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The story has been changed to implicate the innocent.

  1. Aug 23, 2006 #1

    ZapperZ

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    It happens frequently, and it still amazes me how a story can change so much after it has been passed around. Besides, I can't believe how I continue to be in the middle of some of these things.

    I was driving in to work yesterday morning (around 6:30 am). I was already within the lab grounds and about to approach my building when suddenly a jogger I was about to pass wave at me to stop. [There are people living on site at the lab at the lodging area, mostly graduate/undergraduate students needing temporary accommodations] She looked a bit flustered and told me that while she was jogging passed a building, she saw a man getting out of a car and walked into that buidling carrying a package and what looked like a gun.

    I replied "A GUN?!"

    She said "Yes, he was holding it rather low, but I didn't want to get a closer look. So I just ran faster and you're the first person I encounter. I'm trying to find a security officer.

    [She told me the building she saw the man walked into. She gave it the wrong name, confusing it with another building, but her description told me that she saw that man walking into my building]

    I offered to drive her back to the main gate where there is a guard post. So she hopped into my car, and we drove to it. She said that she was truly apprehensive about making a report because she just wasn't too sure of what she saw, but she also didn't want to keep on jogging and not do anything in case that was a gun. When we got to the main gate, I offered to wait for her while she made the report.

    After a few minutes, she got out and walked back to my car. We talked a while and she gave the description of the man that she saw (... light yellow shirt, came out of a red sports car...). I offered to drive her to somewhere if she needed, but she told me that she's too flustered and wanted to continue jogging. So we said goodbye and I drove back to my office building.

    When I got there, there were already security vehicles and several security officers in the lobby and in the hallway. I asked if it was OK for me to get to my office, and they said yes. I saw a few officers going down the hallway looking carefully at each office.

    At around 7:45 AM, we had a building-wide announcement that the building is being evacuated and that everyone was supposed to congregate in the parking lot. It didn't suprise me, so we all evacuated. Everyone else, of course, didn't know why. As we waited in the parking lot (there were the lab security officers, the Darien police, and the country sheriff police officers already around), I started telling the story from this morning. I am sure they're trying to find this person that the woman saw. As I was telling the story, I noticed one of the guys wearing..... you guessed it, a light yellow shirt. He's someone I've seen before in the building, and I think he works in our electronics group. So I walked up to him and said "Now, you don't happen to be driving a red sports car, do you?" He said yes, he did.

    So I told him the story of what happened this morning, and he said that he did remember seeing a female jogger when he came in this morning. One of his buddies then said that this guy also did have a cellphone that may look like a gun (who in their right mind, in this day and age, would carry a cellphone that might be mistaken for a gun? How does one get through airport security with something like that anymore?). So I said that's it, you're him. "Don't be suprised if the security people want to you", I said.

    After waiting for at least 1/2 hour (during this time, there were police officers searching the building and they took our names and badge numbers), I saw another security vehicle drive in, and the woman who lodged the report was in the backseat. She got out, talked to a few of the officers, and after a while, pointed to someone in our group. Of course, a couple of officers came over and pull the yellow-shirted guy away to talk to him.

    45 minutes into this ordeal, we finally got a an official briefing from the "head" guy. He told us what is going on, and that he thought it was "benign", but they will have to check it out and finish searching through the building. It was going to take a while and he offered to bus us over to the cafeteria if anyone wants to get coffee or breakfast. I asked if I could go elsewhere, which he replied with an affirmative. So I walked over to our experimental area, which is in another building, and went on with my work.

    Of course, throughout the morning, I bumped into people wanting to know what was going on, because the lab sent out a broadcast e-mail that our building was evacuated and not accessible for entry until further notice.

    By mid morning, everything was back to "normal". We got back into our building (I rescued my cold pot of green tea). However, as the day progresses, somehow the story of what happened changed. A custodial in the experimental building where I worked somehow made a joking comment that I had caused the whole thing. When I asked him what he meant, he said that he heard that I made a report of "... a guy running through the building carrying a gun..."

    Of course, the first words coming out of my mouth was "OY VEY!!!" There's now a version of the story in which *I* am the one who made the report, rather than just an innocent bystander who gave the woman a ride to the security post. I was almost tempted to send out my own broadcast e-mail to our whole division tell everyone "No, I wasn't me!", but I just laughed it off. I was more amused that the story changed THAT much in the span of just a few hours.

    It was a very strange day, yesterday.

    Driving in this morning, I was on the lookout for joggers, because I want to make sure I don't drive past any of them!

    :)

    Zz.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 23, 2006 #2

    JasonRox

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    Now, you're the tough guy at work.

    Sometimes it isn't anyone who twists the story around, but more so people who try to interpret it by themselves from pieces that they've heard. From that, we normally get a different story.
     
  4. Aug 23, 2006 #3

    BobG

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    Too bad you're not going on vacation. By time you got back, people would have explained your absence as because you were the guy running through the building with a gun. Poor you would walk unsuspectingly into your building clueless as to why everyone runs off in terror as soon as they see you. :rofl:
     
  5. Aug 23, 2006 #4
    In the 5th grade, my social science teacher decided to carry out an experiment. He picked out the students who were sitting in the front row and told each one a different news headline. He then asked them to whisper these short sentences to the person who sat behind them (to make sure no one else would hear what they're saying), and that person had to do the same, all the way until the people sitting in the backrow had heard the headlines. Then he called upon them and asked them to tell the class what they were told, and then compared that to the actual headlines.

    It was unbelievable how different the two versions were!
     
  6. Aug 23, 2006 #5

    DaveC426913

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    Huh. The story *I* heard at the office this morning is that it was some guy named Zapper carrying a gun and threatening people.
     
  7. Aug 23, 2006 #6

    DaveC426913

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    A common party game called "Broken Telephone".
     
  8. Aug 23, 2006 #7

    Moonbear

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    Really? *I* heard he kidnapped some jogger and shot her! :surprised

    :rofl: It's amazing how stories can change, huh?
     
  9. Aug 23, 2006 #8

    ZapperZ

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    Why is all of this suddenly reminds me of Julie Brown's song "The Homecoming Queen's got a gun"?

    Everybody run
    The Homecoming Queen has got a gun!


    :)

    Zz.
     
  10. Aug 23, 2006 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    I heard that he handcuffs people and beats them with a leather strap.
     
  11. Aug 23, 2006 #10

    russ_watters

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    ZZ, you left out the most important part of the story: was she cute?
     
  12. Aug 23, 2006 #11

    Lisa!

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    Read the story again and you'll find out!:tongue2:
     
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