I needed to go to the 2nd District Police Station today to print the moving van parking permits I'd applied for online earlier this week. My confirmation said to simply go to the station and use the lobby kiosk to do so.
I hadn't been to this station since Jack's 5th birthday. He was heavily into law enforcement at that time and in addition to a police- and crime-themed scavenger hunt birthday party (complete with badges, rear view sunglasses and walkie-talkies), he wanted to suit up in his police outfit and visit our district's police.
Bemusedly, we obliged, and costumed Jack dragging Oliver into the station by his tiny, two-year-old hand remains one of my favorite pictures.
Back then, the front doors just opened; you didn't have to be buzzed in or show ID or anything. So today, when I got there, dressed cutely in workout pants and my Patagonia puff jacket, I yanked on that door with such confidence that it would open that I nearly fell over when it most definitely did not. An officer standing outside, talking on her cell phone, called over. "You have to press the button on the right of the door."
"Thank you," I said, as I noticed a sign saying the very same thing hanging high in the upper left corner of one door.
I pressed the button but nothing happened, and finally, the chatting officer took pity on me and came over to buzz me in.
Because I am an instructions follower and because my instructions clearly said to use the kiosk in the lobby, I walked to the kiosk in the lobby. I started tapping on the screen but didn't see any information except that related to sex offense.
A gangly man was weaving in circles throughout the lobby, screaming the f-bomb in an exceedingly jovial manner. Another man lounged at the front desk, talking to the female officer behind the thick glass. She had a fountain of brown and pink braids and did not seem to mind the cussing beanstalk in her lobby.
"Excuse me, ma'am, are you a registered sex offender?" boomed a woman's voice. "Are you a registered sex offender?" she repeated. It occurred to me that she must be asking ME.
I looked at her and said, "No ma'am," and she replied, "Because that is the kiosk for registered sex offenders. Are you a sex offender?"
"No ma'am, I'm just trying to print parking permits."
"Well, you need to sit at that desk over there!"
Cussing beanstalk was laughing his ass off at this point, still cussing and weaving. Lounging man was definitely chuckling under his breath, and I was still focused on not being a sex offender but also wondering why the permit station was an old computer on a desk and not a freaking kiosk.
I went to Crate & Barrel after leaving and called one of my best friends to regale her with the experience. We cackled so loudly I had to hide in a corner behind a recliner.
People, this story cracks my business up. I am still laughing and this happened three hours ago. Can you even imagine what all those people said when I left. It's too hysterical to even consider. At least I have my permits.