I never thought I would spend the night in the airport in my hometown. I wasn’t actually flying out. I had actually just flown in from Dallas, but DC Metro had eagerly called it quits for the night and I didn’t want to disturb my slumbering roommate since I forgot to bring my keys.
In DCA, you can’t actually sleep in the secured area — they close that down and do security sweeps after midnight. And by 4am I was briskly awoken by fliers arriving early to line up for the secured areas that were just recently swept and cleared.
It was Friday but it would be the most unforgettable Friday in my thus far short but eventful trucking career.
My early morning phone call to FMCSA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, who informed me that my Operating Authority had been cancelled and I needed to resubmit. I had missed my year-long deadline to purchase motor carrier insurance and now I had to go through the 30-day waiting period – Bummer.
I rushed to the library to print out a bunch of paperwork to get signed and submitted before the weekend started. I could kick myself for letting it slide, but this was par for the course in this industry so c’est la vie.
Then I decided to make a surprise visit to one of my tenants who hadn’t paid rent since November. He was only three months behind and in a couple of weeks our dreaded Landlord / Tenant hearing would be upon us. Again par for the course as a landlord in DC.
Why I would make a bee-line to see Ty instead of the Gordon Biersch at the Navy Yard surprised me. It would take Ed McMahon holding up a large check for Ty to open the door. He wasn’t paying rent and he clearly didn’t want to speak to me. But something that day told me I had to make a stop.
As I approached the apartment, I saw a couple of guys installing a mailbox by the door. One I recognized as Labros the president of the Association, but I had never met him in person.
I climbed the three flights of stairs to the top and after knocking and leaving a note I headed back down and out of the main entrance then realized I should probably introduce myself.
“Are you Labros?” I asked rhetorically.
“Ah yes, are you an owner here? What unit number – let me get you a copy of the new mailbox key.”
“So I’m here to see Ty, who lives in #32. Has anyone heard from him?”
“Don’t know him. I’m afraid.”
I quickly thanked Labros and made my way out.
“Wait!” He suddenly yelled out as I was entering my car. “A policeman was here earlier and was looking for someone in #32. Apparently someone made a welfare call.”
I quickly jumped into action. This was no longer a tenant avoiding paying rent situation. “We have to get in,” I asserted.
Labros quickly gathered his tools and along with his repairman started drilling through the lock.