Chapter 38

Traffic on 95 North was not in my favor, but with a little luck and healthy disregard for the rules of the road, I figure I can just make roll call. Normally I kinda hate being late, especially to a meeting where I can’t get in un-noticed.  Even though Lt Giancarlo’s text said to report directly to him, (…at least I think that’s what it meant!),  I’m still an everyday patrol cop and that means be in the Squad Room  7:00 am sharp and listen to Sgt Flerherty tell all of us how to do our jobs safely and how it’s our duty to the citizens of the city of Providence and blah, blah.

I glanced at my phone and the text still showed: ‘Come in… G’    I started to grin,  goddamn! this just might be my shot at trading in my same olds for some real police work! Just gots to get to the station, and make that transition.

The Providence Police Department is located directly over the Providence Fire Station. Combining essential city services into one location seemed like a great idea in the late 1950s, when the biggest public safety issues were:  a) the next hurricane and b) keeping up with the dead gangster calls from Federal Hill. Square grey granite, the front of the building had an unlikely  splash of red  from the four overhead doors for the various  trucks and fire engines.  The police department was on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The Squad Room was on the 2nd floor, a 12 x 14 (probably big enough for the entire Department when the place was built) room furnished in ‘Elementary Modern’ school desks, (the kind with the solid plastic desk top that looked kinda like an apostrophe? )… now that I think about it, the room looks like most 1950s classrooms, right down to the greenish floor tile. Every day, before each shift, special assignments, notes, new APBs and general schedule bullshit was announced, gripes were solicited and we were all sent out on the street.  I’ve only been on the force 3 years, but my least favorite part of the job was these daily meetings, mostly because the old veteran cops, who for the most part thrived on the shift meeting, it gave ’em a chance to be ‘wise old timers’…  always plenty of advice for rookies, which to them was anyone who joined the force after Carter was President. Sgt Flerherty seemed to encourage this, sort of a ‘bad cop, worse cop‘ approach to management. He’d stand at the front of the room and listen to some of the most arrant nonsense come from these guys and would only interrupt if it looked like someone was getting pissed off enough to start something, then he’d say, ‘gentlemen!! save that shit for the street!’  At least until the ladies started to show up in uniform. Then even he had to change. And, while most cops hate change, a career Shift Supervisor like Flerherty abhorred change. He knew that women are totally suited to police work… in administration or, if especially gifted, maybe back-up Dispatcher. Beat cop? With a gun? On patrol? no, no and ‘faith ‘n begorra’ no!!  Story has it that it was a young cop on the rise back in the late 80s who managed to help Flerherty to accept modern police work.  That kind of help is as likely to breed resentment as it is gratitude.

“Campbell! it says here that  you’re off today’s roster, you’ve been re-assigned to Lt Giancarlo up in the Detective Division.” Sgt. Flerherty seemed more put out by the change to his patrol  schedule than anything else.  He ran the pre-shift meetings like a male nun, eyes glinting behind wire-rimmed glasses, looking for any deviation from ‘the right way to start a shift’.

Your uniform looks like you slept in it!  I’ll not be having any of my men disgracing the uniform, so get yourself a little more presentable before you go up to see them plainclothes,” the scorn in his voice when saying ‘plainclothes‘, spoke volumes about the career that Flerherty had worked to achieve. ‘The real cops,‘ as he always concluded the pre-shift meetings, ‘…are them out there not hiding behind fancy clothes and un-marked cars. Get out there and do your duty.

Flerherty made a check mark on his clipboard and without another word, started passing out the day’s shift assignments. The laughing started at the back of the squad room, where the old timers always sat.  I figured I had just enough time to change back to my civies and be only moderately late, so I ignored them.  As I walked up to the front of the room, Henries leaned over and whispered to his partner, Jacobson, “What do they call a 3 year patrol cop in plainclothes?” I stopped, the muscles tightening in my shoulders, which for me is never a good sign unless I’m about to subdue a prisoner or bust up a bar fight. As I started to turn, I felt a hand grab my right wrist.  Jackie Carleone, a 7 year veteran, and my training supervisor when I started,  looked up and shook her head. I smiled at her and continued up to the front of the room, past Flerherty, who was so engrossed in something on his podium that he didn’t look up.  As I got to the door, I  looked back, flipped off the back of the room, in the general direction of Henries and Jacobson.  Jackie was studying something on the desk in front of her, the movement of her shoulders the only give-away to her laughter.

