I'm on stakeout. The people around me are going about their business, totally oblivious to my mission. I blend in perfectly.
No change, but something should be happening at any minute. My heart rate increases.
I'm still waiting for "the thing" to happen. I continue to blend in perfectly. I'm getting bored. And a bit hungry. I should have brought snacks. On TV and movies, there's always snacks at a stakeout.
Still nothing. Screw this. Mobilize plan B. I'm going in!
I am now inside the compound. I'm absorbing the necessary information without tipping anyone off to my true purpose. As reluctant as I am to do so, I realize I must fall in line with the others.
Still in line. *YAWN*
At last, I am in position. I speak.
"Uhm... yeah.... Uh..." I should have rehearsed this better, "I... uh... lost a couple of RedBox videos in the drive-thru drop box yesterday. I saw that the mail is collected from there at 12:45 on weekdays, so I came by to.... uh.... get them"
"Videos?", *please not so loud!* "Are they Netflix videos?" *seriously, I can hear just fine! Turn it down a coupla notches! The others might HEAR you!*
"Uhm, no. They're RedBox videos? They were accidentally dropped in with some mail yesterday, and I just want to get them back so I can return them to RedBox" *pleased at my adept use of passive voice so that I never confessed that I was the one who put RedBox videos in the mailbox*
"OH!" *was that a hint of a smile? This isn't funny! It's just embarrassing and stupid!* Actually, it's my job today to collect from the drop box and I'm way behind. I don't know when I'll get to it. I can take down your information though. "
I give her my information - name, phone number, video titles. I tell her that I have PO box there that, should she find them, she can just put them in. "That would be awesome", I add pamperingly. She is surprisingly friendly. I think she might actually do it! *ominous mistake*
No word. I check the PO box. It seems absolutely cavernous in its stark foresaken devoidness.
I call. Tell my story from scratch because I talk to a different person who knows nothing about any videos. She takes down all my information. I think she might actually do it! *when will I learn?*
No word. I check the PO box. It's an absolute lonely chasm of yawning hollowness.
I call again. Talk to someone else. He says, "Oh, well that mail went down to the sorting facility on Monday". Note: it's Wednesday... *big sigh*
"Right, I would just like to know
He gives the number to the sorting facility. Long, long message followed by a beep. I tell my story from scratch again. This would not be my only message to the sorting facility who never returns my call despite their promise.
Sorting facility calls me. By this point, I've resigned myself to having to pay $50 for a couple of mediocre videos that I will never see again in my life. I'm brainstorming things I can sell for $50 to make my universe right again. But...
"Yeah, I got your videos and sent them back to the branch on Tuesday. They sent them back here for some reason". *thanks a lot for NOTHING branch people!*
He says he'll try again. He's got my PO box number and will send them directly there. I should have them on Friday. He sounds friendly and competent and helpful, but I've got walls up now.
I check the PO box. It's like Christmas in there.