Saturday, July 24, 2010

Feeling Vulnerable

Now that I'm gimping around on a bum knee, my defense toolbox is significantly smaller. Many options such as good old Nike-fu (running away) are off the table entirely, and a lot of my empty-hand skills are seriously compromised. That means I'm more dependent on tool use.

Unfortunately, my new employer is so politically correct it hurts. On my first day, during the HR orientation spiel, I was warned that even pocket multitools are considered dangerous weapons and will earn equivalent disciplinary action. All company property and anything on it is subject to search at any time. And their posted criminal-empowerment zones include the employee parking garage.

Under state law, leaving a gun locked in a car in a posted parking area is not a violation as long as the gun does not leave the vehicle. State law does not, however, prohibit an employer from taking disciplinary action against an employee for violating their so-called safety policy. That means my new employer is rendering me helpless not only at work but also on the drives to and from, and for any other stops I might make during those drives.

Having been unemployed twice in the last less-than-a-year, I have a whole new appreciation for having a job in an at-will world. This last time I was job-hunting was right after Obamacare passed, and prospective employers were asking me wholly inappropriate questions about my health, whether I was on any prescription drugs, et cetera. If I lose this job, finding another will only get harder.

Being a professional geek involves working maintenance windows and callouts in the middle of the night. Where I work now is very near an area heavily frequented by the non-harmless variety of homeless people. It is the height of arrogant-liberal fingers-in-their-ears-la-la-la denial for this company to render me helpless from the moment I leave my house to the moment I return. Disarmed is not safe.

Yes, I'm looking into alternate parking arrangements. Other nearby garages are expensive and currently have waiting lists. Parking at a meter on the street is not an option.

Not looking like food is a big part of avoiding predators. That's a lot harder now that I'm temporarily mobility-impaired. I can't walk as fast or move with the same confidence and fluidity as before. That makes me look like prey, and I absolutely hate it.

So I'm being very careful to not do anything that can get me fired while looking for a way around the worst of my employer's helpless-is-safe newspeak stupidity.

And if anything happens that I can't handle with only a flashlight on a keychain, I will do my damnedest to sue them into bankruptcy for putting me in that position.


DaddyBear said...

My employer is the same way. No pocket knives or multitools allowed. All vehicles on property are subject to search. Refusal to allow search is grounds for dismissal (acknowledged when you accepted the job). And of course we're in a pretty crappy part of Louisville. We always make sure we go to our cars in a group if we leave in the wee hours.

Anonymous said...

Eventually everyone has to make a decision about when to follow the rules and when to not do it. It's your life.

Things to consider if you go to the dark side:
People are mostly blind.
A mouse gun in an a deep cover holster beats the gun you don't have.
Concealed means concealed.
Don't tell ANYONE.

Sarah said...

Are you using a cane to make walking easier while your knee recovers? It could be a handy addition to your self-defense toolbox.

parabarbarian said...

Back about 1999 a good friend of mine stopped at a diner on I-10 on the way to Phoenix. When he saw the "No Guns Allowed"sign, he slippped his Mod 36 in his pocket, went in, ate lunch, tipped the waitress, and left without incident. When he recounted the tale on the Smith2004-discuss list in 2002 he was told by Tom Knapp:

"As a matter of fact, if you did do such a thing, and the owner became aware of it, he would be well advised to put you down like a rabid dog on the spot. Being on someone else's property, armed despite their expressed rule to the contrary, is not only an initiation of force per the NAP, but can be further reasonably construed, even without the support of the NAP, as a threat/offer/attempt to harm or kill them. It's the (valid) defense that any homeowner uses if he's taken to court for blowing a burglar's head off."

The world is full of assholes and you sometime just have to work around them.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

[Curses! Foiled Again! >> On parking lot bills, and why they’re important]

Hecate gives a good illustration of why the controversial “parking lot bills”...

JD said...

We only have the no weapons - read gun - at work. MA is nuts but even here we are not that nuts. We can have knives, muli-tools and such. No one asks if it is a weapon and I call it a tool.