A quick change into my comfortable dress clothes and I was heading up the staircase to the 3rd floor.

 

Where the fuck have you been?!” the voice came out of an open office door at the far end of the room. From where I stood, I could see the open work space with the standard green metal desks, made even older looking by the computer monitors on each of the six desks, four of which were occupied. The Chief of Detective’s office was clearly marked by the wall of frosted glass windows that divided his office from the rest of the room. It’s occupant, Lt Robert Giancarlo didn’t bother getting up from his desk, “My note to your Sargent said to send you up here as soon as you got in!

Sorry, I stopped to change out of my uniform” I projected my voice so he’d hear me in the his office,  but was more interested in the 4 Detectives at their desks in the main office area. Not sleeping for 24 hours tended to simulate my throw-shit-at-people reflex and so, I figured a little of the humble-new-guy apology might not be such a bad thing.  But no one seemed interested and so I kept walking past them and into the private office of Lt Robert Giancarlo, Head of the Providence Police Department Detective Division.

 

 

A Brief Intermission…

Just a short break from the steadily increasing ( Ha! )suspense of my first ( Ha!!! ) detective novel…
While I figure out what to do next…

Anyway.

In the real world, in my real job…I work for a giant multi- national corporate security firm. And one of my evolved functions at my particular job site over time has become…being the world’s oldest, crankiest, and ugliest front-desk receptionist. Certainly not the perky twenty- something attractive model-in-waiting that job applicants are always hoping for. No. Much closer to Billy Bob Thornton’s Bad Santa, although admittedly a bit better organized.

So, the point being that I ‘ve seen job applicants of every shape and size make every conceivable mistake when arriving for their interview. Most people actually don’t make these errors, but you always remember the bad ones. So, I’ve compiled a Top- Five Mother- of- God You Can’t Be Serious List
for your perusal and entertainment. This is a direct result of having seen the absolute worst ever, just this past Monday.

5) Do not be late; and then park in a clearly marked fire lane, because that is apparently what fire lanes are there for…and supplement this with a ” whatever, I’m here now ” attitude. Bad Santa has the number of a local towing service, and after respectfully asking you to move your vehicle, will pull that trigger. And he remembers one particular applicant who replied with ” Why, what are you gonna do, tow my car?”

4) Ditto, for handicapped parking. Because Bad Santa is in position to have to watch people who truly need those spaces struggling to get to the building entrance because of you.

These above two have nothing to do with your actual appointment, and yet speak volumes about your chances. These are often the very people who have surprisingly short interviews…

Bad Santa recalls six people once interviewing for a very high- level Metlife position. All six perfectly qualified, and yet Bad Santa knew ” the guy” even as he arrived to sign in and be received. A magical quality, whatever that is…and somehow indescribable. The ” guy” was actually a mid- thirties woman from Bridgewater, New Jersey who is now a vice president, and has a nicely situated corner office. Flies home on the weekends.

3) Arrive at the correct address, with the correct contact information. Hard to believe, but yes. Many will arrive with no information at all, and have to wait while Bad Santa uses his considerable psychic powers to determine where they should actually be.

2) Do not arrive too early. Rather than make a positive first impression, this actually puts pressure on the interviewer to hurry through their schedule. Always seems to result in a short interview.

And the very best for last…yes, this actually happened. Bad Santa swears to it.

1) Do Not Bring Your Dog To Your Job Interview. Even if he is small enough to ride in your handbag. Even if you have a long and deeply self- involved story as to why you had to bring him with you. He is not a seeing- eye dog. And do not become argumentative when your respective employer insists on his leaving the premises. You have already destroyed your job prospects in the immediate sense, and will probably never understand why you have likely never been gainfully employed. But Fluffy sure is a cute little guy, isn’t he?

Well, there it is. Bad Santa thanks you for your indulgence. And now back to the surreal prospect of me being a private detective.

I’ll take the questions.

Well… An unexpected honor from the Clark over at the Doctrine. Either that, or he’s running out of bloggers to pass awards to.  That’s ok; I know even fewer bloggers than he does, and I like the questions posed, so I’ll give it a go.

1) How did I feel in the middle of writing my first post?

