Friday, September 01, 2006

We interrupt this week's TNF to bring you the following story: PG, the vigilante, or why doing the right thing is so hard to do

...or why my life truly needs to be a TV show.

Last night I am finishing up my work-out when I hear a, rat-a-tat-tat on my front door.
I open the door and am greeted by someone (a very handsome young man) who is going door to door selling magazine subscriptions trying to raise money for a trip to London.
MMMmmmmmmmm, yummy. Tell me more.
I listen to his shpeel, but he is more interested in flirting with me than he is in telling me what it is exactly he is trying to raise the money for and how he is going to raise the money.
I start asking questions.
Turns out the organization he is trying to raise the money for is the organization I work for.
So, I start asking more questions. In my mind I am also thinking, "Hey, wasn't there an email that went out earlier this week about this and didn't it state that it wasn't for real?"
But, "Philip" is still flirting with me.
I begin asking more questions.
I then tell him I work for the organization that he tells me he is representing.
His body language doesn't change.
(Oh...he's good.)
More flirting.
At one point I tell him he's slick, smooth.
He asks for money.
"Oh, nope sorry. I don't have any."
"Not even $10?"
"No, sorry."
"We'll hold your check for up to 14 business days."
"Yeah, gotta pass. Thanks"
Flirting comes to a complete stop. We shake hands. (Good firm handshake. I love a good handshake.)
He leaves.
I stand in my living room thinking, "Yeah, that was too smooth, too polished, too flirty. Email earlier in the week."
Light bulb.
I call the police.
I give them a complete description. 5'8, green eyes, blond hair, wearing a green M*A*S*H t-shirt, tattoos on his forearms, and top of his left foot. He was wearing flip-flops and his name is Philip. He's 23, just got out of the army and has a four-year-old daughter. He just crossed the street and he is heading east. (I could see his shadow out my second bedroom window) Operator was very impressed with my recall. (I was too to be honest) I told her he and I chatted it up. (One good thing about my personality- I get info from people.)
(So, yay! me.)
The police call me after they arrest him. They want to know if I bought any thing from him.
"Do you want to press charges?"
"I do." The officer seemed less than thrilled with this response. I found that odd, but whatever. It's the right thing to do, right? Plus, he was misrepresenting the organization I work for, therefore I kind of took it personally.
The officer tells me he isn't sure I can press charges since he didn't get any money from me.
He'll ask his Sergeant and call me back.
A few minutes later the officer calls me back. Do I still want to press charges? I ask him some questions: "Does he know it was me who called?" (Hello, single white female who lives alone?)
"No. But if you press charges you will have to appear in court and then he will know."
Officer is talking in my ear and seems less than enthused about me pursuing this.
Still seems like the right thing to do.
"Yes, I want to proceed with charges."
They bring over the report for me to file. This officer (different than the one on the phone) seems even less thrilled that he had to come to my apartment and drop this off.) He explains it to me and tells me to call when I am finished and they will pick it up.
"Okay. Thanks."

I call my mom.
Mom, is proud of me, but less than thrilled that I am pressing charges. (Hello, single white female who lives alone.)
I'm starting to worry.

I call my girlfriend and tell her about the situation and ask her what she thinks I should do.
She is also less than thrilled that I am pursuing this. She wouldn't pursue it. Again, the single white female living alone is the predominate reason.

I start to panic a little.
Things from my past come to my mind.
I thought I was doing the right thing.
I think I am doing the right thing.
By the time I get off the phone with her I decide I am going to drop the charges.
I call the police to tell them the report is finished, however, I don't want to continue with charges.
The operator tells me she will have an officer call me.

A different officer calls a few minutes later.
He is SO much nicer than the previous two I have spoken with. He tells me they have already apprehended five individuals, three are currently sitting in jail and that by the time this is over the number of individuals that will press charges will be in the double digits. This is a pretty big fraud case right now.
"Oooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Then yes, I want to pursue charges. Thank you so much for this information and for easing my mind. I had no idea."

Even though I was proud of myself for calling the police and reporting Philip and my mind had been eased, I was worried that I wouldn't sleep last night. I was afraid that every little sound would jerk me awake.
I didn't wake up once. I was completely out all night.

This morning I sent out a company wide email informing everyone about the on-going fraud.
I told my co-worker. She was so proud. The first person to really congratulate me for actually being pro-active. That's all I was looking for. Someone to tell me I did the right thing, not scare me by saying, "Ah, you're jeopardizing your safety."
But see, that's why it's so hard to do the right thing. We don't back each other up in our decisions when we try to do the right thing. I worried about the individual figuring out it was me and coming back to my apartment not about how many people he ripped off and if there were others that out there ripping people off. Plus, the two people who I had spoken with, not to mention the officers, were less than thrilled about me following through with my decision. I mean, if someone is gusty enough to go door-to-door taking money then what else could they do?
(...and stop thinking about it...)

So, anyway, that was my night last night.

..and you?


Casper said...

Good for you. People can't complain about crime if they're unwilling to do something about it when it happens to them. You're lucky you didn't fall victim to this con, and should be proud you were able to turn the tables on him!

HST said...

my night was not nearly as exciting, and by that I mean I was kept awake by assholes doing god knows what outside my hotel room. But good for you PG, I'm very proud. you did the RIGHT thing, believe me;)

puerileuwaite said...

So now he gets butt-banged in jail just for trying to scam you out of $10? Remind me to NEVER try to scam you ;-)

I'm joking of course. This was a brave and noble thing that you did.

The smart thing to do would be to silently watch through the window as you worked out. That's what I do, er, would have done.

Oh, and while I'm at it, I'm collecting for "Pugs for Hot Single White Chicks Living Alone". For only $10 you get your own Pug, slightly used. Heck, you can even "owe" me the $10.

Twisted DNA said...

Wow, what a night! You definitely did the right thing. And about security, we already live in a dangerous world, this can't worsen the safety.

Oh my night? Don't even ask :)

AeroAangel said...

it is hard...and most people don't speak up and do the right thing even if they know they should...i think, "good for you, you didn't let them strongarm you out of doing what you knew was right."

Party Girl said...

Casper: You're such a ghost! you pop up here and there, but never stay very long. Nice to see ya.

Thanks, it did feel pretty good.

Sex: Gawd, I hate neighbors sometimes.

...most of the time.

P So, what P.O. Box should I send that to?

DNA: Ah, safety, crime, and security.

..what are those again?

Aero: I have to admit that I am pretty happy with my decision.

Update: I told my boss and she couldn't believe it. She took me down to her boss so she could tell him. I got a 'high-five'...yah! me.

Old Man Crowder said...

Good for you.

My night? I ate 2 hot dogs and watched America's Funniest Home Videos, followed by a train-wreck "So You Think You Can Dance" recap show.

I wish some hot chick in work out clothes would try to con me out of something. At least it would be more fun than my regular life.

Party Girl said...

OMC: I live at....

Old Man Crowder said...

There's a reason it's "Old Man" Crowder, rather than "Party Man" Crowder.


Party Girl said...

OMC: We could change that. I'm just sayin'

Karl said...

Geez, this is what happens when I get behind on my blog reading. I miss a ton! I'm proud of you for doing the right thing...and you were doing it before you even heard about all the other guys they nabbed.

Anonymous said...

thanks for these great posts.