Monday, March 29, 2010

Thesmokinggun presents the police report from "The Mohammed Incident"

Crazy rock lady strikes again. Most recently, she called our local sheriff, the one who responded to her initial call, to request that he file an official police report concerning the incident, which I will remind you occurred over 7 months ago. Luckily, the sheriff stopped in while I was working and let me know about the existence of this document, so I rushed to the county sheriff's office the next morning (on the clock for the Census, obviously) to get my copy. It is the hottest document in town now. Here's the dope (it has been edited for content and formatted to fit your screen):

Civil matters- complaints
Reporting officer: Clyde Harris
Report date: 8/15/09 8:42 Date dispatched: 8/15/09 8:45
Case number: 2-09-001611

Complainant information #1.... will be omitted in this version due to litigous nature of the complainant.

Suspect/Arrestee Information- #1:
Prompt valid in: Costello, Joseph K

Narrative by Harris: On 8-15-09 at approxiamately 0842 hours I was dispatched to __ North Fork Road. The call was in regards to a possible trespassing violation. The complainant was identified as _________.

Upon arrival I met with ___ and she stated that the North Fork Homeowner's Asssociation had bladed and widened North Fork Road onto her property. ____ stated the she had her land surveyed about two years ago and the survey markers were probably bladed over. I asked ___ if she would show me approximately where on her land that the survey markers would be. ___ and I both spotted three different survey markers that showed the eastern boundary of her land. All three of the boundary markers were well off of the west side of North Fork Road. Appproximately eight feet west of the road (sic). ___ then showed me a map of her property and the boundary markers coincided with the map. I explained to ____ that there was nothing I could do for her as North Fork Road did not touch her property line and that this call was really a civil call in nature.


On 3-16-10 at approximately 1715 hours, I received a phone call from _____. The phone call was in regards to events that happened a week prior to the original call on 8-15-09, _____ asked me if I would document her continued complaint from that incident, AS THE ALLEDGED SUSPECT IN THE MATTER, JOSEPH COSTELLO, WAS STILL LIVING AND WORKING IN THE AREA AND CREEPED HER OUT. (CAPS provided by me for emphasis, but this is the real text of the report.)

____ asked me if I remembered her complaint about a subject identified as Joseph COSTELLO. I told _____ I remembered her complaining about Costello, as he was moving rocks along her property line and North Fork Road. _____ told me that when she made contact with COSTELLO and asked him what his name and business was along her property line, COSTELLO would only give the name MOHOMMAD (sic). ____ stated to me that this had really upset her and asked me if I would talk to COSTELLO about the situation, which I did. I made contact with COSTELLO on the morning of 8-15-09 at his parent's residence on North Fork Road, of which I can t remember the address.

When I asked COSTELLO why he had given ___ the name of MOHOMMAD. he said that ____ was being a royal pain, moving big rocks onto North Fork Road and he had stopped to move the rocks out of the road when she made contact with him. COSTELLO told me he was just being ornery and joking when he told her his name was MOHOMMAD. When I asked COSTELLO if he would not bother ____ any more, he said that he would leave her alone.

This supplemental report was completed at the complainant's request, and there is still no basis for any criminal investigation.

No further action.

Just a few comments on this. First, since when has "living and working in the area and creeping her out" an investigable offense?? Second, a trespassing complaint seven months post facto is not likely to have much merit.

Also, I found out the real reason behind this request. A few days later, my boss at the Census took me aside and asked if I'd had an incident with a "crazy-sounding woman" (those were his exact words) in Centennial. I stated that once, seven months ago I was involved in a minor incident and that I believed this woman had called my boss trying to get me fired, and was using the written police report as ammunition for this character assassination. Then, after my boss told me to skip her house while delivering the Census, she called him back to report that I had skipped her house and she had not received her Census. So you see what I'm dealing with: a devious, duplicitous, anxious crazy old lady with nothing better to do than try to get me fired.

But I'm still somewhat of a folk hero in my subdivision and many people know me only as Mohammed; I got several friendly handshakes from neighbors of hers recognizing my service to the community.

In another random thought, is there anyone else that thinks Duke's Coach K has really pulled the wool over America's eyes by convincing us that his name is pronounced with an "S"?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Circletalking the shoesaleswoman. Further news from the crazy rock lady!

On my first payday for the census, I decided to splurge on something I've wanted and needed for quite awhile: a nice pair of boots I can use for work and walking. So I went to the most natural place to buy boots: the World Wide Web. Not finding any crazy deals, and being wary of buying something as intimate as steel-toed word boots from a computer screen, I went to the next-best place for boots: Boot Barn. I realize this sounds like a store out of a bad movie like "Did You Hear About the Morgans," but it's actually TOTALLY REAL. And they do stock lots of boots indeed.

Minus blue makeup, this ad pretty much applies to me.

First off, the lady arranging the boots won me over with her good-girl country-western good looks. So I was going to buy something no matter what. She ignored me just enough that I had to seek her out and ask her questions once in awhile, that boot vixen! But anyway, I tried on many boots. That's not the funny part but yes, if you must know, I fall over alot while I'm trying boots and it's got to be pretty funny to the store security cameras and the people that may watch them. Because I'm tall and my balance is poor.
So I go to buy the boots, waiting for a moment behind a couple junior high school girls buying a very distasteful pink leather cowgirl jacket that may or may not be reversible despite its cowgirl nature. When I get to the front of the line, I note I'm buying from the manager; I cringe because I figure this means she's going to hit me up for upgrades and warranties galore. And sure as Asian people love mashed potatoes, she does.

