Test-Drive Tags, Marijuana, and Late Night Favors: A Day in the Life of a Social Media Marketer
I was hired to do the online marketing for an up and coming mechanic shop just North of Atlanta. Build a social media presence, develop a website, boost the google rating, all that jazz. I’m an internet guy. A wordsmith. Charming, charismatic, and equipped with a creative mind you might say. I could help them and they could help me.
I casually brushed off the “help around the shop” bit at the end of my conversation in regards to the job offer. I’ve always been one to go the extra mile after all. It’s what has gotten me some extra success and certainly looks good to the man writing the check.
The fineprint fucked me good on this one.
Shortly after I stepped through that door, I found myself detailing cars, answering phone calls, changing tires, going to pick up parts, and even physically throwing the neighbor’s methhead son onto his ass because he refused to move out from behind my vehicle in a reenactment of Tieneman Square.
He was under the impression I had the keys to his motorcycle, which was just as ridiculous as my impression that I would ever find myself behind a computer.
Things were going great.
I could have found another job. I should have found another job. But I wanted to believe things would calm down. After all, things are always rough in the early goings of starting a business, right?
I will describe in great detail one instance of this.
Late one night, my boss called me and said he really needed a favor. I contemplated for a moment before diving headfirst into what would surely be another bad decision. His instructions were simple.
“Bro, just meet me at the hotel in 30 minutes. Thank you, Bro.”
My boss was currently living in a hotel as he laid low from hurling a cinder block through someone’s windshield who was giving his girlfriend a hard time. It’s lonely at the top.
I pulled up at the Hilton and my boss was waiting outside his van. He waved me over, 20 dollar bill in hand, motioning to roll down my window.
“Bro, run to Outback Steakhouse and grab me and Michelle a loaded baked potato.”
Michelle poked her head out of the van.
“And a small house salad!” she squeaked.
“Yeah, Bro. A small house salad. Two loaded baked potatoes and a small house salad. Can you do that for me, Bro?” he said as he shoved a Jefferson in my face.
I wondered heavily if I could qualify for disability.
I arrived at Outback, walked into the restaurant, and gave my very simple takeout order. I don’t know if it was the order itself or the look on my face that gave it away, but it was pretty evident that the girl who took the order knew I was dead inside.
I found out that Outback can produce two loaded baked potatoes and a small house salad at Nascar pitcrew speeds.
I handed over the food to my boss and started to pull away.
“Bro, wait! Where you goin?? We gotta deliver a cah!” my boss shouted in a New York accent. He forgets to produce “r” almost as often as he forgets what he hired me for.
“Bro! The Jeep! Come on, man, get in the van!”
I wondered if my boss could qualify for disability.
We arrived at the shop. It had been explained to me, finally, that we were going to drop off a Jeep at one of his biggest account’s warehouse and pick up a Honda to fix. Why I was needed for this was as perplexing as why I fucking agreed.
More on that later.
I slapped a “test drive” tag on the back of the jeep before hopping in the driver’s seat. I fastened my seatbelt and began operation of the Jeep, my boss riding shotgun and loudly chowing down on his loaded baked potato.
I had unknowingly made an additional error on top of agreeing to do this favor to begin with.
More on that later.
400 South was in sight as I turned on my left blinker. I read the words “objects in mirror are closer than they appear” as I began to merge lanes.
Unfortunately the objects that were closer than they appeared were bright fucking blue lights from a state trooper who undoubtedly wondered why the fuck anyone was test driving a vehicle at 8:01 PM.
“Bro, is that a fucking police officah?”
I sighed loudly.
“Bro, are they pulling us ovah?!”
Helen Keller could have had her hands tied behind her, been submerged in gelatin, and still concluded that yes, we were indeed behind apprehended by local police.
“Bro, I got a ton of weed on me!”
My boss begins to stuff marijuana into the side of the center console as I realized why I was needed for this late night mission.
He was too stoned out of what was left of his mind to possibly operate a vehicle. A glass half-full approach would be to applaud him for being responible enough to have someone sober drive him.
At the bottom of that glass was the harsh reality that the customer’s car was now stuffed with illegal contraband.
