I was a woman with a plan.
If some asshole was going to hijack me or smash my car window I was going to go medieval on his ass.
I was going to be a hardcore Ninja assassin.
I was going to scream and shout and let it all out. I was going to stab him in the eye and punch him in the face.
I was going to floor the accelerator and drive off with him clinging helplessly to the car door.
Only, as it turns out, I didn’t.
I just sat there.
I think I made a sound that could only be described as an eep.
I was sitting in traffic, minding my own business, complacent in my daily route and listening to a podcast about crop circles. Just another trip to work.
Until my quiet solitude was rudely broken by the loud bang of shattering glass. It rained over me. But before I could comprehend that, the entire upper torso of a human being launched into the car and grabbed my cellphone. Just as suddenly he withdrew and ‘poof’ was gone. It took seconds.
I didn’t scream.
I didn’t fight.
I didn’t do anything kickass at all.
As a result of my inertia I am equally as annoyed with the thief (may he have a shitty Christmas) as I am with myself. I should have done something. Not sat there stricken dumb.
And there are the waves of self-recrimination.
What if I had another cup of tea before leaving the house?
What if I had taken the earlier off ramp?
What if I hadn’t had used Google Maps?
Shocked panic gave way to intense rage which has simmered down into exasperation leaving me irked. I’ve never really had cause to use that word before, ‘irked’, but it seems to fit this situation quite aptly.
Dealing with the administrative aftermath was almost as taxing and traumatic as the smash and grab. I had to come to terms with the utter incomprehensible way in which our police service barely functions.
I went to a police station.
I was directed back to my cell provider for a blacklist number, which they didn’t want to give me because 3% of their revenues come from resold stolen phones.
I went back to another police station.
This time I could report it, but the forms would have to be sent in the mail to the first police station, which could take anything from 2 weeks to never.
Only then would I get a case number.
Everything is on paper. Labouriously written out by hand. Assigned a number in the big book and left to gather to duct in a filing cabinet somewhere.
How crimes are ever solved here is an utter mystery. It’s like the dark ages. Forget CSI, this is anarchy.
Not that I’m expecting anyone to solve the crime of the daylight robbery, but what if was far more serious? If a serial rapist rapes a different woman in a different neighbourhood every day, the cases will never be connected. This is because there is no national database or searchable record keeping.
And, here’s the rub. You see, even if someone programmed a simple interface where the cops could input the case data on a national scale, with searchable keywords, and even if that person went to the head of the police and gave it to them for free, it still wouldn’t be deployed because of the bureaucratic red tape, tender fraud and the fact that someone’s uncle’s cousin twice removed didn’t get the kick back.
I can’t solve this endemic problem, but I am going to take another shot at solving mine by going back to the police station this morning for another try.
I am somewhat resigned to the fact that my car will be windowless until the new year and that I will have to muddle my way through a digital world without a cellphone.
I feel better now that I’ve had a rant.
So, thanks for that.