The T in the middle is quite unnecessary, especially because if you read it phonetically it says "boot-T barn"

Manager: "Now, the first thing you're going to want to get with these boots is a good waterproofing agent."

RetiredJK (I show her a tag on my shoes that states they are "WATERPROOF"): It says they're waterproof already."

Manager: "You should still add some more waterproofing to make them that more waterproofed."

RetiredJK: "Waterproof is an all-or-nothing deal to me, and these boots claim to be waterproof. Are they waterproof or do I need a "more-waterproof" boot?"

Manager (hastily): "They certainly are."
Evidently, I am not the only person who finds Boot Barn funny enough to blog about.

Later, she tries to sneak in a rewards card:

Manager: "Would you like to sign up for a Boot Barn frequent shopper card?"

Retired JK (kind of cutting her off): "I don't want anything that won't save me money today."

Manager: "This can save you ten percent!"

RJK: "Today!?"
Manager"... No."
RJK: "Just stop now."

I just ate a chicken pot pie for the first time in like ten years, and they sure seemed alot bigger when we were kids!

Apostasy and the search for truth from the Census main office

Anyway, I have had some good times the last few weeks! In this series of humorous anecdotes, I milk my census position for every possible funny moment. Let's get down to brass tacks. I got a text from a fellow census worker today and at the bottom it said, almost like a formal closing, "apostasy." In the interest of you not going to an online dictionary to remind you what this means, it is defined as "total desertion of one's principles, morals, or religious beliefs." I can't really think of a better non sequitur to a Census bureau text message.

So in my response (which I'm sure was equally confusing) I asked faux-naively: "Is that like ecstasy? Isn't there a book or something called 'apostasy and ecstasy'?" I haven't heard back from this co-worker yet, so I'm interested in getting his (or her, I'm not actually sure which co-worker it is) version of this story.

In further Census news, I knocked on the door of a house that I thought was unoccupied. As I was preparing to leave a baggie containing the questionnaire on the doorknob, the subject answered the door. She was about sixty, and probably still is consdering it just happened three hours ago. But I hope I'm this cool when I'm sixty, and I hope this wasn't just a demented lady rhyming to me. But seriously, she spits hot fire.

RetiredJK: "Hello my name is JK and I work for the US Census."

Subject: "The consensus is... (pause)... you're with the Census!"

RJK: "Oh yeah when did you start freestyling?"

Also, I had a pretty amazing chat with a woman at our district office. I needed to get a TPS report from her including the emails of all the people in my group of ten enumerators, for I planned (in a stunning show of efficiency, decentralization, and direction of workflow) to start an "e-mail list" and a "Google document" which could allow us all to update the all-important spreadsheet. We'll start with my phone call being transferred to the target phone-answerer:

(Me singing along with elevator music)

Census: "Hello this is "Rhonda" how may I assist you today?" (names changed for protection)

RetiredJK: "Hello. My name is JK and I work for the Census-- I'm an assistant crew leader in fact. I need to get a list of the email addresses for the group I trained last week."

Census: "Oh my, I don't know if we have that information. I mean I'm not sure if that's even possible. I... I just don't know."

RJK: "Could you find out please."

Census: "I just don't think we have that information."

RJK: "You have my email address and everyone who took my training class last week."

Census: "Well.... give me their names and I'll ask my supervisor."

(On hold, I throw down half a K.C. and JoJo song)

Census: "You can't have that information because it's confidential. You'll have to get it from your workers each individually."

RJK: "You realize you sent me a list of all their names, telephone numbers and addresses previously."

Census: "I don't know. I'm just not in a position to give out any of that information."

We now go by code names in our Census group so that we don't give out any identifying information. This is totally real, one person goes by IB BrakenBonez, I am J-Tiger, someone else is Carlos, and we are really the only three people keeping it up, but it's pretty cool. I'm kind of sticking it to the man but in a funny way.

In yet another entertaining snippet, one of many in a seemingly neverending series, I called the main office to get a boss lady's email address to email her the master spreadsheet. I talked to the boss lady and it became increasingly obvious that she had an aversion to electronic music:

RetiredJK: "So I have this spreadsheet in Excel format and I'd like to send it over there."

Census: "So... you're gonna fax that to me?"

RJK: "Well, you see, excel files are most often e-mailed."

"I don't have an e-mail address."

(Pause for me to laugh)

"You poor thing. I am speaking to someone at the Census bureau right?"


"You know you can get email on the Web for FREE, right?"

"Is that so? Well, I do have an email address, but I'm not important enough to use it."

I told her not to be so hard on herself, but I eventually realized that she just meant she didn't have a secure census email address, which again led to the following exchange:

Me: "So... it is OK to fax something to an office of forty people but I can't send it to you privately via email?

Census: "I'm just not qualified for that."

It's funny, because the more they waste my time, the more time I waste discovering out just how much time they waste.