18 July 2008

Staines, my office and crime

I work in Staines. For most Americans that wont mean a lot, but for those of you familiar with England and the greater London area, well it means something. What it means is crap. Yup, Staines is a dump. Ali G is from Staines (same guy who did Borat, but earlier, cruder, and white trash) They are trying to revamp the image of Staines; new offices, coffee shops, even a Starbucks. But lets face it, is there anywhere that Starbucks wont go? So my office is smack in the town centre of Staines. Right by the train station, next to a pub and a little sandwich shop. Lots of traffic. Lots of questionable people out and about. And as I have had some interesting brushes with crime recently, I have decided to share.

About 3 months ago I left the office in the afternoon and when I returned the following morning I found my docking station upside down on the floor, my phone cords ripped up, a half drunk Coke bottle on my desk and my computer gone. (the Coke bottle is crucial to the story) I was shocked! It had been stolen in the middle of the afternoon with people in the office! So I called the police and reported it stolen. An investigator came out to take my statement and 'gather evidence' I NEVER drink regular Coke, nor does anyone else in the office, so I knew it couldn’t be ours. He pulled out the gloves and evidence bag and took the Coke bottle away for evidence. He said, and I quote, 'I will get this to the lab and they will swab for DNA evidence' How crazy is that?! A few days later I get a call, they have recovered enough DNA evidence to find a match in their system. They caught the guy who stole my computer because he was stupid enough to leave his half empty Coke bottle on my desk! He was also stupid enough to admit that he stole it, then sold it for money for buy crack. That got him an additional drugs charge. Moron.

Then about a month ago we ordered pizza for a late night in the office. The delivery man phoned one of my colleagues to find out exactly where we were located. My colleague heard a lot of commotion and yelling in the background. Thinking the delivery man was in the car with some mates he said, 'I cant hear you, call me back when its quieter' Turns out the pizza man was being mugged at the corner of our office building! They stole all his cash and all our pizzas!! The police never ended up catching them, no one foolish enough to leave DNA evidence that time.

And then yesterday...I kept hearing a lot of police sirens but as we are right by the road, I just thought they were driving by. But as I was getting ready to leave and walked out the back door of the office, I was confronted by a crime scene. Loads of police, CSI people in big white suits, police tape roping off areas. Someone had been stabbed in my car park! Yeah, that is crazy! I couldn’t believe it. Not sure if it was fatal or not, but it sure was a big deal. They finally let me drive out of the lot and as I was leaving I sneakily took a picture to document the craziness.

So that is my office. Its not quite the war zone that I have described everyday, but it is a far cry from the middle class suburbia of Tulsa. weird.

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