse someone moving around through the window.  Shit.

So I proceeded to turn my car back around and park a safe distance away that I felt was appropriately inconspicuous but also offered a clear observational view of the door and windows (because that's what they do in the movies,) and after searching in vain through my phone and realizing I didn't have the numbers for my manager or anyone I worked with, I finally went ahead and phoned 911.

As I remained on the phone with the dispatch controller, a police car arrived within a couple of minutes and an officer checked the windows and door.  A completely uneventful minute passed and then I eventually saw Creeper Guy come to the door (after he no doubt curiously noted the police car parked outside and cop trolling around the windows,) and the moment he opened the door was the same moment I noticed the trash bag in his hand and subsequently also the same moment I suddenly realized:

After the police and 911 dispatch confirmed he was indeed the janitor, I slunk in and apologized profusely to both him and the officers for the mistake.  Everyone was really good about it all, but I still felt like a bit of an idiot.

Moral of the story?  Sometimes a creepy dude lurking in the dark is really just an innocent dude lurking in the dark waiting to go in and do his job.

(Though in my defence, STILL CREEPY, amirite?  I mean, seriously, if you're going to skulk in the shadows, at least take a moment to raise an amicable hand and throw out a "wut up" for the two skittish librarians leaving for the night. . .  You know, to avoid misunderstandings.  Innocent and completely justified misunderstandings.  BECAUSE THEY HAPPEN.)


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