I've complained about my job a bit in the past. I don't like to do it much, because I know that I've got kind of a sweet gig here. The hours are decent, what I do is not hard, and most people here seem to think I'm really good at my job and they bring me snacks. I'm grateful for that, absolutely. As long as I am safely inside the building, I'm usually good. Working here has been an interesting experience, and I say that with true sincerity.
But sometimes this place is really freaking weird.
Don't get me wrong, our church is a great place. We have a loving and close congregation, and it's one of the few southern baptist churches left in our town that have held off on flashy stage lights, worship bands and tattooed preachers. We are an old school place, with old school members, and with few exceptions that's not such a bad thing. Lately, however, we seem to have wondered into a bubble of complete bat-poop crazy that seems to be holding fairly steady.
*In the past week and a half, as I already told you, we had a guy who was working for us get held up at gunpoint. Our preacher, who decided to pretend to be Barney Fife, started casing the neighborhood for the man, and actually found him and managed to get him arrested. The man is now being held not only for armed robbery, but also possession and he had a warrant out for him because of domestic violence. We are glad the guy is in jail, but I'm also very glad the preacher didn't get capped. This neighborhood isn't good for snitches.
*A few days later, we had a drunk man stumble up the aisle of the sanctuary (saying all he wanted to do was pray) but he also wanted someone to buy him a pizza.
*We had one of our special members, a man with a form of autism, have a complete come apart when the worker from his group home asked him to sit with the other men he came to church with. It disrupted things.
*We had a lady trip over the lip of the doorway and lay in the floor, flat on her back, until I called 911 (again) even though she wasn't hurt and refused treatment when the paramedics got here. Her sister, a fruit-bat of the first order who believes that she is some kind of long-lost mother goddess who will eventually go to Africa to save children (?) and believes that the African people will see her as royalty, told us she was in the medical field (she is not) and so she would take care of everything (she did not.) By the way, the sister also told us that she could cure AIDS and cancer with common household ingredients, but she can't tell anyone how to do it or the government will have her killed. I'm not kidding about any of that, just so you know.
*The same man who showed up drunk and wanted a pizza came back here today while the preacher was gone, so I had to talk to him. He didn't remember that he'd just been here asking for stuff, and even though I told him we had nothing to give him, as we are having to reevaluate how we handle things after the armed robbery, he wouldn't leave. I had to tell him about six times that we couldn't help him. He also had a tall tale of woe, which I suppose was supposed to make me throw money at him. No idea.
*I was inadvertently pulled in, at least tangentially, to a situation where a man from our church (allegedly) defrauded and was attempting to take over the life/money of a mentally challenged woman. I have had to talk to an investigator for the Huntsville SVU, and will have to give over copies of my notary records, because I notarized the form that would allow him to do this. I know I can't get in trouble for what I did, but the fact that that skeezy dude got me involved makes me mad.
*And finally, today, one of our more...out there, for want to better term, members came by the church three times. She didn't say what she was doing, but that's OK, because we know her and she comes by occasionally to pray. She'd come in, walk into the church, walk back out. On her second visit, she came into the office and asked if I wanted an apple. I said yes to be nice, and she left the plastic produce bag with me so I could choose one while she disappeared into the depths of the church again. When she came back, she told me to keep all of them. Uh...sure. She came back one more time, walked back into the church without saying hello and left without saying goodbye. Huh...OK then! I didn't think about her again for a while, except to tell people about the weird apple thing, until I walked into the sanctuary to load the pastor's Wednesday night Power Point Presentation. That's when I noticed that she'd left apples on the altar. I don't think I need tell you that, as Southern Baptists, we don't generally leave offerings of a tangible nature on the altar, but for some reason this lady had been compelled to leave produce there for Jesus. I suppose that's who it was for, at least. She didn't leave a note or anything. So that's when I realized that she had given me some of the apples she'd brought for Jesus. She gave me sacrifice apples. I don't even know where to begin on that one.
These are all real things that have happened in the last 10 days, and it doesn't even scratch the surface of the crazy that goes on here on a regular basis. I may need to look for other work.
Everyday is an adventure.