Thursday, 11 March 2010

Carlos

Out in California...at some point in the past few days...a seven year old kid grabbed his sister and locked themselves into the bathroom of the house. There were a couple of guys who came into the house and shot things up...and were threatening the mother and father.

The robbers didn't know the kid was in the bathroom.

The robbers didn't know that Carlos the kid was calling 9-11.

The robbers didn't know that the cops were on their way.

So as Carlos is telling the operator for 9-11 what they needed....and the audio clip plays out his information for the 9-11 operator...the kid finally comes out and states his most urgent request...bring soldiers.

I stopped at that point...it leaves you in an emotional moment....feeling the kid is in a hostile situation...and he needs someone to come to the aid of the family. And after he lists the obvious things....the cops...the ambulance...he finally comes to what he knows will work in every single situation....soldiers.

Soldiers walk bravely walk into any situation.

Soldiers tend to put themselves between the innocent and the threat, without regard to themselves or their safety.

Soldiers tend to be the last people on Earth that you'd really want to mess with.

So the kid prioritized things...but in the end....he knew precisely what was going to end this situation in the house.

The cops arrived just a few minutes after the 9-11 call occurred...and the bad guys escaped just in time to avoid meeting with the cops.

I sat and watched the episode played out on two networks....none keyed in on the request by the kid for the soldiers. The kid knew what he needed.

Three Notes over Today

There are bits of news from this local region of Washington DC...which I sat and read on today...which lead me to ponder things.

First, in the county next door to me...Fairfax...the county guys are fairly desperate over local funds...so they are cooking up a $33 fee tied to your car registration. There's the state fee when you register...and there could be a local fee. You typically don't find something like this anywhere else in America....but then this is urban Virginia...and folks have tons of local services that they just won't cut back on. Hostile feelings? I don't know. The paper merely reports what is being discussed....not what people think.

Second, the gay marriage thing is in third gear now in DC. The locals woke up and suddenly came to realize that this idea of acceptance...while fifty states remain in a difficult position...revolves around money. So they are talking about another thousand jobs and maybe up to fifty million in profit at hotels and restaurants. It's kinda like having the only 'wet' county in Bama and being surrounded by a dozen 'dry' counties. You end up with tons of money because the other guys wouldn't get in on the deal.

Third and final...Forbes came out with the twenty-five richest counties in America. I sat there laughing mostly...twelve counties of the twenty-five...were surrounding DC. My county...Arlington...made it to number nine....with 204k people and a median household income of $96k a year. We beat counties in NY state. We beat counties in California. We beat counties in Florida. I guess...in the reality of things....it means something important.

Sometimes, You Just Don't Want To Know

Within my field or work for the government...everyone typically requires security clearances...and this means a investigation into your background every five years. You always to dig up three character references...and the security guy will appear one afternoon, and want to chat to these three...or perhaps just three people you work with.

Up until 2000...I was a character interview guy for about five times a year. It wasn't a big deal and rarely took more than twelve minutes. Over the past ten years...I've gotten up to around fifteen times a year now.

I've learned that a number of people like to select me because I fall into one of three categories. First, some people are difficult and hostile within the office area...and thus find few if any folks who are willing to say anything nice about them. So here I am....a generally easy-going Bama guy with no conflict with anyone.

Second, I generally answer things in a honest fashion...perhaps even in the Andy Griffith-manner. There generally aren't issues with someone once I get finished with the interview.

Third...I've reached a point over the past seven years....where I really don't want to know your hidden story...your gossip...your woes....or your sorrows. I've gotten to a point where I hate gossip. I don't want to know about your breakup with the boyfriend. I don't want to know about your wife who is in on some alcohol episode. I don't want to know about someone's bizarre bedroom interests. So in a way, I avoid knowing anything that might paint you in a negative way.

This week....I got invited to yet another question and answer episode with a security guy. Somewhere around the sixth question...even though I had "known" the person in question for three years...I found myself wondering IF I really knew them. There was a passing of five questions and I sat there having to think about things because I've used my rule number three to such an extent...that even people I've worked around and been work associates with...I really don't know them to the degree I should.

It made me sit and ponder my rules. In a way...I just want to know the bare essentials about people I associate with or work with. Once you get past that point...then you start to pass judgment calls on them...and it becomes a problem. Life's not simple...that's the real problem in the end. I'd like to have chocolate cake with whipped cream, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side...but the reality is that the whipped cream could be stale, and the ice cream might be pistachio.