Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Microstory 1373: Scope Creep

Reporter: Are we live? Okay, thanks. [...] Mall Security Guard, you’re here because the clock recently started counting down on your fifteen minutes of fame because of a daring rescue you executed after encountering a victim you caught shoplifting under duress. Is this an accurate summary?
Mall Security Guard: That’s right. I would say I got about five minutes left on my fame clock.
Reporter: Why would you say that?
Mall Security Guard: Well, I would say a minute, but the investigation is ongoing, so it won’t be over until that’s over.
Reporter: The investigation into the criminals you helped apprehend, or the investigation into your involvement?
Mall Security Guard: The latter. Obviously, I am a security guard...or rather, I was. I don’t have the authority to arrest people, investigate crimes, or pursue suspects. The real police are currently investigating me, and if they choose to press charges, I’ll have to go to court, and I could be facing jail time.
Reporter: Jail time, really?
Mall Security Guard: My lawyer says that’s unlikely, because no one got hurt after I became involved; not even the suspects. I did technically break the law, though, and the judge may want to make an example out of me. That’s a long ways off, though. There are still a lot of steps before we get to sentencing, if it even comes to it.
Reporter: What have you been doing in the meantime? Are you still working at the mall?
Mall Security Guard: I am indeed working at the mall, but I’m not working for the mall. I’ve been put on unpaid suspension, but janitorial services at Hillside Mall is run by a contractor. I’m holding a position with them, and still eating lunch with my old crew. Theoretically, the mall could ban me from the premises until the investigation is over, but they haven’t done that. They’re not proud of what I did, but they’re not actively working against me either.
Reporter: Has your life become harder after the incident? You got a new job, but I imagine it pays less, and it’s not what you really want to do.
Mall Security Guard: Eh, it’s okay. It doesn’t pay much less, and I can’t complain. I know a lot of people are out of work right now, so I still count myself lucky. I recognize the awkward position the executive leadership is in.
Reporter: Have there been any other negative effects because of what happened?
Mall Security Guard: Not really. I mean, the kidnappers are none too happy with me, but they don’t hold much sway on society right now. The community has been really supportive, though, so that’s not great.
Reporter: How is that not a good thing?
Mall Security Guard: Well, vigilantism is illegal. It helps that I was in a public safety position, but it hurts my case that people have been so supportive. The local government doesn’t want a bunch of costumed superheroes running around, gathering fans, and putting themselves, and others, in danger. They don’t want to encourage this behavior, so they would rather the story just kind of go away.
Reporter: I see. So what’s next for you, assuming you don’t end up going to jail? Will you go back to being a security guard?
Mall Security Guard: Oh, no doubt. If Hillside doesn’t rehire me, I’ll find someone who will, even if that means I have to move. It’s in my blood to protect people. I just have to be careful about how exactly I go about doing that. I’ve learned my lesson in that regard.
Reporter: Well, thanks for talking to us. I appreciate your time.
Mall Security Guard: No, thank you.

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