Okay, so today is a true story day. I don't embarrass easily. I like to see people having a good time and a lot of the time acting the fool is one way they do it so usually I am fine with just about anything life throws at me. But not always...
So this story is from when I worked for the car dealership. When I was still on the front desk as a temporary receptionist this woman walked in and wanted to see Toby. He was one of the brothers that owned the dealership. She didn't tell me who she was just announced to me..."Tell Toby I am here and I want to see him." Umm...okay....So I call back to Toby's office to let him know there was a woman there to see him. I was very hesitant in my manner because I wasn't really sure I should be calling him out to see her. He picked up on the hesitancy and asked me who she was, I had to admit I didn't have a name because she hadn't given me one. He then took a deep breath and said..."Does she look a little disheveled?" "Yes, she does." "Does she have a lot of bags with her? Like maybe she's homeless?" "Yes..she does." "Would you say she looks like she could be crazy?" "Yes, yes she does." "Okay, that's my mother, I'll be out in a second." And you could hear him laughing at me as he hung up the phone.
Okay, seriously? That little shit just got me to admit that I thought his mother looked like a crazy bag lady! I was just waiting for him to tell her.This was Sheila Garcia. She had been out of the country when I started and this would be the first time I would meet her. Sheila Garcia who when her husband *asphyxiated* sold off his entire empire of car dealerships, restaurants and land holdings and rebuilt her own so everything she had was hers and not tainted by him. Sheila Garcia who, I would learn later, tossed a television out of a second floor window when her youngest two children were watching TV instead of doing their chores. This Sheila Garcia. She was an intimidating figure to say the least. Let alone when you knew at any point in time her jester son could tell her that you thought she looked like a crazy bag lady. BUT SHE TOTALLY DID!
Anyway...you think that was the embarrassing story. Not at all. The embarrassing one was a year or so later. Sheila didn't have much to do with the day to day running of the dealership. She had turned it over to Toby and Ed and they ran things. She would come in once a week if she wasn't travelling and pick up mail. Carlos and Pilar the two younger kids would hang out in the office with us quite a bit and share stories about their mom (like tossing the TV out the window or pushing over the ladder that the gutter cleaning guy was on because she forgot they were coming that day and thought he was peeping in her window) so the impression we got about Sheila was that she was not a woman to be messed with. Add that to the fact that she looked like a crazy bag lady and she could fire us if she decided she didn't like us and you can see that we in the office were all a little intimidated by her.
She was also prone to deciding that she wanted things done in a certain way, say the desks needed to be rearranged so she would shout SHOUT at Toby from our offices to get his attention, his office was down another hall at the back of the dealership. He would come out she would announce the change she wanted made he would say fine she would leave and he would tell us all not to do it. So we would worry until the next time she came in that she would get mad at us for ignoring her. Most often she just forgot that she had wanted them moved in the first place.
So it's Christmas time and vendors have been delivering presents to the office, to the boys and for Sheila. Food was a big thing they would drop off. You know the type of stuff, those fancy popcorn things, or chocolates. One of the things left for Sheila was a giant thing of roasted peanuts. She came in to pick up her mail took one look at it and said, "I don't want these, who would send me peanuts? You girls can have them." then left. Okay...great...so a couple of days later I had worked through lunch coding deals and I was starving. We had popcorn and chocolate and all of the things that had been brought in but I really wanted something else. OH! I know...the peanuts.
They were on top of our file cabinets and the only way to really reach them for me was to climb the little step stool. So up I go. I fight with them to get them open, you know how canisters are the first time you break the seal. Get it open, dip my hand in and pull out a fist full of nuts pop the top back on and hear..."OH! There they are. I have been looking for my peanuts for a week." Sheila is behind me reaching up to grab the canister of nuts that I have just opened! That I am holding a fistful of right now! That CLEARLY say...To SHEILA on them. If I could have disappeared at that moment I would have. All of the girls in the office were looking at me with that horrified "she is about to die" look on their faces. I can feel myself turning bright red but I cannot physically move....I was mortified. Sheila took her can of nuts and left the office. I stood on the step stool for what seemed like an hour ... too stunned to move.
Finally I said to everyone else..."You all heard her when she said she didn't want them and we could have them right? I didn't just make that up?" And from the back of the office came the reply from my dear friend Debra..."Yes, Goober, we all heard it." And from that moment on I was Goober (another word for peanut) to Debra and all it would take is someone asking me if I wanted a snack for me to blush all over again....