Sunday, January 22, 2012


I'm surrounded by programming. It is in the miserable cheap aged computers I have to use. It is in the “protect our way at all costs” mentality that is called management. It is in the children I work with, allays abused and one day waiting to crash.

There are allways three things, times nine, plus leftovers for me to do when I get in. As a photographer III I am primarily responsible for the taking of photographs in the field for the purpose of documenting crime scenes. Otherwise I can take the images and process them so they are ready for pick up or delivery to an investigator. Part of that is storage and retrieval. Part of that is data locked up in a system that was cheap the day it was bought and updates are not helping. I have gotten into a relaxed pattern of finding the least wanted station, booting it, logging in, and putting out a fire if I find one. I work with people who don't get there place, get overwrought, and scream for validation in many passive-aggressive ways. I don't bother with demanding my bit of power, I don't have any, except when I need to be a pain in the ass.

Enter management. I do not work with what you might call leadership. The civilian side of my job tries to emulate the paramilitary side of the police department and gets it sore-fully wrong. They don't get the culture of solving problems at the lowest level first. I have been a part of investigations that could be billed for tens of thousands of dollars if they were done by an outside agency or billed by us to another. I have been a cog in them and their focus. They never come to much. I have never seen one that could not have been solved by some actual leadership. Once started they are taken to a conclusion that is shot down. Somewhere in the nine months it takes to so much as send someone home for a few days without pay there is a screw up in the paperwork. The system brings its self down, I don't even put in much effort, it is natural for a top heavy object to tip over.

Anything said or done with enough repetition becomes OK. One can be programmed into thinking abuse is normal. It's not, I still find miserable remnants to rip off the new me, the one I raise, with kindness and patience. I let them fly, let the sun rot them to ashes before they hit the ground. At the last moment of their physical state I ruin their future chance of return with a fat dose of forgiveness. I know the dead who started them, I know they regret not seeing the original impact of their put downs and lack of encouragement. It's the best way of keeping psychic litter from piling up, it's deprogramming, derezing.

Children don't know what they are getting into. That's why I would never let a ten year old start a fire with lighter fluid, or drive my car. Sharp objects, things that shoot? No. Somehow, multi hundred pound, multi decade aged people feel the need to dominate someone before they hit double digits in weight and age. I document that constantly. So many detectives have taught me the lesson of multigenerational abuse cycles. I hope to be gone in another career before I see it. Maybe I'll be a writer.

I was having a coffee near Brentwood CA. There were some pumpkin flavored items, cookies, cake, that I know a dear one just LOVES and wished I could buy one and take to her later. No, that day we are separated by schedule. In this place I saw some young boys having an informal tutoring session. They wore blazers with their school shield on them. They were now ten hours into a day of thorough programming. I thought about the real trail blazers and how they were all drop outs and hoped the boys would one day hit their own stride and do something really creative. I was being stared at while they ignored their tutor. I walked out to leave the sanguine scene alone, I was disturbing it.

It feels great to give your past the finger and drive off. Try it.


  1. Harry,

    Each time I start to read, I'm a bit afraid to see a crime scene and blood. But in this piece, I feel why you have chosen this career, why you are good at it, and so much love you can wrap strangers with.

    1. Thank you so much! I will try to put a rating on my blogs so no one reads something really bad.