People I meet: Archibald


There are people you want to meet, there are people you’re fine with never meeting and there are people you wish you never met. Archibald was sadly on the third category. We were in San Francisco in a technical training, about two years ago, and we had been taken directly to the factory–factory trainings are great because we see everything that takes place–and we learn much more than any regular training.

I arrived late of Sunday with my coworker, about fifty years old, and we stayed at the Grand Hyatt, just a mile from our training. During dinner I spotted a latino just like us and realized that he was on the training as well. He was Gerson from Panamá. On Monday, we were driven to the factory and there we met Archibald. He had arrived late and woken up early to discuss some “financial” issues with other factory employees.

You see, Archibald worked for his brother, and he had sort of a manager-technical-sales rep mix. Let me tell you: that never works. Because there’s not one focus point.

But Archibald failed to see that. He thought he could do it all. We started our training with very tiny machines, no bigger than a laptop, and it was our job to cram a pump, an antibiotic dosing system and a control system all inside. From the start, Archibald failed to accomplish not one single unit.

But that wasn’t my problem. You see, the first night, after a tiring day, we went for dinner, the four of us. Archibald suggested: Hooters. Oh boy. Not a good sign.

“All I want is to see ladies,” he said with a stupid grin on his face.

And so we went.

To make the long story short, the waitress kindly said: “Please, sir, I’m trying to work”. And this is a Hooters waitress.

As the week went on, Archie became more and more frustrated with the machines. He just couldn’t fix them. He kept complaining that he was made for this, that he was made to sell. We all just kept quiet and carried on. Until Friday came along.

The factory guys had told us that there would be a volleyball game and we were welcomed to join them for a few beers while the “younger” ones played. Archie was ecstatic. Finally, his field of play. We got there and he started drinking like crazy. By night’s end, he was too drunk and started hitting on the Sales Manager, telling her he wanted to climb and conquer her. Great.

Add to this that I was the only driver, because the company had given me the rental.

He then started hitting on a complete stranger who felt attacked. She screamed. Archie screamed. I broke the conflict-to-be up in no time and took Archie back to the hotel. Or at least I tried to.

He didn’t want to leave.

“This is what I’ve been waiting for! Yeah!” He mumbled.

Damn it.

He kept insisting that he was going to bang the Sales Manager (who wasn’t pretty by the way), but she grew so uncomfortable, she held hands with one of her employees just to drive him away! And he didn’t! He kept screaming and causing chaos.

I got pissed. And I said: “Alright, I’m checking out.”

Archie grudgingly got into the car and asked me to turn up the volume. Damn him, he kept shouting and singing. The Panamanian only nodded and laughed along. He was enjoying. But my coworker was just about to kill him.

We got to the hotel and I bolted to my room. Archie headed straight for the bar. I just ignored him: I’m a writer, I’m not made for partying. But turns out silly Bernard left the hotel keys in the car. So I went down the elevator and guess what?

In a matter of seconds–I still do not know how–San Francisco’s finest had Archie cuffed and escorted to a cruiser. As he was walking towards the lobby’s exit, he turned to me and was about to call for me. I just slid back in the elevator.

A year later I found out his brother had to fly to San Francisco from Peru and pay his bail. He was fired. Oh, Archie….

Mr. Archibald, please come with us.

Archie’s been bad.