Thursday, May 1, 2008

Obscene Graffiti

The week before Easter our neighborhood got tagged. It took three days to get it cleaned up and I became very aware of a real problem in our new community. Wanting to be part of the solution, I called and volunteered to be on the graffiti removal task force. This is a non paid position that requires you to go to the worst neighborhoods in our city and paint over vandalism outside in the desert heat. Not the most attractive position in the world, but I was ready to serve my community. Several days later I received a very nice phone call that detailed the process...

Please go online and fill out a lengthy application.
Next we will call you for an interview.
Then we will send you to training.
Then, if you are still, alive, living locally, and interested, we'll let you help, but only if you have appropriate shoes.

Now, a month after I filled out the lengthy application I have gone through the THREE PERSON PANEL interview and am waiting for a reply. If they like me I will need to go through the city of Avondale human resources department (drug test, background check, who knows what else). And then they will set a date for training. All of this seems ridiculous to me (knowing that other cities have dealt with this problem by just making paint available to volunteers), but I haven't given up.

I thought the three person panel interview was hilarious. The funniest question... "Some of the graffiti may contain obscene language or pictures, would you be opposed to removing this type of vandalism?"

My answer... "Well, I think we should remove ALL the graffiti...ESPECIALLY the obscene parts."

One lady looked like she was going to explode but managed to hold in any laughter. The one in the center, code compliance administrator, looked entirely too serious and I think was writing notes about this being a satisfactory answer. The third, that asked the question, tried to explain... "I mean, would you be offended, not want to be exposed". The whole experience has been fairly aggravating.

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