Rogue Landscaper

by jenncard

I was reflecting the other day about the summer that I worked for the Boise Intermountain Gas Company. As a Service Technician (a title that I gave myself to put on resumes) my job was to drive out in the morning and walk from house to house scanning gas meters. In newer developments this was fine, but at a lot of houses you had to semi break-in because the meters were behind the fences. This made the day interesting because you could get accidentally locked in/ interrupt birthday parties/ be attacked by cats/ yelled at for “frightening my children”…. Overall a great job. Working the job with me were three other people, and we divided into two cars with one brown person and one white person in each (No natural segregation here). To scan the meters we were given a backpack with a computer (which was referred to as “the jet pack” to give you a visual) that connected to a hand-held scanner. One day my brown counterpart was scanning in a neighborhood when two police cars showed up, complete with sirens, lights, and a megaphone. After asking him to “drop his weapon” he was then questioned on what he was doing in the backyards and if he could show proof of work. Because his bright green Intermountain Gas shirt, name badge, and hat were not enough. Meanwhile I was at a gas station filling up the company truck when a police woman walked up to me and asked me who I worked for. She wanted to know if I was in any way related to the “rogue landscaper” call that she had just heard over the radio. Apparently, a neighborhood member had seen my coworker walking down the streets carrying a gun and was ready to kill because he was crazy from his life as a second-class citizen. I wonder what made her think that I was an associate of the “rogue landscaper”- the fact that our shirts were the same color… or that our skin was.