In the fall of 1994 I was working three jobs. Besides teaching at Dallas Children's Theatre (DCT), I was taking classes at Mountain View Community College and unloading trucks at UPS. Dad had gotten after me to get a "real job"--because he didn't consider my work at the theatre "real" work. (This coming from a man who made a living talking on the radio.)

There was someone at the college passing out info on UPS; they needed extra people for the Christmas season. It seemed a pretty good deal--eight bucks an hour--and I could work nights, so I could still go to school and work at the theatre. The first night I came home from the new job, Dad was up for some reason and started griping at me for coming home at 3 in the morning. "Yeah, well, that's when my shift ends, Dad."

It started off okay. I was in a truck unloading about 800 to 1000 packages an hour. At the time, I liked the job. Sure, it was manual labor, but it was a paid work-out and it didn't take any brain-power at all. I was free to think about things like my classes.

Somebody caught me thinking.

As much as your teachers told you to think, it's not a wise thing to do when you're working for a big corporation. My new job was a "clerk". It's not the kind of clerk who sits behind a desk, but the kind that walks around the entire building, taping packages that came open, finding addresses, cleaning up hazardous spills, and filing forms for "improper packing procedure" and "damaged goods". My brain was trapped, as well as my body.

There weren't many of us. Myself, Kathy, John, the two older chicks who had been there forever, and S. I call him that because I was stalked by this individual. Stalked. Me.

At 26, six-foot-4, 280 lbs., and long red hair, S resembled a sort of urban Viking. Maybe. He still lived at home and had a room for his "Warhammer" figures. All 50 billion of them. I only saw this room once when I gave him a ride home. I pray to God I never have to see anything like that again. S had been at UPS 5 years and had been paining miniatures for the last 16. I had suggested several times that he get into special effects, considering how skilled he was with a paint-brush. I guess I should have been more careful about the level of kindness and attention I gave him because it wasn't long after that he was showing up at my parent's house. Oh, and the notes. God...the notes. And the phone calls. And the crashed parties. It wasn't particularly threatening, and I never called the cops on him, but it was a little disturbing.

May 5th of '96 (Sinko de Mayo) we had a little flooding here in Dallas and things got a little hairy-scary. This was a Friday night, Mom was getting ready to have a party that weekend and DCT was putting on a production of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie". I drove home from the theatre in two feet of water, had some dinner, and got ready to head out to the other end of town and UPS.

S showed up on the front step, needing to make a phone call. Now, I lived with my parents in Oak Cliff-- the southwest side of Dallas, and S lived in Mesquite--an eastern suburb. Top that with the story he gave me. He had been in North Dallas at Lone Star Comics up at Preston and Royal. He was heading home TO MESQUITE when he got lost in the rain and wound up in Oak Cliff. Just to get into Oak Cliff you need to cross the Trinity river, and if you're crossing a river when there is no river between where you were and where home is, then you are lost. Turn around.

We sent him on his way and I headed off for work. I was an hour late but when I got there I found out everyone was late. S didn't show up that night.

The UPS Mesquite hub is famous for one thing. It's the only hub that hasn't had an accidental death in the last five years. (This may have changed--I haven't worked there for three years. Yee-haw. ) Because I was a clerk and did a lot of walking around they decided to put me on the safety committee.

A month later I quit. Reasons given? Didn't like working on Friday nights, did like supervisor, supervisor didn't like me, didn't like driving to the other side of town to work four hours, didn't like giving stalker reason to be close to me.

While I'm talking about the United Parcel Service, I'd like to take this time to point out you should never try to ship an elk through UPS. It sounds like common sense, but someone tried it once and I can tell you it doesn't work. You might be putting an elk in the package, but all the recipient is going to get is a bloody mess.

Back to the Index