Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"To Observe & Report"

As many of you reading this post, I've worn many hats in my days. Not careers mind you, just jobs, in the sense that there was a basic aura of desperation wafting from all the other poor souls around me. The room for professional growth was limited regardless of personal potential. & we all knew this. Yet, like Pavlov's dog, as soon as the whistle blew our mouth's watered in delight of what was or was not to come. 99% of my bosses/managers were douche nozzles. I understand how Pavlov's dog must have felt.

My least favorite experience was as a security guard. Easily one of the most demeaning, humiliating, under paid jobs an English speaking American citizen could have. My fellow officers who barely spoke English & weren't citizens loved it. I loathed it. The pants were uncomfortable, & a little more crotch friendly than I would've preferred. Kind of like a lycra/polyester/spandex blend straight leg design with a bell bottom flare to accentuate my shiny shoes. Upon first glance, they screamed many things, but "FREEZE! I'M THE LAW 'ROUND HERE!" wasn't one of them. It's no wonder I caught more boxer shorts bunch-ups than actual assailants. The uniform shirt must have been based on Barney Fife's, because any dude weighing more than 137 lbs. would appear to have a healthy set of man-boobs by the time the top button was squeezed through it's eyelet. It sort of felt like the Halloween that I dressed up as a policeman, except then I was 11 & people thought it was cute. Now, it was just the glorified costume of a tattle-teller.

Believe it or not, the security guard's mantra is "observe & report".

Sounds easy, right?

One night I was assigned to a rim factory parking lot, adjacent to the hub where they manufactured the wheels. My total time for human interaction was the 15 minutes when the employees arrived & the 10 minutes that they departed. My shift was 10 pm to 6 am. Prime crime time for most cities in L.A. County.

About a 1/4 mile down the street, I noticed squad car activity. I mean, real police cars, not security guard supervisor's Honda Civics. One patrol unit veered over to me & excitedly asked if I had seen "a man with a gun running this way". I answered "no", & hiked up my itchy trousers assuredly. The officer nodded & told me to "be careful" & drove away quicker than he arrived.

Be careful?

How careful could I be without even so much as a keychain sized can of pepper spray? ALL these guys had guns! I had a clipboard & a flashlight with dying batteries! This guy could appear from behind some Winnebago & shoot me & I wouldn't even be able to "observe" him, much less see what I'm "reporting" about being shot in the thigh meat. Luckily, he never came near my post, or if he did, my hiding place was just that good. I quickly got out of the "protection game" the exact same way I went into it.

High & unemployed.

Sometimes I wonder what would have become of my life if I had the kind of parents that grinded my hopes & dreams into the fairy dust that sprinkles the successful person's Sunday afternoons.

A lot less entertaining is my usual answer.