Sunday, March 11, 2007

CSI: Victoria

My workplace was broken into late last week. Not the best way to start off my new job (understatement of the year), and to make matters worse, I discovered just how easy it would be for somebody to frame Marty and I for the robbery.

I received a phone call early on Friday morning that the office door was ajar. Somebody in the office building had seen the door open and had reported it to our national office in Toronto. The message was relayed from national to Edmonton and then to me, so by that time, I felt a wee mortified. As the new (and now only) paid staff person, it’s definitely my job to lock the door. Beside myself that I might have let this crucial step slip my mind, I apologized to my boss and vowed to go straight down (on my day off) to lock up for real.

When I got to the office, I did a once through just to make sure everything inside was all right. It wasn’t. Our filing cabinet had been wrenched open, and our cash box had been emptied and discarded in a corner. Loose change was scattered all over the carpet, and a bag of rolled coins from a recent fundraising activity was noticeably absent. Being the cool and collected person I am under pressure, I did a very stupid thing: I cleaned up the entire mess! It was only after I had picked the last dime off the floor that it hit me: I should be phoning the police and not wasting my time oh… you know… destroying all of the evidence (or putting my fingerprints all over the place)!!! Cripes. I may be certified as ‘school smart’, but I’m a long way from earning my MA in street smarts, that’s for damn sure.

Anyway, I phoned the police and sheepishly told the dispatcher who warned me not to touch anything that I already had. A lot. Then, while I waited for an officer to arrive, I chastised myself for all manners of things. How could I have forgotten to lock the door? Why the hell did I clean up the crime scene—have I never watched an episode of CSI?! What kind of an impression was I leaving for my employers after only one measly week of work? Who did I think I was?

I talked to an employee from a neighbouring office in the building, and we tried to solve the crime ourselves. I was pretty sure that the door had been locked when I left it, so maybe somebody had actually broken in? As we were wracking our brains for clues of some sort, this guy suddenly remembered what seemed like a crucial piece of evidence: just the other night, he said, he noticed a suspicious man pacing back and forth in front of our office in the evening, trying to look in the windows, and then dipping back around a nearby corner. As he told his story, it seemed more and more likely that this dodgy man could have had something to do with the break-in. Perhaps this hit had been premeditated by somebody who had scoped out our office beforehand! Eager to have the blame taken off of my shoulders, I asked the employee what the suspicious man had looked like. The guy proceeded to describe Marty to a tee. My dearest husband!!! The beard. The cap. The Thai fisherman’s pants. No good. Does my sweet husband really look that much like a terrorist??

It was true that Marty had been pacing back and forth in front of the building on the evening in question. However, I was quick to clarify that he was simply waiting for me to be out of my meeting, which I said would be over at 8:30 pm but didn’t actually end until 9:15. Thank god for a decent alibi!

Anyway, neither of us have been hauled off to a police station for questioning yet, but it doesn’t seem like anybody will ever be apprehended for the burglary. Not much was stolen, granted, (they don’t call them non-profits for nothing!), but I’d still feel better about the situation if there was some closure or some answers to all of the questions I have. To date, this episode remains unsolved.


Robin said...

Oh my...what a crazy thing to happen during your first week at the new job! I hope your employers are sensible people who understand what happened and get the locks changed and a bit more security. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

That sucks! Hope you are OK with going into work or more importantly leaving late on your own, could your husband pick you up if you are there late? I know from experience that it can be very unsettling.

cally said...

My 1st visit here and I was totally sucked into your story. Poor you, I can imagine exactly how you would be/are feeling at each stage of the whole thing.

It's so hard to feel judged about something that's not your fault when people haven't known you long enough to know your ok.

Ha, listen to me, i've only read this one post, but I'm going on the assumption that you ARE on OK person :0)

Hope the person gets cuaght in the act doing it again and breaks down at the station and confesses to all past crimes. And mentions that when he, or she, or they, broke in they were amazed at the extreme orderliness and neatness of the office before they did it.

dana said...

Thanks for stopping by, cally! I can assure you that I am indeed a decent person. ;)

Wednesday L said...

Damn Llna-
Between getting pushed around by a cranky German artist and having to take the heat for a B & E, we sure have been troubled by our new jobs as of late...
Let's start our own show- CSI: Losers and Dicks!