Saturday, October 24, 2009
Team Life Force Update—Armageddon!
“Team Life Force” (not their real name) provided me, their building supervisor, numerous time-wasting diversions. When the keys to their building were lost by our realtor, I had to get all the door locks changed. “Team Life Force,” of course, was never around when I had the locksmith there for two whole days, so I didn’t change their office door, opting instead to just change the entry to the building containing their office. After two days of lock changing, I saw their cars there, so I went to give them a new key and decided to keep the story simple, saying something like, “Here’s a new key to the building--we had to change the locks because some keys were lost.” I figured this would be enough, since the building is locked at night, and people are there in the daytime. Mistake.
A week later, having settled into the comfort of a theft-free key-loss aftermath, I got a call from “John Three Eagles” (not real name) saying they’d had a TV and a table stolen. He’d talked to the secretary next door, who said she actually saw a couple taking the TV and table the day before. She’d already given a description to the police when they made a theft report. Now he wanted to know what had happened with the locks, and why their lock hadn’t been changed. Shit.
I apologized and said I thought I’d changed all the locks necessary to secure the building, but I could come over now and change theirs. He said he had to go do his radio show in 2 hours and didn’t want to leave the office unsecured. “I’ll come over now, “ I said, “and I’ll take your door handle over to the locksmith. With any luck they can get it done while I wait, and get back before you have to leave.” That’s what I did. While I was there removing the handle, I overheard him on the phone to a guy: “You need at least $2 million from Pizza Hut,” he was saying, something about a settlement I guess. “And listen to my radio show today at 2:00. I’ll be talking to Dr. Razzmatazz (not real name). He has a 92% cure rate for cancer, but the government and the media have everyone so brainwashed, they don’t believe him.” Now I was getting the good shit. I looked up at their coat rack and saw a black jacket with yellow block letters (in the style of jackets saying POLICE or FBI) that said TYRANNY RESPONSE TEAM. I had the handle off and told them again where I was going, and that I’d be back soon with new keys. John and his “old lady” (his wife, I assume) looked at me. She made a bad face and said, “It’s about time.”
I got that done, but couldn’t remove the deadbolt, so I called the locksmith for the next day. While meeting the locksmith, I saw the guy who actually leased the space occupied by Team Life Force--he wasn’t part of their team, but went to church with John Three Eagles. I told him what was going on, and he said he hadn’t heard about the theft, but said that Team Life Force was way behind on their rent, so he was getting behind paying the landlord. I said, “Hey, if they don’t find the TV or table, I have some tables in my shop I’m trying to get rid of, and maybe a TV that will work, too, so call me if they would settle for substitutes.” He said he might need a table himself, and would like to come over later to look at my stuff. A few hours later he called me, but instead of coming over, he said he had to tell me something: “Chad, that TV and table were not stolen—one of my partners from my business owned that table, and he went to get it back. When he took it he just put the TV in the closet.” I just about shit my pants in relief, said, “Oh god, that’s good news.” Then I started laughing a laugh that came back hourly for about two days, where I’d say, “GodDAMN those fucking guys!” while laughing. Can’t they get their shit together? I lost 2-3 hours of sleep the night before, thinking they blamed me for their stolen stuff.
A couple weeks later, one of their guys called saying his key was stuck in the door. He asked if I could come over to help, adding, “Do you have a lot of trouble with this here?” I said No. He sounded old and squirrelly, and like he was in their office even though his key was stuck in the lock. I asked, “So, you did get into the office?” “Yes, I’m in the office.” So I knew he had the right key, which shot down my first theory that he’d jammed the wrong key into the lock. I went over and found his whole keychain hanging from the lock. I reached up, turned his key straight vertical, and pulled it right out. Stepping in the door, I handed it to him: “Here ya go.” A short round elderly man with a similar wife were both blown away that it was out, and he said, “I have a pretty high IQ, but it just didn’t work for me. I ended up demonstrating the unlocking process twice, refraining from saying, “It’s pretty much the standard operation of all locks, dummy.”
A month or so later, they carried all their stuff out to the sidewalk and loaded it into a truck, including the bed that the lawyers’ secretary had been so horrified at some weeks earlier: “They have a BED in there,” she’d bleated when we shared stories of their madness. “Do you think they sleep over there?” I asked. “I . . . don’t . . . know,” she said as if imagining satanic rites.
At last their time in my world has come to an end. I googled some of their products and practices and came up with lots of results saying “snake oil” and “scam.” Goodbye, Team Life Force!