Yesterday started out as a quiet day in the office. More people were missing than present. We've all worked here so damn long that about half the folks have trouble getting all their vacation time used before the end of the year. There is a mad scramble to get in some extra days off before they get swept off the books.
Personally, I've never had that problem. Which is why I was one of only two officers in the office. Mindy was the other. It was her first day back after a freakin' 6 day Thanksgiving break. As if there were that many leftovers that had to be dealt with!
When the clock struck eight, she was already down in the waiting room, herding people, one at a time, down the hall to her office. The first guy sequestered with her was prepared to kill himself in a quietly self-effacing fashion in the rather immediate future. The quiet ones are generally the ones you really have to worry about. It didn't take long for Mindy to recognize how serious he was about achieving that particular goal.
She called the mental health agency where the guy already had a caseworker. They referred her to the crisis team and said the team would high tail it over to our office as soon as they could get out the door and navigate the seven blocks between there and here. The State, she was informed, prefers that they handle crises, with expediency on site, rather than burdening the sufferer with making a trip to their office.
Mindy called the crisis team, fully expecting the Mental Health Hero on duty to hit the big button that flashed the Nut Signal across the morning sky. This would assemble the team for swift transport to our building, bringing with them assessment tools, passive restraint techniques and a plethora of pleasant voices.
Instead she got Seth. Seth yawned a couple of times, stretched in his desk chair and asked if the guy couldn't just walk on over to their office so they could deal with him there.
In the middle of that crisis, the boss knocked on her door and asked her if she could get in touch with another of her people - Brian. Interestingly enough, Brian happened to be sitting in the waiting room. He does that every morning because he is unemployed. If you are able-bodied and not completely addle-brained, yet insist on a life of leisure rather than more gainful pursuits, we make you come and visit us each morning - teeth brushed, hair combed and pajamas at least tucked underneath sweat clothes, if not removed altogether and replaced with more employment-appropriate clothing. Then you set out for a day of job hunting.
Brian was here to show Mindy his list of applications from the previous day, before being sent out to complete more. Brian doesn't want to work.
According to the boss, he'd received an anonymous call stating that 20-year-old Brian had perhaps misrepresented the truth regarding his current living arrangements. When he told Mindy he lived at home with his parents, what he meant was he lived at his girlfriend's home, with his girlfriend's parents. His fourteen-year-old girlfriend.
Mindy hissed his name at the waiting room door and marched him back into her office. His response to her questioning was "I don't know what you're so upset about. Her mother doesn't mind." That was not the smartest thing he'd ever said. Especially since his neck was decorated with more than a few hickies.
While we're on the subject, do you know about these?
Immediately after booting Brian out the door with a laundry list of life changes he'd be making in the next 24 hours, Mindy called the cops. She reported that her defendant was bedding a fourteen-year-old girl in her own home. Nightly.
The cops said, and I quote, "Eeew."
When Mindy told them the mother had condoned the situation, they said, "The mother may not have a problem with it, but the State of Texas sure does." The said they were starting an investigation and were here within 15 minutes to take Mindy's statement.
Child Protective Services also took a dim view of the state of affairs. Since the police are more than happy to charge Brian with statutory rape, they will be investigating the mother on a possible charge of negligent parenting.
All of this happened before 9:15 in the morning.
She took a break around 10:00 to catch her breath and snarf some popcorn. After a few minutes, I heard a peal of somewhat maniacal laughter, then my instant messenger beeped. It was Mindy. She said:
"My horoscope today says 'your interest in your fellow humans is piqued today.'"
"Piqued with a baseball bat!" I replied.
Still no news from the Lazy Seth the Crises Manager. We're hoping that's good news.