Preventing Child Molestation and Abuse: My Visit to the Sheriff's Substation
We're Broke-Now What?
Bishop can be an interesting place to live...let me illustrate. Well, first of all, everything is okay. I went to the sheriff's substation today voluntarily, not in cuffs or in the back of a squad car. But anyway, this is how the whole thing came to pass...
At the beginning of April of 2009, I was a government employee, determined to hang on to a position with the Department of Commerce that was already obsolete. I was one of the relatively few people across the nation chosen to help begin the work of the 2010 Census. In the spring of this year, then, the Census Bureau hired people to initiate mapping of the neighborhoods for structural and other data. This phase of the census was completed very quickly and the memory of my $15/hr job was only that. I needed to work; we were having a rough time of it with my husband's pay being our only source of income.
A New Job!
On my very last day of canvassing, I went into the local grocery store to get a drink of water, and while gulping it down, I spotted an ad on the store's bulletin board that caught my eye. On a small slip of paper was some information about a job at a substantial rate of pay. I removed the paper and left for home, called the employer and went to work within the week.
I was to read a table of contents for the writer of magazine articles. This job entailed my going to work at the home of my boss for 2 hours at a time, which I did. This was not a problem, though I am not in the habit of going into a stranger's home for pay. As I said previously, we needed the money and my job with the government had just come to an end. I arrived, ready for work, at the address he gave me and waited for him to find me and show me where he worked and lived
My First Day
His double-wide trailer was nice and I was invited in. I must say that I was not altogether comfortable standing in his living room, but I managed. He asked if I wanted to sit, which I did, choosing a seat near the door. He asked me if I was comfortable and did I need anything? I replied "No, thanks, Don, I'm fine, it's just that I need to ask you, umm, do you mind leaving the door open while I am here?" I grinned sheepishly, meaning every last word. Don smiled as he complied, so the door remained open for the 2 hours I spent working there and I was grateful that I had the courage to even mention it. Don sat in an overstuffed chair near but not uncomfortably near my own. We discussed the job, our families and the weather as people tend to do, then he spoke only of the job itself.
He handed me a couple of sheets of paper with a table of contents on one of these papers. The table had been written by him and he wanted to pay me to read it silently and then report to him whether or not it could be rewritten so as to appeal and not offend a Cosmopolitan Magazine audience. Don had written this table of contents with Playgirl Magazine readers in mind who enjoyed sexually explicit and titillating writing in contrast perhaps to a Cosmo reader who may or may not enjoy such a reading experience. Playgirl had gone out of business recently and from what I understand, Don had been left without his usual audience fare.
Getting Down to Work
I was to rate the table by how easily and seamlessly I thought that Don could translate the language he used to a more mainstream magazine's audience. The language to be "cleaned up" was truly filthy. So. I now understood my job and was ready to get on with it. I checked out my inner comfort level and was not surprised to find it wanting, yet again, we needed the money and I sensed no actual danger. The guy was apparently harmless, at least physically harmless.
And so Don left the room as I read what he had written, ready to rate his words which didn't exactly offend me, I am not a prudish individual, Not at all. So I settled in and began working. After a while I began sensing that something else was going on besides my job. Where had Don gone to wait while I read? Why had he left this room at all? I thought that he had been giving me 'space' but then I wasn't so sure. He was quite prompt when I called to him, "Don?" when I was done. I finished my 2 hours and did not allow myself to think about the job until I was in my truck bound for home. I believe that was a self-protective decision, not to think about it until I was absolutely safe.
Not Worth the Money
Once secure and on my way home, I thought to myself, "Why did he leave the room?" "Why did he choose me?" "Why had he offerred more money to submit to a massage by him?" The questions went on and on. Now, with hindsight fully operational, I am fairly certain that he was 'busy' while he watched me read.
And so, dear reader, the reason I took this trip to see the sheriff was not to report an actual crime. I wanted to report activity that could result in a crime. I conducted my own version of an 'investigation' and found 2 other businesses with these slips pinned up. The Sargeant I spoke to was not happy to be informed that these ads were popping up as fast as they were being taken down. Was Don the only one in Bishop offering these jobs? The slips of paper I had found were all at a level that children could reach with ease. This was my concern. With children having access to these slips, the level of threat reached different and more ominous levels.
I am glad that I did