Monday, November 12, 2012

in observance

It was dark out and relatively late at night.  We weren't in the best part of town.  The building was deserted other than our class meeting that night.

I was teaching a class of people preparing for their law school admission tests.  They were taking a quiz, so it was relatively quiet in the room.  That's when I heard the front door of the building open and someone walk in.

"CRAPOLA!", I remember thinking.  I'd forgotten to lock the front door before starting the class session.  All of the students were already there, happily taking their quizzes.  Who was in the building?!

I remember a couple of students looking up at me, we had all heard the front door.  I strode to the back of the classroom to go out and see what was what.

I walked down the dark hallway and came upon a man, maybe about 30 years old?  He was standing in the front lobby looking into the windows of the front office.

"Can I help you?", I said with authority.

He turned quickly towards me, startled.

"Uh...Uhm... Is the office closed?", he asked.

"Yes, are you a student?", I asked.

"I... uhm.... uh... I just wanted some information", he replied.

"The office is closed now.  It will reopen in the morning at 8 a.m.", I told him.  Then I handed him a brochure that was sitting on one of the tables.  He nervously thanked me, then abruptly left.

I abruptly locked the freaking front door.

I honestly don't think he was looking for information.  I think he may have been thinking to rob the place.  I just wanted him out of there.  And I think what made our exchange so short and successful was that, despite the few words we shared, my nonverbal communication went more something like this:

"Obviously the office is closed at this hour.  Currently in the building, there is just myself and about 10 students, two of whom are soldiers who have served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and who will not hesitate to take you down should you so much as even think about doing anything harmful to me, the rest of the students, this building, and anyone else even remotely associated with it, past, present, or future."

Because that was the truth.

There is a LOT of military personnel here where I live.  Active duty, retired, somewhere in between... And I think we as a city are very grateful for and supportive to them.  It's sad that's not the case everywhere in the U.S.

Yesterday was officially Veteran's Day, but like the stock market and the post office,  I'm taking today to observe, and say a big THANK  YOU!

Starting with these 3...

Brother Guano

And also to close friends, many neighbors, the Maid of Honor at my wedding, several students, and blog friends!

Happy Veteran's Day (in observance of)!



Scott said...

That's a good post. I called my Dad yesterday--he's a Korean War veteran.

Abby said...

Thank you to your dad for his service! Nice of you to call him, I'm sure he appreciated that.

meleah rebeccah said...

Great post, Abby.

What a scary event though. Good thing you were NOT alone.

God bless our Veteran's.

ShadowRun300 said...

Thank YOU for dedicating a post to our Veterans. I'm sure your own Veterans are happy to know how appreciated they are. I'm happy you shared their pictures. Makes them all the more real.
Close call at "the office"! Glad you had military back up!

Abby said...

It was scary, but I never forgot to lock the front door after that!

Abby said...

Yes, I typically felt pretty safe. I think that guy might end up with dealings in a courtroom, but not as a lawyer!

Duble said...

Yea, who are these people that don't support the troops? They should be kicked, also your nonverbal communication skills, off the chart!

Guano said...

Every once in a while someone says "Thanks for your service". I kinda tend to deflect the appreciation, preferring to avoid the extra attention.

But it always means a lot. Always.

Oh, and the camera adds 10lbs
(See how I did that?)

meleah rebeccah said...

I imagine you wouldn't!

terri said...

Nice job on evacuating the unwelcome visitor! I think, had you so desired, you would have made a great service member!

Your family is FULL of military personnel! My thanks to each of them and all the other service members who so bravely serve our country.

Anita said...

I'm glad you had that extra boost of confidence in dealing with the "confused" intruder; glad those soldiers were there.

I'm very proud of the people who serve our country via the military, and obviously, you are too - with great reason! :)