Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Changing the direction

No, I’m not changing the direction of my blog. Like it ever had a direction to begin with.  I’m talking about changing up your direction to and from work. Or to and from home.

Yes, this will be a paranoid post by yours truly.

Remember, I’m an expert in these things… Almost from the beginning I was told it was important to never establish a routine in prison. Never walk the tier in the same direction twice, never leave the office at the same time, never go the bathroom, make a phone call, open a cell door, eat your lunch, pop inmates out at the same time every day… doing things like “clock work” was or could very well be your death sentence (or someone else’s)

Same can be applied to your day to day life.

I have to drive through the ghetto in order to get to work. You can change the name to lessen the blow; ‘less than desirable part of town’ but either way, it’s a druggie filled area that I get to work in… I get to watch the same druggies walk by the office and in so doing see whether they’re drug free (at that moment in time) or doped up as they walk by. Not to mention the gang members, homeless, scam artists and families who love them, smoking in their baby’s face while they walk by my lovely floor to ceiling window.

I started to develop the same route to and from work. Driving the same road where they’d all be hanging out at the liquor store and in their front yards watching cars go by. Where the girl would be spraying her husband’s face with the water hose while he had to do pushups in their front walk way and him not being able to breathe…you know, the normal things couples do for all to witness.

It wasn’t until one Friday morning, I was driving down the road and there were cars and people everywhere, lined up over a block long at the Salvation Army, that this one beat up mini van was going under 5mph for reasons I do not know. I couldn’t take it any longer and blared my horn nice and long and when I finally had that inch I needed, sped past him. It wasn’t until that moment I realized I may have rocked the boat on my route a bit.

There were a lot of people out that morning who heard the horn, saw the car and no doubt, saw me. I’m sure they’re used to noise and drama but I would prefer to stay out of it, so I realized it was time I took a break from that route. For the next 3 weeks, I went a different direction to and from work. Alternating between 2 routes. It was longer and more painful since there was more traffic, but I wanted to break the routine I had created.

Now I change it up between 4 different routes. Never taking the same street twice in one day. You can call me paranoid, obsessive, crazy or whatever else you want to think of, but there’s one thing I will always be. And that’s cautious.
They watch you. They see the direction you drive and they see the time you drive it. They know when you get home, when you arrive at work and the minute you pass by their place.

My advice to you is: Change it up. Find a different route to work, to home, to school. Make if more difficult for those who are looking to track your schedule. Oh, and of course…take those stupid decal stickers off…cause you know, that’s an obvious bullseye.

Do you take the same route every day or do you make the effort to change it up?

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LeAnna said...

You crack me up.

But, this is good advice. My FIL would say the same thing!

Kate Harvey said...

This is so smart! I think it's impressive that you're thinking about these things and using your street sense!

Katie said...

Haha I love this! I've become mostly desensitized to the rough parts of town. By that, I just mean that I go there daily for work and don't even hear the cat calls or see the drug deals going on anymore. I'm in and out and on my way :)

But I'll remember this advice if I ever need it...

Becky [Apples of Gold] said...

You're a smart gal! I grew up doing this same thing in the Bronx... Except, I was always taking public transportation, which makes it even more important to change up your route. You gotta have street smarts when you find yourself living/working in or near a bad area. You're right, people are always watching. Some of 'em are harmless, but you just never know..especially when drugs are involved. That takes it to a whole other level.

Anonymous said...

My commute to work is 99.9% highway, but that doesn't mean this can't still apply to me. There's a lot of things I do on a routine basis that people could easily take track of, and even though its extra cautious it never hurts to be more alert than necessary because you really do never know who's watching. I've made a habit to ALWAYS lock my car doors as soon as I get in my car no matter where I am, not because of fear but more because I want to be prepared.


Jess said...

You are brilliant. Yes, you! It's things like this I need to be reminded of because I DO live in the NOT so nice area. Or at least a few streets down. Since I don't have a car all the time this is still good to know and apply to my day to day lives with the girls. We want to start going on more walks. So now I know don't go at the same time, or if I do, pick a different sidewalk...and I ditto Kate Harvey...

Lisa said...

Good advice and one of the first things they teach in safety training here.

Chantel Klassen said...

Thankfully my life has zero routine to it! :) I love listening to your take on things you have such a different perspective than I have ever thought of. Oh, and you have scared me off of the decal stickers for life. :) Whenever I see one on vehicles now I wonder if I should talk to them . . . what have you done to me? :)

Lauren said...

Actually I NEVER do this. Because, honestly I am a same thing person. Not much for change. However, I'm very aware of my surroundings. I'm always watching. Checking my mirrors. I have some things done to my car as a teen. I'm pretty sure I know who did it, but couldn't prove it. SO since then you can say "I'M WATCHING YOU!"

:) I'm flippin it on them :)


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