Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fat Pedro in the Bushes with Business Cards

I think I told you previously about how I came to be working here at Casa De Toro as the night watchman for Sucko Security.

I was working at the Poltergeist Three housing construction site in Playa del Rey, guarding the construction of a housing project being built over an Indian burial ground and doing a damned fine job of keeping the dead Indians from bothering the college students next door at Marymount University and vise versa when my employers noticed from my security guard intercom transmissions that I could form complete, grammatical sentences when talking.

This set me apart from my semi-literate peers and I appeared to be the solution to a problem my employer had at a post over in Culver City, the Casa De Toro problem.

The Casa de Toro apartment manager had been complaining to my employer about his guards not being able to write intelligible, detailed nightly reports. All they could write was "I cames. I sits. After bout ate hours, I lefted."

All the apartment manager was getting from the Sucko guards was about a page, page and a half of that on the required Daily Activity Report. So Sucko gave me a run at the post.

The first week I was assigned at Casa De Toro, I turned in three pages a night. The second week: four pages a night. The third week: five pages. My supervisor was wetting his pants he was so happy.

When I started turning in six pages a night, my supervisor suggested I take advantage of the perks of luxury apartment complex guardianship, like doing my laundry here, using the Jacuzzi, enjoying the saunas, watching the big screen TV.

Then I started turning in seven pages. My supervisor wanted me to marry his sister if only he'd had one.

The trouble came when I started turning in eight pages of nightly activity reports. The apartment complex manager complained that she didn't have enough time every day to read so much information. So, I was back to "I came. I sat. After 8 hours, I left."

Well, I did a little more than that, but not much. I turned in two to three pages every night.

All was going well until last week. I would arrive at my 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. post every night at 2200 hours, my infatuated supervisor would phone ahead to tell me he would be coming to do his nightly check at 2230, and after that, the rest of the night was mine to do with as I pleased.

Everybody was happy. The apartment manager was getting intelligible security reports, my supervisor could go home early and I was getting plenty of sleep on my $8 an hour job.

But if you know L.A. employers as well as I do, you'd know that they can't stand a well-oiled machine. Oh no. They've just GOT to hire themselves some cheap labor to come in and screw everything up.

So it was with my employer. He took one of his $7.25 an hour guards and promoted him to roving supervisor (without a pay raise, of coarse, but Fat Pedro didn't mind, because now he is a Captain and gets to wear silver bars on his shirt collar and tell people what to do and maybe even get saluted and neato, macho crud like that . . . stuff he missed when the army decided he was too fat for military service and wouldn't let him sign up).

Sucko is a small security company, a family business run by mom and pop and immediate family and Aunt Meg does the accounting and they even found a job for Cousin Tony. I don't think there are more than fifty employees in the whole operation, including immediate family. If more than just a couple of employees quit at one time, my employer has to borrow security guards from other companies until he can hire some new suck--, er, employees.

So the last thing my employer needs is some brand new butterbar schmuck 'stupervisor' going around to all the posts pissing off the hired help, but that's exactly what Fat Pedro has decided to do. While other supervisors call ahead to let us know they're coming, Fat Pedro tries to sneak up on this company's guards unannounced, trying to catch them sleeping or scratching their ass.

While other supervisors come early in the graveyard shift, pop in, and then leave the guard alone the rest of the night, Fat Pedro waits until 3 or 4 in the morning to sneak up on us, trying to catch us sleeping.

I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Not from Vietnam or from my service-connected disability from thirty years ago, but from being homeless in LosAngeles for four years.

Technically, I guess it's PTLAD. I can't have Fat Pedros popping up out of the dark on me. I just can't. It's too hard on my nerves. Fat Pedro is going to pop up out of some dark bushes one of these nights and I'm gonna maul him like an angry Grizzly on PCP during rutting season.

Funny thing about Fat Pedro. I remember him from when we used to work together on those fourteen acres of mud I called Poltergeist Three. He was the loudest snorer. He's been caught several times sleeping on his posts by other supervisors. One time, a couple of supervisors toilet-papered the entire fenceline of a post Fat Pedro was "guarding" while he slept.

Incredible thing about Fat Pedro: after he wakes up from sleeping on his own post and comes out to other posts to sneak up on a guard trying to catch him sleeping, he hands out his business cards trying to get the guard to pass those cards along to people who might want to buy a car from Fat Pedro.

Yes, Fat Pedro sells cars in the daytime. I'll bet he never sold one to any friend of my security guard company's employees. In fact, I'll guaran damned tee it.

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