Friday, June 19, 2015

Hood Problems: Part 2, Retaliation

Here is Part 1:

This past week I was assigned to perform maintenance duties at an apartment complex in the hood/ghetto.  Yesterday, I was told to get off the property, and just leave by my staffing supervisor.  This is what happened.

I started work on Tuesday at the Oakhurst Apartments in Tampa.  When I was picking up trash I saw a repairman replacing a window.  I later learned it had been shot out.  On Wednesday when I was running heavy equipment a shootout happened at the complex.

I'm not sure why there was beef, but this was the fourth time there were shots fired at the complex.  However, this time someone shot back at the car that drove by.  It seems that there were ongoing problems between the guy who lived there, and whoever kept driving by and shooting at him and/or the complex. 

Anyway, the security cameras around the apartment complex caught video of the guy shooting back at the car.  Needless to say, he ended up at the Hillsborough County Jail that day (Wednesday.)  That pissed off his homies, and they blamed the management and workers for "snitching" the shooter out. 

Now, myself and my fellow staffer Robert, had nothing to do with this.  We were both running heavy equipment at the time of the shooting, and never heard the shots.  However, in "The Hood," a prison mentality takes place, and it doesn't really matter if we had anything to do with it or not.  We were considered "snitches."  And in prison, snitches get stiches. 

On Wednesday night I sent a e-mail to my staffing supervisor a list of my concerns.  While I was out working on Thursday she called me and said that I could leave the property if I wanted, and she would back me up.  I told her I would stick it out the rest of the week.

However, in-between that phone call and the next time I talked to my co-staffer Robert, something serious happened.  A car pulled up with friends of the guy who was in jail, and they started smack talking and making threats.  They were going to get even with the people who snitched out their guy, and since Robert and I were the most visual workers there, we were first on their list. 

Robert got on the phone with our boss, and let her know what was going down.  He found me, and said we needed to go, now.  Just drop our stuff, don't worry about getting our paperwork signed.  Just get out.  Since Robert took the bus, I told him to just jump in my car, and I would drive him home.  And that's what we did.  Afterwards, I called my boss, and let her know that we were out of there, and that I drove Robert home, and we were both safe. 

I have to say, I am really impressed with my boss.  She knew she would take flak from those above and below her, as well as the apartment complex manager.  And I also have to give her credit as she said she was not going to send anyone else back there.  Period. 

It almost seems surreal to write this story out.  What we encountered showed a complete lack of respect for human life.  They get mad so they shoot at people, and even after the police are called, they still want to shoot at people who had nothing to do with their situation.  It's really beyond belief.  This incident was just the pickle on top of a crap sandwich that was working there.  There were so many irritating things that happened during those three days, I am just flabbergasted.  All I know is that, the next time I am offered an assignment, I am going to check the map a little closer before I accept it.  I don't want to end up in the middle of a war zone. 

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