Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Small things that are actually kinda huge (and for once, no, I'm not making a dick joke)

Okay, the Nicest Man in New York City Award for 2004 goes to...

MR. CHARLES JENKINS of Fort Greene, Brooklyn!

Lemme tell you about this guy...

He's a satellite TV installer who had the misfortune of being assigned to hook up our apartment. This sounds simple, but we live in a converted commercial building with all kinds of restrictions regarding such things, so he spent most of the day yesterday trying to make TV happen for us. Before he was finished, my roomie Stephanie had to leave, but instead of making us schedule another appointment and take more time off, he just gave us his cell number. "I just live around the corner from you, so let me know when someone's home and I'll come by and finish up tonight." Great, right? Incredibly nice of him! But wait, it gets far better...

So I call Charles up at around 7:00 when I'm almost home, and he comes to the house shortly thereafter. By this time, the room he needs to access in the basement of the building is locked, so he goes about installing the boxes and whatnot until our psychotic super comes home (he lives next door. Lucky us.) He finishes with that and starts calling freako, who isn't answering despite the fact that we can hear his phone ringing through my bedroom wall. Charles and I are kinda half watching this show on Fox, in the meantime. It's some hospital drama type thing with a vitriolic bastard genius doctor character...kinda Scrubs meets ER in the middle...and we're both so into it that I tell him to sit down and finish watching, even though it looks like the work won't get done tonight. We're like old pals sitting around watching the game on a Sunday afternoon. My cat falls in complete and immediate love with him and spends an hour glued to his side...it's great.

It's 9:30 by now, and Stephanie comes home from her volleyball game (which she won by forfeit, incidentally.) Her and Charles go bang on dickface super's door, and of course he refuses to get off his fat ass to unlock a door one floor down for ten minutes. God forbid he take even a brief break from screaming obscenities at his wife or swilling Bud Lite. Bastard. Whatever. This means Charles has to come back in the AM to finish things up and make sure we have plenty of channels of crap to sit and drool in front of through the upcoming cold-ass winter. At this point, the guy is a total camper. BUT WAIT AGAIN...there's more...

This morning at about 8 AM I get a frantic call from goofbag Stephanie, who locked herself out of the apartment when she went out to walk the dog. Our other roommate Drew is either comatose or in the shower, as he hasn't answered her 53 phone calls or responded to 20 minutes of her ringing our doorbell. Rut ro...

Long story short, Charles VOLUNTEERS TO DRIVE HER TO MY OFFICE from BROOKLYN to pick up my keys. No joke. Who IS this guy?

Drives her here, and since her photo ID was locked in her car thereby rendering her incapable of getting past building security, he leaves her in the car and comes up to the 21st floor to get the keys for her. Then, of course, drives her BACK to Brooklyn, where he finishes installing our satellite TV. The whole time, he just shrugged off our profuse thanks..."No big deal, I don't mind, glad to help." We invited him over for beers as a thank you, and he said "I'd be happy to come hang out with y'all, but you don't have to thank me."

Maybe it was no big deal to HIM, but I've lived in New York City for long enough to know that people like Charles Jenkins are an incredible rarity. Just a sweet, calm, wonderful, funny guy...never showed even a hint of frustration or irritation through this whole ordeal. Amazing. Talk about having one's faith in people restored...Usually when something inspires me to say "Don't worry, I believe in karma and so-and-so will get what he deserves," the person in question has a speeding bus with his name on it somewhere. It was nice to think of the things that Charles clearly has coming to him without uttering my evil snicker and vaguely hoping to be the driver of said bus.

So Charles Jenkins, thank you thank you thank you. If I had an oven, I'd bake you a cake. Since I don't...well, I'll probably buy you one or something. But it still, you know, comes from my heart and stuff. Yeah...wow...thanks.

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