Ladies…. Ladies, ladies, ladies. And gents, really.
I have a bone to pick with many of you apparently, and for your own good.
Why? Oh, I’ll tell you why. Yes, I will!
Because we don’t ask. We assume. Just because so-and-so said this-and-that, he or she is who he or she says he or she is and they are there to do what he or she said.
Okay, okay, okay. A little too serious of a tone for me. Whew! I was giving myself an ulcer and wrinkles!
Here’s why I’m a little upset though.
I came home from work early today. I just couldn’t sit any longer. I was too tired and had a lot of school-related stuff on my mind. Including procrastinating that school-related stuff – hahaha, I’m just kidding.
I got groceries on my way, so I had two decent sized paper bags with handles to take in the house. I situated myself to more easily enter the gate and a man walks up from the alley.
“Hi, pardon me. Do you have dogs?”
I noticed the man had a cut-off grey cut-off t-shirt, jeans, work boots, grey close-cut hair which could have been blonde at some point in his life, blue eyes, tattoo on his arm.
“Uh, yes, I do. Why do you ask?”
“I’m here to change your meter outside the house. I just need to know if your dogs are in the house so I can go through the gate.”
“Oh, and do you have identification?”
“My truck is right over there,” it was within eyeshot around the corner of our fence, obvious markings and all. “I’m with AEP. It’s a new meter. I’ll need to shut off your electric for only about 5 seconds.”
“Oh yeah, sure! That’s fine. The dogs are in the house.”
“Thank you, I’ll bring the truck over real quick.”
So, I take the groceries in, observing. He puts on his AEP hardhat, a navy blue long sleeve shirt.
While he’s walking toward the meter, the man says to me, “you know, in all the years I have worked for AEP, you are the first person who has ever asked me for identification. That’s very smart of you.”
I was a little stunned. “Really? That’s kind of disturbing.”
“We’ll, keep it up.”
I didn’t ask him how many years, dang it!
The man made the switch if the meter and left just as quickly as he arrived. His presence and the unstartling way in which he approached me and explained his purpose was very nice, but he actually still could have been anybody.
I texted Howard to let him know the AEP guy had been here. Date and time stamp.
Would you have noticed what I noticed? I didn’t get a good look at specific identification of the truck, but I got a good look at him. Would you be too busy to see and later recall specific things about his attire, tattoo, equipment? Would you have noticed what time it was? Would you have done something to mark the date and time?
I’m not saying there was anything unusual or alarming about the man. I’m just thinking, how aware of our surroundings are we?
Practice being aware of your surroundings. People watch. Do they have tattoos or piercings? Long hair, short hair, lost a bet with a weed whacker? Is their hair color obvious, or dyed, or grey but seems like it could have been blonde, brown, red? Eye color, contacts, colored contacts, glasses? Do they dress a particular way? Hood, preppy, old-man-ish, closet dirty librarian, brand names, holes or tears in clothing? Jewelry like watches, rings (which hand?), earrings, necklaces, bracelets? Cordially say things to people passing by. Do they have accents? Do they react a way you don’t expect? Do they interact with anyone else? Which way did they head?
There are so many more things to think of. Including, “where did I put that mace?”
Are you ever really, completely safe? No, not really. But, you can increase your odds of safety in any situation just by making note of any number of things about your surroundings and people around you. Have confidence in that. If you do not have confidence in your ability to at least semi-accurately perceive and recall what you perceived, PRACTICE!
Suggestion for AEP techs and other such employees: properly introduce yourself first!!!!
Abrupt, I know. Hahaha!