Monday, December 21, 2009

Correction: Older Daughter, G.R.N. and her graduation misadventure in Champbana

Friday's post was written in advance because, during the time that might otherwise have been devoted to writing said post, I was making arrangements to ferry a representative sample of the Curmudgeon family Downstate to Champaign, Illinois, there to commemorate Older Daughter's graduation from nursing school.

Let's get the factual error out of the way immediately. I mentioned that Older Daughter's mother-in-law also trained as a nurse. Long Suffering Spouse and I and the in-laws and Middle Son, Younger Daughter, and Youngest Son went with out with Older Daughter and her husband following the graduation exercises for pizza at a local establishment. Older Daughter received gifts. The card from the in-laws was addressed to "Older Daughter, G.R.N." (Well, not really to "Older Daughter" -- but you get the gist.)

I had to ask: Why G.R.N.? I thought it was R.N. Is this a comment on her lack of experience (perhaps that she is 'green')?

No, explained my in-law, the "G" stands for "graduate," signifying someone who has completed the requisite schooling... but has not yet taken or passed the licensing boards.

Ah, I said, and thought no more about it.

The evening proceeded as well as these things can. Middle Son put ranch dressing on a piece of pizza, which was slightly nauseating, but otherwise the conversation was pleasant and, later, the drive home was mostly unremarkable. It started to rain around Kankakee... and it got heavier and snowier as we proceeded further north, but we've never yet had a trip to the Champaign-Urbana area without inclement weather at some point during the drive.

Youngest Son noticed the message light flashing when we got home. The message was from an Urbana policeman looking for Older Daughter (her plates are still registered to our home address apparently). It seems Older Daughter had pumped gas at a station in Urbana and had driven off without paying. Even the officer figured it was a mistake; he said so in the voice mail. But he did want a call back.

We called Older Daughter right away and gave her the message and the call back number. She called back, moments later, saying she left a message for the policeman. It was indeed a mistake, she said. She told us she'd put her credit card in the pump and it let her pump. But she was in a hurry and she didn't wait for a receipt. In the very few minutes between our conversations Friday evening, Older Daughter said she called her credit card issuer and found there was no charge for the purchase on her card. Then she started crying.

She apparently continued crying most of the night. Younger Daughter took a call from her at one point; she reported later that Older Daughter seemed almost hysterical. Older Daughter told her mother Saturday morning that she hadn't been able to sleep a wink.

All this for a mistake? Older Daughter has a heightened sense of drama, but this reaction seemed over the top even for her.

Dark thoughts were beginning to play around the edge of my consciousness -- methinks the lady doth protest too much -- darn that Shakespeare anyway! I was running an errand Saturday morning when the Urbana cop called back; Long Suffering Spouse took the call. He'd not received the voice mail that Older Daughter left for him (and he was apparently unsurprised at this). Long Suffering Spouse told the man what we knew -- and gave him Older Daughter's phone number.

We waited a discreet interval before calling Older Daughter.

That's when we found out about the not-sleeping-a-wink bit -- and when we got an explanation that probably explains the over-reaction.

From the gas station, Older Daughter proceeded directly to her school where she turned in the last of the graduation papers... including an Affidavit or certification of some sort that she was on the right side of Johnny Law. Licensing authorities take a dim view of being lied to, and the school authorities had drilled the import of complete disclosure into all the graduates. Older Daughter was terrified that this would be especially the case when the prospective licensee embarked on a life of crime moments before turning in the papers. She saw her future going up in a gasoline-fueled explosion; she might never drop the "G" from G.R.N.

But it all worked out: The cop -- remember? -- had figured it was a mistake right from the start and hadn't even issued a ticket. He congratulated Older Daughter on her graduation. She's made nice with the gas station.

Middle Son had heard none of this. He picked up on his regular social schedule moments after arriving back from Downstate Friday evening; he didn't even hear about the initial phone message. He and I were running errands Saturday afternoon (shortly after he woke up which is why he was also unaware of all the Saturday morning developments). I told the story well, and he was laughing heartily as we filled up the other family car at the gas station.

I got so wrapped up in telling the story, I forgot to ask the self-serve pump for a receipt.

To date, however, the Niles Police have not called.

A word of thanks is owed to the Urbana Police for the very nice way they handled this whole incident. Which was really a non-incident. But it could have been a real embarrassment for Older Daughter. So -- thank you, Urbana PD.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

wow that was a close one! of course in my family when the call would come it would be old chuck and it would not have been a mistake! but as for today, not so much, still doing great. merry christmas to the curmy family!

smiles, bee

Shelby said...

that happened to my cousin a few weeks ago in Mississippi.. we had a funeral .. he was distracted, busy, in a hurry, grieving, needed gas at the little country gas station.. drove off without paying. He had gone to the bathroom, got cokes and chips and what knots for the children.. had talked to the clerk about how to get to the cemetery.. then just drove off.

Bubba from the store chased him down. Reminded him he needed to pay.

He was so embarrassed. But not late to the burial. Funny story to tell.

And my cousin is from Chicago.

Business essays said...

merry Christmas in advance guys.