Another Monday, another day at the mall Customer Service desk. My shift starts at 9:30; I left the house at 8:50, and arrived at the mall parking garage 25 minutes later. I wound my way up to the top level, and parked by the door that's closest to the desk.
The large, four-level garage has several access points into the mall. Every access has stairways and elevators that run from the street up to the fourth floor. The top of the stairwells have glass windows all around and a glass door. It's hard to see inside when you're walking up to the door, but that's usually not a problem. Today, however, I opened the door and came eye-to-eye with a bird.
I think it was a sparrow, but it was moving too fast to be sure. I'm guessing it came in on one of the lower levels, got confused, and flew up. It must have been sitting on the trash can next to the elevator, but when I opened the door it flew right at me. I don't know who was more surprised! I jumped and gave a little shriek (which must have looked hilarious on the security cameras). The bird quickly changed course and flew up to the very top of the stairwell, where it perched on a tiny ledge and stared at me. As I walked farther in, it took flight again and disappeared down the stairwell on the other side of the elevator.
Logically I knew the bird couldn't do anything to me, but my adrenaline was working better than my logic was. I was afraid to walk down the stairs in case I ran into the bird again. In the fourteen months I've worked at the mall I've never used the elevator, which is very slow, but today I decided it was worth the wait...