Killing the Tagger  

rm_smosmof2 68M
963 posts
4/21/2006 8:17 pm

Last Read:
7/22/2006 9:00 am

Killing the Tagger

Look, I know that I'm wound a little (?!?) too tight sometimes, and that sometime a button will get pushed that I over react to inappropriately. The whole "Hopes and Dreams" thing earlier this week was a good example of that.*

I hit another one tonight, the intesity of my reaction surprised even me.

It's about a quarter of 6. I'm at work in the Security Communications Room. The place where I work terminated their contract with the security firm I work for, and this weekend will be my last on this assignment. Too bad, I think I fit into this particular job real well. So this week we've had a handful of guys from the security company who will be replacing us come in for training. At least one of them has already been let go because after the first two nights it was clear that he wasn't going to be able to cut it. This particular assignment (Security Communications) is not the kind of thing that most people in this line of work are likely to be prepared for. For me, with a background in computers and customer service, it's been a great fit. The computers overwhelm a lot of the people they try to put in here.

Anyway, so we've got a guy in his early 30's here for his second day of training, and we've gotten a young guy (23) in just after 5 for his first day. So at 5:45, one of the maintenance guys comes into the room because he wants to see how the cameras work that are stationed all over the compound. There are probably about 20. Many of them are stationary mounts, focused on a particular place. Others have the capability of scanning in close to 360 degrees around, up and down. On these, you can change the zoom in or out, change the focus, and change the iris to increase or decrease the amount of available light. Very flexible. So this maintenance guy wants to see how these things work so that he can mount them on his property to find out who's been leaving graffiti all over his place.

"You won't be able to catch them," says the 23 year old trainee. The maintenance guy replies that if he can see who's doing it that he can turn the information over to the police. "Won't do you any good," the trainee says. "I used to do that stuff, and you can't catch us or identify us." This set off the maintenance guy a little.

"You used to do that? Why?"

"I was young. It's artistic. You wear latex gloves and a gas mask and a beanie, and there not traces left. You throw the can away, you throw the gloves away, you can't be recognized, and there's no evidence. I just couldn't ever do that stuff high up on buildings and shit. But I grew out of it."

There was an attitude that suddenly became clear to me. Not only was there no remorse for having pointlessly destroyed other people's property, he was proud of it.

I lost it.

"You defaced and destroyed other people's property and that's your excuse? You were young? That doesn't exuse shit. Did you ever repay people for what you destroyed? Did you ever clean up the walls or paint over what you'd done?"

Even the maintenance guy was surprised at the intensity of my reaction. He tried to calm me down. I agreed that I needed to do that, and walked out until I found someone that I kindof knew from having worked with, and I got to verbally vent off some of the steam. I called my counterpart back in the room, and told him I'd be coming back, but I needed a project to deal with for a while, and that I'd cover things while he trained the new guys, but that he needed to keep that guy and me as far apart as he could. I went back in and the subject hasn't come up at all since, except that I did apologize to my counterpart for having lost control and become inappropriate.

As usual, this becomes my refuge of final venting, and hopefully I can let go of it now. I've known for a long time that the whole "tagging" thing was something that pissed me off because it demonstrated a complete disregard for other people's property, but even I was shocked at how quickly I escalated to ballistic.

The other sardonic reaction I had to the whole thing was that even as I was doing it, I knew that I had just become my father, for whom such displays had been s.o.p. from the time I was very young. He's still capable, at age 81, of going off like that if you get him on the right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it) subject.

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