Initially, I began by writing whole posts in the comments to the Doctrine because I saw them as being related to the subject at hand. I didn’t notice how odd that was.  I soon began ‘The Secessionist Rag” as a way of seceding from the Doctrine and going my own way.  It began as a writing experiment that included participation of the Doctrine denizens of that time. I still like that story.

Shortly after that, I found myself writing a post about… raking leaves.  It was my first complete departure into writing purely on my own. I still remember the exhiliaration of not knowing where the thing was going to go from sentence to sentence, and thoroughly enjoying the ride. I soon became completely addicted to that sensation, and now don’t write that much because it’s become all the more difficult to obtain. I’m an addict.

2) First girlfriend…

This would be Janice Kinder, in the third grade. She was English and Protestant, to my Irish and Catholic. We agreed that it was doomed, but of course had no idea why. We were in the third grade.

My first real girlfriend was Diane Fitzgerald in high school; a very badly twisted and damaged roger. Extremely volatile personality, easily mistaken for a scott. Even Scott knew to keep his distance. Last I heard, she was serving as pastor in a Congregational church outside of London, having apparently decided to invade Britain.

3) Gilligan…

a) Why presume that they’re cannibals?

b) Are they angry men with spears? Or maybe they’re beautiful scantily-clad Eurasian girls in grass skirts…even if they were cannibals…not the worst thing…

Anyway. If they’re angry men, I’ll go with a scott for the military value. Awfully good in a scrap. If they’re girls…I’d rather a clark there instead. A clark will have trouble relating, and won’t make eye contact. That’ll give me more time to ingratiate myself by putting together a quick but zesty barbecue sauce, or maybe trading my life for my secret dry rub recipe. Then I can become the personal chef to the Cannibal Queen.

4) Swapping…

Very difficult choice. The hardest would be scotts, because it would be so exhausting to maintain the necessary output of energy over a long period of time. Not to even mention the barking.

If I knew seven bloggers to pass this to, I would.  But, alas…

What??….

I don’t even have a file for stuff like this.

Best I could do would be  a ” That is such a goddamned shame” file.

Or, the ” Are you %$#@#$%^ serious” file.

I have friend from where I work; I’ll call her Gina. I’ve known her there for over ten years.

Gina has a second job at a boutique jewelry shop called Alex and Ani. They specialize in eco-friendly, green, spirit-infused? jewelry.” Positive energy” in all their stuff. I’m not sure how that works at all.

A few nights ago, they were having a wine-and-cheese night for customers. It’s all pretty high-end stuff, so it’s in keeping with their approach.

Gina is 32, and is the oldest employee there. Mostly 20-somethings.

It was very busy; and among the customers were two women, aged about 50-ish and 70-ish.

Very suddenly, the older woman collapsed to the floor.

The younger woman went to her knees beside her, screaming “Mom! Mom!”

People stood around nervously; the 20-somethings giggled a lot.

After a minute or so, Gina called 911. Ten minutes later, EMTs arrived, and Gina went outside to hurry them inside; then kept other customers from entering while they worked. One actually became incensed at the inconvenience.

Ten minutes after that, their attempts in vain, they took the woman out; clearly expired.

In relating this to me the next morning, we talked about the horrific lack of involvement and lack of empathy of the bystanders, and especially  among the employees. No one knew what to do, and no one felt compelled to act at all.

Gina says that they all went back to the wine and cheese within a few minutes.

I asked if Alex and Ani, as a company, has any sort of emergency training available for employees. Gina said she would find out.

The next morning, she told me that her manager  had made some calls, and the company responded decisively to the possibility of future emergencies. But she was a little worried, and embarrassed, at what they actually did.

They called their shaman.

That is correct. Shaman.

The same one who had installed all the… crystals… behind the sheet rock… so that the store would be infused with positive energy…

No CPR/AED training, which Homeland Security will provide for free. Nothing like that.

Nope… a shaman. Because you need some big ju-ju to keep old ladies (eeeww) from coming in your store and dying ( triple eeeww). You have to clean out all the negativity and get some green, eco-friendly anti-old lady magic up in there. Plus, it wrecks it for the wine and cheese people, and that’s where your money is.

I suppose it’s me, but dammit…

That is so totally and tragically fucked up.

I don’t have a file for this.

 

 

Published in: on April 15, 2013 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Yet Another Doctrine Post…

” Never mind the maneuvers…just go straight at ’em”

Admiral Lord Nelson

This is a followup to my ” Another Doctrine Post ” of a few weeks ago.

