Well the Waste Management strike in Oakland finally came to an end and thus, so did our job of providing security. Which is just A OK with me, as I was leaving the detail anyway due to some "gut feelings" I had about certain issues.
But I didn't leave without any stories. And I think my favorite one would involve the phone call I received from one of the agents following a garbage truck while I was in the CP (Command Post). The agent relayed to me, in real time, that he was "surrounded" by picketers, and that they had blocked his car -- as well as the garbage truck -- from moving. He then told me that one of the picketers had pulled a knife and was making threatening gestures. The agent was noticeably shaken up and had a fair amount of adrenaline pumping through his ever-so masculine veins.
It was at this point where I calmly (from the air conditioned hotel room/CP, where I was in the middle of watching The Ringer in which Johnny Knoxville pretends to be retarded so he can win the Special Olympics on a bet -- good stuff) interjected "Are your doors locked?" He said yes, so I told him "Umm, then why don't you just drive through the people?"
Let me back up here a second; I realize that most people have never taken a tactical driving course so I will explain a very simple principle: Your car is a two and-a-half ton bullet. It's the most powerful weapon you own on the street. If people are in your way... well, you do the math. So you may be saying to yourself "well maybe this guy didn't have any tactical driving experience." Just keep reading.
Once the incident was over, the agent in question did what he was supposed to do and filed a report with the police. After he was finished with that, he calls the CP and demands to be picked up, as "the picketers are sure to recognize my car and come after it." Uhh... yeah. So I relay this to my boss, who I have worked with before, and after the laughter subsides the man who brought me out for the job says "get in my Suburban and we'll go get him." This should be fun, I figure, as he is a retired Army 1st Sgt. and has had nothing but a bad day. I'm all about viewing an ass-chewing.
We get to the location and the boss tells the hero-in-question to get in his vehicle and that he will take him back to the hotel. "How are you going to get my car back" he asks. The 1st Sgt. looks at me and I just grin as I get into the vehicle in question. The agent stammers "well be sure to, uhh, button down tight, 'cause, uhh... they might recognize you!" The boss-man then utters a classic, tobacco-in-the-lip, "this ain't fuckin' Baghdad, dude." It was a struggle to keep from laughing.
The reason I have no qualms about telling an embarrassing story like this one is two-fold: One, the guy turned out to be a serious pain in the keister when dealing with back at the CP. And two (and more importantly), when asked what his background was, he replied "law enforcement." Wow. Where did you serve as a police officer, Podunk, Idaho? This is the quality of people we have in the security and law enforcement world. It truly is a wonder that there isn't more crime... The funniest part of the whole story is that this was the most exciting part of the whole detail. Sad but true.
Upon leaving Oakland, I returned to the "reject zoo gang" on the ranch. That is, however, another story. Which involves hay. A lot of hay. Then some more hay. Did I mention that there was a lot of hay? Ok, just wasn't sure.
Details on that to follow soon, as well as the story of being attacked by a midget-ninja. Scary stuff.