Sorry to hear about your set up. Good luck. I think I would be posting on Moster for a new gig. . .

and if I found one (and I was female) I would tell them i was leaving for safety reasons. . .
be safe!

williamthecoroner said...

Just because it's a rule, doesn't make it right, nor must you follow it. I'd be perfectly down with locking a gun in a safe under the seat.

The chances of someone actually searching you are quite low, unless you talk. Keep your mouth shut, do not allow anyone to search your car, and get on with your life.

Apocalypso said...

I would be down with the mouse gun in a deep conceal holster. Also with leaving something locked in the car. BTW have you looked into canes by Canemasters?

I got one for my dad and it rocks.
I would also keep an eye on the job market.

Thomas said...

parabarbarian said: "Being on someone else's property, armed despite their expressed rule to the contrary... ...can be further reasonably construed... a threat/offer/attempt to harm or kill them. It's the (valid) defense that any homeowner uses if he's taken to court for blowing a burglar's head off."

No. There is an important legal difference between illegal carry into a business (based on the business owner's personal choices) and a burglar illegally entering a home and the homeowner's self-defense act that follows.

"[the owner] would be well advised to put you down like a rabid dog on the spot" ----this is nonsense. And illegal.

There is a rather significant difference between wearing a concealed firearm while merely eating dinner, and breaking into someone's house. If you don't see the threat difference, and thus the difference in justified response, then there isn't anything to discuss.)

Anyway---back to the point of Hecate's post: I know how you feel, as I am in the same job situation. You have to wonder at the mentality of the employers, when apparently think "Oh yes, criminals who are ready to rob/assault/murder people will be stopped by our employee regulations."

Warthog said...

It is my personal policy that if forceably disarmed by such a regulation by my employer, that in the event of any injury of death to me that could have been avoided or mitigated by the presence of my personal weapon, that my family will automatically sue for reckless endangerment and negligence. At the minimum, while at work (Security Guard) I carry 2% OC at all times, but management has been informed that in the presence of a clear and direct threat, the XD comes out of hiding.

Hecate said...

I seriously doubt employers even give a thought to the possibility criminals might attack their employees or their business. I truly believe they insist on employees being disarmed to protect their own entitled hides from a possible disgruntled employee.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really think that a crazy person intent on doing people harm is going to pay attention to rules that prohibit the carrying of weapons? I'm going to murder a whole pile of people. Wait. There are rules against carrying weapons. Guess I'll have to find another plan.

What planet do these people inhabit?

Viatecio said...

Someone pointed a gun at me once at work. There were no "Gun-Free Zone" (or any derivative thereof) signs around, but it wouldn't have stopped him. Simply the fact that there were high-priced things in the store for which some people paid cash was enough to make him stupid enough to try to get some of it.

I won't recount the whole story, but suffice to say that it made me even LESS in favor of any type of employer-regulated gun control. My employer at the time had none and probably still doesn't, but something like that definitely changes one's perspective.

Not to mention that, and I'm sure I'm not alone in saying this, there are few more helpless feelings than having a gun pointed at you with a nut on the other end. It's NOTHING like the movies. Had I been carrying, I might have had a chance or two to go for it, but I'm glad I wasn't. No one got hurt, he got NOTHING from me, and I was happy enough with that.

Good luck with your situation, Hecate. You have only my best wishes in your recuperation and ability to protect yourself. Wish I had something more helpful to say, but I'm hardly an expert in such matters.

Tennessee Budd said...

Good luck, Hecate. As of 2 years ago, I'm permanently unable to run away. We have a no-guns rule at work, but I ignore it daily. When I have to be without mine (courthouse, etc) I keep my cane handy.

Anonymous said...

I think these people are less worried about disgruntled employees and more worried about liability. If there's an ND from a sear breaking or stupidity and they allow weapons, the entity has a deeper pocket. If weapons are not allowed the problem is the shooters alone. Yes, they don't give a damn about your safety, so I ignore those stupid rules myself.cease

mikee said...

Are normal tools not allowed? Like a screwdriver to fix the loose screw on your desk drawer - which is always left loose as a reason to have a large screwdriver in your back pocket?