11 December 2009

assault on the streets of l.a.

i had a meeting in l.a. about fas 157, fair value measurements (or whatever the new codification number is -- why do they have to renumber stuff??). my manager mark was the instructor, so i was particularly concerned with arriving on time.

training started at 8. i got there at 755. perfect.

after 2 hours of stimulating discussion about all things fair value, mark and i drove back up to the client's office. we drove separately.

the first half of my drive deserves no commentary herein. shortly after i passed white oak on the 101, though, things got interesting.

i had been driving in the next-to-fastest lane, singing along to the radio and enjoying a mid-morning drive. i came up behind a blue suv and because i don't like to be behind anyone, i flipped my left blinker and changed lanes. as i got settled into the fast lane, i saw a car in my rear-view mirror that looked like he had wanted to be right where i was, but he changed his mind and merged the other direction.

i watched as this white car with beige hood and faded black bumper went around a couple cars, crossed in front of the blue suv, and merged into the fast lane right in front of me ... aaaand ... slammed on his brakes.

so i slammed on my brakes.

then he sped up again. dummy.

so, i accelerated again. he was still in front of me. he slammed on his brakes again.


i gave him the universal shoulder-shrug, palms upturned and a mouthed "what?", to which he responded with several arm motions out his window that looked like he was telling a story about a snake and a bunny to 4-year-old. except for that last part -- that last hand gesture was not intended for a 4-year-old.

[eye roll.]

so i signaled to merge to my right. if he wants to be in front, let him. but ... he changed lanes right along with me, slamming the brakes again. so i changed lanes back. again, he was right there with me.

i fell behind a little, trying to get some space between me and the psycho. then i hit my right blinker and gunned it. he mimicked, cutting me off again. and again. at this point i was in the almost far-right lane, and he was in the lane to my left, a little ahead of me. so i let off the gas entirely, slowing to about 40 mph and got behind a big rig. he kept a close distance, to my left and one car length ahead of me.

we drove like that for a few minutes. i tried slowing even more, thinking he might get bored and leave me alone. no luck.

his driver-side window was rolled down and he started waving his phone out the window.

what?? what does that mean?

is he trying to get my number??

this is the *worst* pickup line e-v-e-r.

once again, he waved his phone out the window. i tried to look like i wasn't paying attention.

he slowed down to get right beside me. i didn't look over. in my periphery, i could see that he was trying to get my attention. i didn't give it to him.

he slowed down more and got behind me. he was on his phone now (illegal in california as of 1/1/2009).

we came up next to another big rig, i saw my chance. as soon as i was able, i quickly changed lanes in front of the 52-footer. unfortunately, mr. ugly car also snuck past him.

very annoyed at this point, i couldn't even enjoy the music coming from my radio. my exit was coming up. certainly this dude wouldn't follow me off the freeway, right?


wrong. we reached the bottom of the off-ramp; i turned right. he turned right. he pulled up next to me on the shoulder of the road. he was talking at me and still on his phone. figuring he wouldn't leave me alone until he got whatever it was off his chest, i rolled down my window.

"hello? hi. i just wanted to let you know that i called the police and gave them your license plate number. you were speeding and driving recklessly," he announced. he seemed a little too pleased with himself.

i replied with a simple, "umm, thank you." what else was i supposed to say?

his retort? "you're welcome." and, as i rolled up my window, "you're welcome for a ruined day!!" an inkling of exasperation in his voice.

oh, my heavens. the light turned green, so i hit the gas. he cut off a few people to get right behind me again, still on the phone.

we approached the road to my client's office. i turned right. he followed. there was no way i was going to show him where my car would be all day. so i passed the entrance to my client's parking garage, and pulled up to a red light. great. he pulled up beside me again, yelling again.

"i called the police and you are going to get a ticket for reckless driving and for speeding. you cut me off and then you were driving recklessly!"

because i don't take accusations as well as i could, i replied, "i didn't see you. you were blocking me in the lane and i was trying to get away from you --"

"you didn't see me because you are a woman!! and women never see men, they just run all over them!" he cut me off.

oh. my. goodness.

*what* is this about??

the light turned green, so i put the car in first and pulled forward, he paralleled me. while leaning out the window, one hand on his phone, one on the steering wheel and neither eye on the road, he yelled at me about my reckless driving.

looking for somewhere to shake this guy, i saw another parking garage coming up on the left. with him on my right, i waited almost too long before making a sharp left into the parking garage entrance: no way this guy would pay for parking just to continue harassing me.

when i got to the gate, i quickly pulled a ticket from the machine and the mechanical arm raised. i turned to my right as i put the parking ticket in my purse, put the car in first and looked ahead to pull forward. suddenly mr. ugly car was standing right next to me, leaning into the car, his arm blocking my window from rolling up.

"i just want you to say you were wrong and that you're sorry. say that you're sorry!"

i could have peed my pants right then.

i didn't.

"admit you were wrong! just admit it," he insisted.

... uhhh ... "if you think i did something wrong, then okay, i'll admit it." pretty sure i was shaking. still didn't pee my pants.

he straightened up, held out his hand for a handshake and said, "thank you." he walked back to his car.

too shaken to think clearly, i slowly eased into the parking garage. the mechanical arm of the gate lowered behind me. i didn't even see the guy pull away.

i sat in the parking garage for a few minutes, then proceeded to the exit and drove over to my client's office.

as i entered my client's office, my manager mark lifted his head and commented, "boy, you drive slowly."

uhhh ...


Ryan G said...

OH. MY. GOSH. My heart was pounding just reading that story. Did you get his plate? What a complete jackass.

I have a few similar (but not quite as good) stories.

It seems that they always turn out like this:
-Guy cuts me off
-I flip off guy for almost killing me
-Guy gets mad at me for flipping him off
-Guy continues to try to kill me by trying to run me off the road

Maybe I should just walk.

Ames said...

Whoa! That is one woman hating crazy man! I would have peed my pants, or been the one on the phone with the police. :P Stay safe friend!

S and E Frazier said...

Are you kidding me!!?? Quite the story. I thought without a doubt you were going to write that your manager or a friend put this guy up to it as a joke on you! Wow, talk about a serious case of having to be right all the time. So glad that's all he wanted...be careful out there!

Mark and Kristi said...

Did that really happen? The whole time I thought it was going to be your manager. That really happened?

Alanna said...

Oh my SCARY! You should have called the police...ahhhhh! I wonder what crazy emotional problems he's dealing with right now. Yikes. Glad you're alive girl!

Alanna said...

Just read this to Dustin. He seemed to like the "Because you're a women part" a little too much! That boy!