The weekend passed quickly, intertwined with questions, work and boys. I did get to spend several hours in the gym each day.
We had a great homemade dinner Sunday night. It was a beef roast that had been cooking in a crock pot all day with onions, seasonings and carrots.
When the items were removed, the broth was made into thick gravy to smother mashed potatoes and dip homemade fluffy rolls in. There was a salad for starters and hot apple pie finished it off. Even the finicky boys liked it.
The girls had been in on the conversations with Robert and Tom. At noon on Sunday Tom sent me a text that the information that I requested in my in box.
Over the weekend we decided that we would go to Oklahoma State on Monday, just to do a walk around. They had decided we were going to spend a lot more time together – whenever possible – during the week. The girls had named such future ventures as cross training.
Monday morning at 0700 we boarded the G5 with tickets to Oklahoma City International airport. First thing we were going to do was to do an audit on the MAAR auto rental site when we arrived. Marcy had handed off most of the field work of the audits to some of her administrators based on customer feedback cards.
There were some discrepancies between what customers were reporting and what the audits were saying. Marcy suspected that the audits were not surprise audits. This audit was a surprise – we had not told anyone where we were going. Lorrie had done the ticket ordering herself.
I had no real plans to go to Washington this week. The House and Senate members were still not satisfied and were now threatening to subpoena the task force members. If they did, I would go back to the special case court. I would not be part of that zoo this week.
It was 1030 when Marcy walked in the MAAR offices. Hellfire and damnation quickly followed, some of it behind closed doors that were nowhere thick enough. There were only two people working the counter when there should have been four or more for the early arriving planes.
Oklahoma City International was one of the larger US airports. The MAAR site there had been one of the busiest sites with a lot of employees. It was also one with the most competition. Every major auto rental agency had an outlet on the airport grounds or close by.
The site was a mess with so much traffic it required constant attention; it wasn’t getting nearly enough. While Marcy was reading the manager the riot act Ching Lee, Jenny, Vicky and I straightened up and waited on the line of customers.
It was no different than working the site at Morton Field – the computer program was the same, the customer numbers and express sign in was the same. It only took a few minutes to get on stride. The only question I had to ask one of the regulars was where the cars were parked for customer pickup.
With all the computers now fully manned, it only took a few minutes to get the lines whittled down.
The numbers were just down to a few when one of the men in line said, “You look familiar, like somebody I should know.”
“I get that a lot,” I said just to brush him off as I finished and gave him his car keys.
The lady behind him said, “I think you look like that lady on TV. In fact, I’m sure of it,” as she was pointing to the TV on the wall.
ZNN was interviewing Senators on the steps of Capitol Hill about last week’s hearings using my picture on a split screen.
“I had to get a better paying day job,” I said with a wink.
She was next in line, “How may I help you?” I asked.
“Do you have any cars available? My friend who was going to pick me up had car trouble,” she said.
“We have several – compact, subcompact, full size or SUV – how long did you want it for? Do you want the optional insurance?” I asked.
“I like the full size; I feel a lot safer in the big ones, just for one day. Paw said to make sure I got the insurance,” she replied.
“Full size it is. Drivers license, credit card, secondary ID, or passport if possible,” I said.
I quickly typed the information onto the form. And then waited while the computer processed, printed the form and credit card transaction.
Elle M. Clampett, age 26, Hoot Owls Holler, Spencer,W. Virginia 25276. She was modestly dressed; even so it could not hide she was a doll. I was willing to bet she did not get to sit too long at an old fashioned barn dance in the Holler.
The computer printed out the forms and I handed her a pen to sign them.
When she handed them back, “Would you sign an autograph for me, Paw and Granny would never believe I met someone important?” she asked.
I pulled a piece of paper out of the copier.
To Ellie Clampett.
We met briefly in Oklahoma City – God’s country – and had a pleasant conversation. Fight for freedom and demand your rights – don’t let anyone push you around. Stand proud because even with all its troubles, we still live in the best country in the world.’
Ambassador Roberta Jones, Chairperson of the Presidents Terrorist Task Force Over sight committee.
I took one of my federal business cards, marked out the phone number, attached it to the paper and handed it to her.
”When you get home attach your ticket to this – that will make it more meaningful later on,” I said.
She must have thanked me a dozen times before she left.
Marcy walked out of the closed office just as three employees came in carrying Mc-Gaffe cups from the fast food joint down the hall. We had been here thirty minutes; from the lines when we arrived they had been gone much longer than that. Their time cards had shown they were the second time slot employees.
The first three employees started at 0600, this group – the second slot of three – started at 0800 to be on hand when the rush started.
“The video shows they left at 0900 and there were lines then. They have been gone two hours on break,” Marcy said.
“I was going to put the manager on probation but with all things combined, I’m going to fire the four of them. I just called the office to send four MAAR employees here temporarily in the King Air. Two are from the Morton site and two administrative assistants from the office.
“I’m going to interview the assistant manager. Do you want to sit in on it?” Marcy asked.
“No, get Jenny – that way you will have HR involved. Awfully odd that the three seem to be able to walk over the manager like that. Something else much deeper is going on. Make sure you ask those questions in the interview.”
“While you are doing that I will interview the other three, asking the same questions and fire them,” I said.
The morning was long gone and it was after 1400 before we finally drove into the parking lot for the JBG security building. Security was active as I expected it would be and the way Ching Lee and Andy had designed.
There was limited access to the student and visitors parking and they were separate lots.
Ching Lee wanted to drive when we left the airport for the college. She had made the trip several times while setting up the contracts and the security. She drove up to the security at the gate and showed her card to the guard Ray Malone.
“Do not announce that we are here,” she said.
”Yes ma-am,” he replied.
Ching Lee drove to the security building where we parked.
Inside there was no one at the counter but we could hear talking. It was shift change – therefore information exchange – for the evening supervisors and crew.
We didn’t say anything, just quietly poured ourselves a cup of terrible weak coffee. I picked up the coffee pot and set it down hard.
“Just a moment, we will be right out,” someone said.
I motioned the girls to follow.
“How about we come in instead?”
”You call this crap coffee?” I said as I closed the door behind Jenny who was last in.
“Jimmy, there are ladies present and you are right – Oh crap – what did we do for this kind of visit?” it was Frank Hammonds – the site director – who said it.
”I guess you are going to find out fairly quickly,” I said as I laid the folder that I had brought onto the desk.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.