In that piece, I advanced the idea that an internet dating site may very well comprise the perfect hunting ground for a typical scott. ( At this point, I must insist that readers refer back to the Wakefield Doctrine for explanations of these and other terms. This will simply make no sense whatever if you don’t.)

I described how my associate ( whom I will refer to as Ms. X ) has happily shredded her way through several relationships, all garnered through the use of internet dating sites.

Ms. X‘s most recent adventure came to my attention simply through our proximity in our shared work environment. I knew, for instance, that Mr. Z was a gourmet chef, the owner of several businesses, has an extensive gun collection, and makes his own ammo?…I half-jokingly put in a request for some Minie balls for an Enfield musket…you never know…can’t hurt to ask…

Their first date consisted of gourmet dinner at his house; followed by gourmet dinner at her house; followed by a day-trip on one of his shrimping boats… I lightly commented to Ms. X that nothing was taking place in a social or public venue, that she should know better than that, that the first rule of the hunt is to isolate the prey as soon as possible, that maybe she should be a little careful…

This would be somewhat like asking Dirty Harry to go out without the .44 Magnum. Not going to happen. Because she thinks that she is Dirty Harry in this, and every other scenario.

But in this, unlike other situations, Ms. X was very, very optimistic. Mr.Z was hitting all the right buttons, lighting up all the lights, playing all the right chords. She didn’t have to correct him on anything at all. Idyllic.

I found myself actually thinking that Ms.X would be all done with the dating sites because it finally worked, just like the E-Harmony guy said it would. Good for her, I thought. She’s had several crosses to bear, and has borne them all heroically. Fair play to the Queen.

That was two weeks ago.

Apparently, scotts can be hunted, too. The only thing a scott has to fear…is a bigger, faster scott.

On Monday, Ms.X came into work…an hour late. Parked in a different lot…in a different car…came in through a back entrance, stole into her office, and called to make sure there wasn’t a black Camaro visible on security cameras. Then came out to show me a photo, with instructions to refuse him admittance; we worked out a radio call in case he got in somehow, and to call 911 if he did. She notified her hometown police, and a few detectives she knows ( she is also a licensed private detective).

It is very disconcerting to observe a confident, card-carrying, fully functional scott who is suddenly genuinely terrified.

At some point, she’ll probably provide me some detail. I would like to have some key information just in case something terrible should happen. If she’s gone missing, then someone at work should be able to direct the authorities and possibly save some critical time.

Seems like every tragic story you hear of starts with ” no one ever thought…”

For now, I’ll just keep watch for black Camaros and gourmet chefs. ( The big white hat should be real easy to spot…)

Scotts hunting scotts…it’s enough to make you glad to be a roger.

Makes you want to get a little closer to the campfire, though, doesn’t it?

Another Doctrine post…

Every now and then, it behooves us to write a little something in regard to the Wakefield Doctrine, that giant conglomerate blog that presides across the virtual pond. The Doctrine is expanding and developing at a truly impressive rate, and is impacting people’s lives in ways that were unimaginable not so very long ago. Light-years away from the EL Freeman parking lot in beautiful downtown Wakefield RI, almost back to the time of the King Philip’s war. ( Philip was a scott, you see, and Roger Williams was a roger…a rose by the very same name… )

We are not at all sure why we have switched to the royal “we” in referring to ourselves. We are apparently feeling slightly detached and aloof. We will play along; we are feeling somewhat whimsical at the moment. We suspect that it may simply have been from using the word ” behooves.”

Well, onto the point. We are sure that we left one lying around here somewhere.

My boss is a scott; an absolutely atypical scott. I have worked for her for over two years now, and am often surprised by how well this has worked out. I only have a few scars to show for it, where many others  have found themselves transformed into interesting balloon-animal shapes. She once used her pure force of will to get someone fired; from another company, not ours. Banned from the kingdom, driven into the wilderness. ( A lot like the Roger Williams analogy, now that we think about it…)

I, the model employee, have become the perfect lieutenant to her napoleonic Grand Design. Of course, I can’t actually know what the Grand Design really is, because she would probably have to kill me. And I am OK with that. I have grown accustomed to my face, thank you. It almost makes the day begin. ( Pray that you are not old enough to get that reference.)

