Oh. I was hoping there was some other explanation... like, maybe you accidentally ran over a congregation of squirrels, and you felt so bad about it that you preserved their poor little bodies in the freezer and then took them to this friend who is, like, a minister, so he could give them a proper burial.
I should have known better.
Well, okay, here's the call-girl story:
Raquel was a cute little pixie-girl from Mexico City. We hired her because she was bilingual, and we were expanding into Central and South America at the time. The first week she was with us, our HR lady had to take her aside and discuss proper attire with her -- she was wearing tight little tank tops with nothing underneath, that sort of thing. And I remember one day she wore a tight white miniskirt with a purple thong clearly visible underneath!
She was always the talk of the copy room: "Did you see what she has on today?"
Raquel was not the brightest person on earth, but she was cheerful and cute, and that got her by. The first inkling of her extracurricular activities came when we began the process of establishing a partnership with some people in Mexico, and our prospective partners came to visit our headquarters. Both gentlemen spoke English, but were more comfortable in Spanish, so Raquel offered to show them around on their first night in Dallas.
The next morning, Raquel arrived at the office late, with our Mexican partners, in the same clothes she'd worn the day before. The owner asked several of us what, if anything, to do about it... and we all agreed that he should just make sure Raquel knew that her obligations ended at five o'clock each day, and the company didn't expect her to, um, entertain its guests. He told her this, and Raquel replied, "Oh, that's okay, they covered my time."
There were also instances when Raquel's "ride" would pick her up to take her to her "other job," and it was always the same man -- youngish, slickly handsome, light-colored suits, black convertible... and he usually had one or two other girls with him when he pulled up out front. I don't remember his name, but it was the same name Raquel gave when she came in with a black eye one day and said he had beat her up. Despite all our efforts, she refused to call the police... and the same guy continued to pick her up most days.
And then one morning, I had some video editing scheduled for 8:00 at a production house not far from the office, and I knew it would be a long hard day, so I took myself to breakfast at the little restaurant inside a nearby hotel. Just after I sat down, the elevator dinged and three men in business suits got out -- with Raquel. The four of them took a booth across the room, and I caught some of what was said, but I don't remember much now... except that Raquel yawned at one point and laughed, "You guys kept me up too late!"
I was afraid she would be embarrassed if she saw me, so I tried to wait for them to finish and leave -- but eventually, I just had to go. Raquel saw me and waved. "Hi," she called. "What are you
doing up so early?" I said I was editing the convention video today, and she asked what time it was. I told her, and she said, "Oh, I've got to get to work!" Then she looked around at the men and said, "Can you take me by my apartment first, so I can change?"
Everything finally fell apart when they made it part of Raquel's job to drop the day's outgoing mail off at the post office after she left work. (I think that was devised by the HR lady as a way of keeping Raquel's "ride" from coming by the office anymore.) She was allowed to leave fifteen minutes early to do it, but she still worried terribly about getting to her "other job" on time.
Finally, we got a call late one Friday afternoon from the post office: instead of taking the big basket of mail inside, Raquel had simply placed it on top of one of the mailboxes in front of the post office. It was a windy day. The basket had fallen over, and several hundred pieces of our mail were blowing all over the neighborhood and being scattered by rush-hour traffic. Even worse: most of it was checks
to our suppliers!
So about twenty of us piled into cars, raced over to the area around the post office, and swarmed the street, chasing down envelopes and dodging traffic. When Raquel arrived for work on Monday, she was told about the havoc she'd caused, handed a final check, and escorted right back out the door.
"Escorted." A uniquely appropriate word choice.