Because of the Temporary Restraining Order, my friend wasn’t allowed to continue meeting with clients so I agreed to help out—for a small fee. We drove a few hours to an undisclosed location. I began handing out info and talking to various potential customers, as if I knew anything at all about the product. People talked to me and treated me like a professionl, though I have no idea why. Since the restraining order was not on me, I could legally engage with these people.
The lawsuit—a frivolous one really, but a lawsuit nonetheless—meant that my friend would have to stay clear of the task at hand, lest she be seen “Doing her job”. As I approach a random office, ready to solicit, a woman is at the closed door writing notes. She asks me what the flyers in my hand are for and I begin to give her my elevator pitch. She is extraordinarily interested and wants to know everything there is to know about the company and myself. Being on a covert mission I decide to answer her query with a spy name, “Doug. My name’s Doug.”
“Nice to meet you Doug. And your last name?”
“I don’t have a last name. I mean…I don’t give out my last name to strangers” I fart from my mouth, sounding like I’m five years old.
She writes “Doug” on her pad and asks me my supervisor’s name: “I don’t really work for the company, I just answered a Craigslist add to hand out flyers.” My story is becoming less believable by the second. I have to get out of there ASAP, but I’m afraid leaving mid sentence will be just as incriminating.
She hands me her business card which, of course, is from the company suing my friend’s company. Meanwhile, my friend is down the hall, jumping up and down and waving her hands so frantically that now I have to create a story, maintain a conversation, suppress my anxiety and stop myself from laughing, all at the same time. Thankfully, my friend ducks behind a wall like an out of shape ninja, so at least that’s one less distraction.
The enemy extends her hand and says “It was a pleasure to meet you. I’m Jane”
My reflex response, “Phil” exposes me. I wanted to keep my story straight—Doug, Doug, Doug! Damn it! It just popped out. I was caught! She crossed out “Doug” from her notes and wrote “Phil” while repeating my (Real) name. I rebounded, “No, Bill”, I said. At least it rhymed. It was a little more believable. She scratched out Phil and wrote Bill, thank god!
Ok. Now I HAD to get out of there. She asked for my last name again and I continued to explain why I don’t give people a last name—even though I’m trying to do business with them. She is quite beautiful and I’m wondering if I can find a way to ask her out before I leave. I might end up blowing my cover, but a fling with the enemy sounds sexy.
Instead I decide to begin a very labored sentence that is long enough for me to walk away and trail off with her fading in the background. I reunite with my friend, who won’t look or talk to me and we walk, sort of together, back to the parking lot. She walks not on the sidewalk, but on the grass under the shadows from the trees about 10 feet in front of me—as if that’s less suspicious.
Definitely not as smooth as we would have hoped, but we should be out of the clear now. I get my money for the few minutes of work and we decide to call it a day early for fear of being further exposed. We grab lunch at a favorite restaurant, where we are very much enjoying our burgers, until the enemy walks into the bar. Luckily, my friend and I are sitting at the bar, so we aren’t necessarily together and my friend and the enemy have never seen each other before. We very calmly finish our lunch without speaking a single word to each other. I go to the restroom and text the escape plan to my friend. We pay in cash so we don’t have to talk to the bartender about the check at all. My friend leaves and waits in the car. I walk past the bar and open the door when the bartender yells, “Hey mister, your friend forgot her flyers!”