Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Strange Encounters

Encounter 1:

When my workplace moved, we sublet our old space to another company. This company has been in touch with me by phone for various reasons via their receptionist, Sandy. Last week Sandy called to let me know that she had some of our mail which had slipped through the post office's forwarding service. I said I'd drop by and pick it up.

Walking into our old space and seeing Sandy for the first time, I had a profound sense of deja vu. I thought to myself: "I could swear that this woman worked as a receptionist for our company five years ago." Except that the woman I remembered was definitely not called Sandy. I couldn't remember her name, but "Sandy" didn't match the face in front of me. Could she have changed her name?

As we made small talk, I stared at her, trying to assess the situation. She showed no recognition of me at all, but back in the day I had long hair and glasses and looked completely different. Even so, wouldn't she have said something? She couldn't have forgotten working for two years at this exact address. Perhaps it was simply a freakish coincidence that she looked so like this woman I'd worked with?

Eventually Sandy said:

"I think my sister used to work here."

"Ah," I said, "that explains it! I've been staring at you all this time wondering why you look so familiar!"

Turns out she has an idential twin sister who is also a receptionist. They wear their hair in the exact same style. Susan worked for my company, and several years later her twin Sandy is working for another company in the same suite. What are the odds of that? I'd say slim to microscopic. It was very Twilight Zone.

Encounter 2:

I get a phone call from a stranger asking if I know anything about a Bob Green. The name sounds familiar. I believe my step-dad has a business connection with him. I get a picture in my head of one of my step-dad's colleagues. As I'm telling the caller that yes, I do know Bob Green, I realize the man I'm picturing is Bob Smith.

Who the heck is Bob Green then? I think harder. Oh, wait, isn't he that creepy guy who sank one of my step-dad's business ventures and then died under mysterious circumstances? Yep, I'm pretty sure that's him. But not 100% sure.

The caller explains to me that Bob Green is his long-lost cousin. I take his number down and promise to call him back.

Later, I speak to my step-dad. Indeed, I'm right about Bob Green. Not only is he dead, but he disappeared under suspicious circumstances. He owed money to a loan shark. My step-dad says that he died in a "boating accident", that is, gangsters threw him into a deep lake with his arms and legs bound to teach him a lesson. The man is fish food.

My step-dad remembers the cousin and says he never liked him. He asks me to call back and give him the bad news. I've never had to do that before: tell someone that a loved one of theirs has passed away. I think of the doctors on Grey's Anatomy. They always say "We did everything we could." Well, that doesn't help me much.

In the end I make the call and it's not that bad. I leave out the part about the loan shark and the boating accident. The man sounds upset, but if his cousin's been dead for three or four years and he didn't know, how close could they have been?


DarcsFalcon said...

Those are some weird encounters! And odd how they happened so close together. I can never decide if it's happenstance or if it means something when stuff like that happens to me.

G said...


And a little bit ghoulish (at least for the second encounter).

Anonymous said...

Loan sharks don't usually kill. Dead men don't pay.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Identical twins!? Was she hot? Can you give me their numbers? I'm working on fulfilling one of the things on my "to do" list.

As far as the loan shark thing... well they don't normally kill, but sometimes if they totally accept they aren't getting their money back they simply have to "Set an Example" of what happens to people that don't pay them back. I mean otherwise people will start disrespecting them.... makes perfect sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Ah, life is stranger than fiction, isn't it? Your first story read like a comic book I had once upon a time. Very interesting and Twilight Zone-y.

As for that second one ... the take-aways on this are, NEVER take a loan from a guy with the middle name "the", and NEVER default on payments to people with the middle name "the".


Kate said...

Weird. And I would never ever like the job of telling someone that someone they knew is dead.

Sparkling Red said...

DarcsFalcon: I didn't sense any significant meaning in either of those encounters. But sometimes synchronous experiences do feel very meaningful.

G: Yes, it was quite creepy.

WIGSF: What Ron said. (The second part.)

Ron: They were most definitely not hot. Very nice ladies, the two of them, but truly not even lukewarm.

darcknyt: Good advice if I ever heard it. Especially if they pronounce their middle name as "Da".

Kate: I hope it's not something I have to do with any regularity. I wished that I didn't have to do it, but there was no one else I could delegate that particular task to.

Anonymous said...

Which is why I modified with "usually"

Jameil said...

encounter 1 = pretty cool. i love twins.

encounter 2 = pretty creepy.

LL Cool Joe said...

One of my closest friends had an identical twin sister. The times I used to see her and do a double take not quite knowing if it was my friend or her sister. Quite embarrassing really, because I felt I should have been able to tell.

Sadly, my friends sister died.

San said...

These things come in threes, don't they? You will have to post about your third encounter of the strange kind. They do make for enjoyable reading. :)

Ily said...

Freaky incidents. Funny, when I was recently introduced to a woman who visited the office I said, "oh, we've already met." She looked at me and said, "no we haven't," and I said, "yes, you're Bill's daughter." She said, "yes, I am." We went back and forth for a bit until she finally admitted she had a twin sister. Freaky, I tell you!! :)

Jenski said...

Hopefully your weird encounters are a full set and you aren't going to have a third. The first is pretty funny; the second, well, why did the cousin call YOU?