“Bro, this cah ain’t got no insurance and it ain’t registered nietha! We’re fucked!”
It’s lonely at the top.
Remember when I briefly mentioned an error I had unknowingly made?
Reaching for my wallet, I came to the painful realization that it had fallen out of my pants pocket in his van. We were now in a vehicle that didn’t belong to us, wasn’t registered, had no insurance, no proof of license to operate in sight, and was secretly stuffed with some very potent and very illegal marijuana.
The plot thickens.
“I don’t want to alarm you but I don’t have my wallet on me.”
“Bro! You can’t be driving a customah’s cah with no license! That’s irresonsible as fuck, bro! You really fucked up.”
She’s taking a beating here, but that’s like Helen Keller giving someone a hard time for forgetting their glasses.
The cop arrived at my window, asking for license and registration. Before I could handle the situation appropriately, my boss takes charge, high as a kite.
Unfortunately for that kite, there isn’t any wind. It’s just kind of laying there on the ground while some kid runs around and it flutters up every once in a while until the kid gets tired and it slams into the turf until he takes off again.
“Bro, we work for a mechanic shop. See here? This is the bill for this Jeep. We fixed it! We got the test drive tag cause we deliverin’ it but ya pulled us ova! Here’s a business cahd! Doofus here fuhgot his license cause this ain’t his cah! Well it’s neitha of us’s cah but ya know! Here take my business cahd!”
Cool as the other side of the pillow. If that pillow was in an oven, that is.
It’s worth noting that the cop had put his hand on his firearm during that Darwin award speech.
Sensing peril on the horizon, I took charge.
“I don’t know what that was. What my boss was trying to say is that we are delivering a customer’s car that we just fixed up. We threw the test drive tag on there because his dealer’s tag was at his house. We didn’t anticipate any interaction with you guys tonight so we didn’t think it was a big deal. Sorry about that. My wallet is in my car at the shop but I can write down my information as well as my driver’s license number if you’d like. We have the bill we are giving to the customer which has this vehicle’s information on it just as verification of what’s going on and that the car isn’t stolen. Hindsight being what it is, we probably should have just put the dealer tag on. Been a long day. ”
The officer went back to his car after taking my information down.
“Bro, I am so fucking high. Why did you interrupt me?”
“Bro, it’s been like 30 minutes. We’re going to fucking jail, bro. We’re fucked.”
I began to search for “what disability do I qualify for”.
“Well, boys, the car isn’t stolen. I-”
My boss’s confidence returned.
“Ya hear that, Alex? The car ain’t stolen!”
The officer paused and continued.
“Right. Well, thanks for being so compliant and polite. It really goes a long way.”
At that moment, I didn’t think my boss could possibly suffer any more lapses in judgement.
He brought weed into a customer’s vehicle, which was not registered nor insured. He slapped a bandaid on a bullet hole when he had me slap a “test drive” tag at 8 PM on said vehicle. He relentlessly babbled about nothing when apprehended by law enforcement for all of the glaring weaknesses in his plan and even awkwardly joked about the car not being stolen.
“It probably didn’t hurt that we’re white!”
I looked at my boss with helpless eyes as I imagined drug dogs surrounding the vehicle, which would surely be impounded as we were both taken to jail. I furthermore imagined having to share a cell with this man and how many times I’d hear the word “cah” in between getting blamed for not bringing my license.
“You’re right, that certainly didn’t hurt your case. Have a good night.”
As the officer walked away, my boss slapped my chest.
“Ya see? That’s how you talk to a cahp!”
We arrived back at the hotel. I had my wallet although my sanity was nowhere to be found. The night was finally over, the damage was done.
“Bro, lemme give you some money. Ya know, for all the bullshit.”
No matter how much money he was about to offer me, it would not have been enough.
Patting down his pockets, he becomes enraged.
“Fuck! Bro! I left my wallet in the Jeep! All my money is in there!”
“How irresponsible!” I reply.
“Not funny, Bro! Bro, I’ma need you to go out there in the morning and get it! Seriously, I really need this favor!”
I surely had learned not to do any more favors, right?
I had not.