Yep, it’s 3am Monday and I just got home from work. What a week. I go back on duty in 11 hours.
The microwave dish saga took a fascinating turn, and it got me to thinking: what are the things in your life that you have lost, or thought were lost, then found, and how did that change you?
In the moment I can tell the world that at 12:30am I found the missing microwave dish on the the shoulder of Rt 50 aka New York Ave near the Washington Times building, for those who know or care. That means it departed my truck around 10:40am as I drove in to work and was not attached to the truck when I left with reporter Ken at 1pm when I could have sworn it was still there.
I spotted the dish as we were driving back from an 11pm live hit from a staging area for out of town utility trucks that were arriving to start rebuilding the savaged electrical grid in the greater metropolitan area. At the time we were in the middle of a fairly heavy debate as to why the press information officer of the Montgomery County, MD police department might have an issue with me.
That question in itself has many permutations. I know why he would be pissed at me today as I got into it with one of his officers which resulted in my management getting into it with the department. That story, short version, had to do with not being allowed to park in a safer location near where some Pepco folks were doing line work at Bradley Blvd & River Rd in Bethesda to do my live shot at 6:30, so I parked my truck where I was told I must park. (Side note this was right next to the Congressional Country Club where Tiger Woods was playing the AT&T Golf Tournament, so it was a ready made clusterfuck)
Then officer #2 came and yelled at me for parking in that spot officer #1 told me to park in because it was dangerous. Well no shit buddy. So officer #2 felt it was his job to lecture me on my attitude problem (which I will readily admit I had a big fucking attitude, but I didn’t view it as a problem.)
My problem was I had already suggested safer alternatives, they were denied, so I was rushing to get my job done and I had no time to have an argument. In fact my choices were simple - leave me the fuck alone and let me do my job or tell me to leave and I would pack it up (and miss my live shot) and go away no arguments. But to stop me from my tight deadline (I literally had 5 minutes to set up my truck & shot) to lecture me… yeah, I’m gonna be real receptive to that.
And seriously - if they said go away I could live with that. It was the ‘I have a badge & gun and I’m going to teach you some manners’ crap that totally set me off. I know I can’t win that argument, no matter how right I am. I didn’t have time for it. But my reality meant nothing to these folks, and that is why I have an attitude problem.
But going back to the bigger picture, after an evening of emails, phone calls and apparently a tweet where my boss called out Mont Co PD (for this incident and another, separate run in another crew had) the PIO asked my reporter to call and give his side of the story. Now this too pisses me off, because I notice nowhere as a principle player in this did the PIO ask to speak to me. So after our 11pm live hit Ken spent about 20 minutes on the phone with said PIO discussing the day’s events.
Later, as we drove home, he related that officer PIO asked ‘which photog was he’ meaning me, and Ken gave a description of me. At that point the PIO appeared to have a negative reaction relative to a shooting standoff incident from about 2 months ago… and for the life of me I don’t know why. At that incident I very much remember working with the PIO, listening to and honoring his requests (some of which were not reasonable but I followed them anyway), and generally not having any problem with him at all. So what the hell?
So in the big picture, when did I lose the respect of this PIO, why did I lose it, and does it ultimately matter? Now that I found this out, what good may come of it? Really probably not much - I am real pissed off and I want to fire off a hot email or 10 but I know that is not wise. I know I need to have some discussions with management and those always worry me. I need to have a chat with Ken about apologizing for me and/or making excuses to the cops during these moments. I know he was trying to be helpful, but in the big picture it isn’t. There’s a lot to lose here.
Back to the microwave dish - I’m glad I found it where I found it. It means I didn’t leave it in a low hanging tree or wire, it just fell off driving down the road. It had come loose about 4 years ago and we epoxied it back on. It looks like the epoxy gave way. Instead of negligence I can prove age based deterioration. So that’s all good.
Well it’s pretty late / early. Time for bed.
Good Night / Morning.