She is in her early forties, divorced, mother to a 15-yr.old girl. And for as long as I have known her, she has been very actively involved in internet dating. She sometimes keeps me in that loop; the stories are often very entertaining, in a kind of Saw VII way. An exhausting business, certainly; constant texting and emailing and scheduling…To me, it seems as if it all creates a culture in which people don’t bother to invest much energy into who’s in front of them, because they know there’s always another dozen or so in the wings. Sad, really.

She has a sort of rating system, and no one has ever lasted for more than two months. Most for considerably less, and when they fail..she tells them exactly what they did wrong. They must understand why they are being dismissed.

And recently, it has occurred to me that internet dating…is the absolutely perfect hunting ground for the active, modern scott.  Forget parties. Forget water coolers. Those are for beginners.

So what do E-Harmony, Plenty of Fish, and Omaha Steaks all have in common?  If you inherently know the answer, you’re a scott; if you don’t, you’re a roger; an innocent, doe-eyed roger.

Think on it. It will come to you.

Think faster.

“Hey…why is my soul mate carrying a bottle of A-1 Sauce?”

Now would you look at that…

I’ve been away for some time now.

But it’s Sunday morning, and I’m at work; covering a call-out shift. And it’s very quiet. I’ve been printing out some materials from both my security companies’ files, and Homeland Security. I expect to get notification tomorrow to do it anyway, so I’ll save myself some time.

And what I’ve been thinking while I go over this stuff myself and set it up for my roster of guards to go over this week…has to do with the Wakefield Doctrine.

So I’m going to write a Doctrine post; but I’ll do it here, because this kind of thing is generally not appreciated on that side of the pond. But nonetheless…a WD post over here? Didn’t see that coming.

The thing about the Doctrine…is that it simply works. If you take every imaginable type of classification or conceivable way to group or categorize humans away…if all you’ve got left is three naked cavemen ( or cave people…sorry ) and a stick, lying on the ground…there it is. The goddamned Doctrine.

Which one interacted with the stick first, and why? And then what?

Three fundamental personality types, and how they interact. That is literally the whole thing. Everything else is adornment.

But, as opposed to the general tone of things over at the Doctrine site, things are not always fun. If the WD is true and real, then it must cover the entire span of human interaction, or admit that it’s flawed somehow.

So…a Doctrine post for your perusal, but of a decidedly different tone.

The horrific shootings in Connecticut leave me with a totally empty void. As opposed to 911, there isn’t even a definable enemy to associate the event to. Just a typical profile of a typical shooter. It just happened, and now it’s over. I, personally, would much prefer to have a definitive enemy; something that your mind can address it’s need to respond to.

But no…just a sadly twisted loner kid, and a mother with guns.

The materials I’m preparing are emergency instructions; the subject matter in this case is specifically how to respond to an active shooter.

And there are additional materials that address the psychological profiles of active shooters.

And I’m wondering, because it’s hard to read into this clearly. Which WD type would an active shooter most likely stem from? Is it possible for it to vary? And what factors would combine to create such a profile?

At first, I thought that they’re probably scotts; being the type that would most likely see violence or aggression as a viable outlet. But then again…scotts are also most likely to act immediately, and therefore have the highest likelihood of a usable release valve for their perceived resentments.

They just don’t fit the profile.

Clarks? They define themselves as outsiders, are only comfortable, if at all, in the outer perimeters of interactive groups; are certainly capable of holding and fostering deep resentments, not just over months ( as the profile reads) but over decades. They would be extremely capable of assembling a detailed plan to address their perceived resentments. And yet is is still difficult to determine what the final trigger to act would actually be. But overall…much closer to the profile.

But… I think that the closest type would have to be among rogers. I sense that the very prolonged alienation from social groups combined with ultra-personal incidental resentments could create the justification that would be needed. The victims are actually completely random, but are chosen from the social group that must be punished; and always seems to be supplemented with very particular punishment for a few particular individuals.

I therefore say that they’re most likely rogers, probably every time. In the end, I think it’s not about the targets at all. It’s about the importance of healthy socialization at a very young age. Just look what can happen when kids are abandoned at a societies’ outer perimeters for too long.

Should this be read by any interested parties ( especially amongst the Doctrine readership ) I would be most intrigued to receive your comments. For those that are entirely unfamiliar with the idea of the Wakefield Doctrine, please click the link in the right-side margin.

And though this isn’t pleasant subject matter, it’s nice to be back.