The scariest man I’ve ever met

It’s been 10 years, so I have forgotten what he looked like. I seem to remember six feet tall, in shape, and a smile that was born from self confidence rather than friendliness.

At the time, I was working for a Greater Detroit weekly newspaper. My job on Tuesdays was to get the county sheriff’s report on my way into work. Usually in the office was the substation’s commander, a lieutenant who was still in military shape, and his secretary. She was a tall, bespectacled redhead with her hair cut short.

On this day, there was another man in the office.

His last name, Crichton, stuck out for obvious reasons. “Nope, not related to Michael,” he said.

Then I asked Crichton what he did, and he said he worked for the Oakland County Friend of the Court. His job was to find child support absconders who didn’t want to be found.

And then that smile.

It made me think of a Great White shark, no meal for a day, finding a large school of fish that would make for a great dinner. I also thought of a black-suited IRS agent flipping their credentials at a businessman and saying, “According to our records, it’s been 12 years since you last filed a tax return.” You can’t tell what their facial expression is, due to the black sunglasses that hides their eyes.

The smile made me think something else: he was very good at his job.

Crichton kept smiling as he handed me his business card. “Richard,” he said, “If you know anybody in Oakland County or even in a nearby county who is neglecting their financial obligations as a parent, let me know. I’ll be happy for the custodial parent to track them down and get them held accountable.”

We exchanged pleasantries, and then once the report was ready, I headed to the newspaper office.

Likeable guy, but a tsunami wave of relief washed over me. It’s the kind of relief you have when you think you’re about to owe thousands in taxes, only to realize you’re getting a generous refund. I’m so glad I’m not an absconder, I thought.

You see on COPS and Dog the Bounty Hunter how many suspects will fight and try to get away. If they saw this man with that shark smile, that confidence, I imagine they’d just put their hands up. No reason to fight, since there’s no point.

Post comments here or email them to: richardzowie@gmail.com

Unusual job ad of the day

I saw this on Craig’s List. Not completely sure what to make of it. It’s as if the person was in a hurry.

Presented exactly as posted, except for the obfuscated e-mail address:

writer for magazine/grant writers


Date: 2010-04-05, 7:57PM EDT
Reply to:


 

writing 25.00 per approved writings interveiws to the top writer. pay depending on story. grant writer to writer for mentoring program for our youth help get money for youth
of Detroit and help get things for park clean up! pay yes !
but the reward of your hanmd being in with the writing is the help needed!

  • Compensation: yes!
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
  • Please, no phone calls about this job!
  • Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.