Theft is a terrible, terrible thing.
This is the story about the theft of my personal property, how I handled it on the job, and the aftermath.
Let me start by saying that I have never had anything of real value stolen from me. I remember having my shiny rock collection stolen from me in 6th grade. I accidentally left it under my desk. When I came back to retrieve it from science class, it was gone. That was a large peanut butter jar with some different Quartz and Obsidian. I think I had a nice skipper stone in there as well.
It was annoying to loose, but in the end, not that big a deal.
The thing stolen from me this time, was my computer.
The device I use for my personal creative life, my social networking, my job as a Teleprompter Operator, and just about
I do with myself when not out with my friends. This theft was deeply personal and intimate to me. I saved up and bought that computer with my own money. I upgraded it myself. I personalized it. It was my machine. To me it had great value, but on the street, I’m sure it could only be sold for a few hundred bucks.
I had it password protected, so good luck there. I also had the BIOS password protected, so they can’t just use a Boot drive to wipe the computer. So it’s basically a paperweight to everyone but myself.
It was also my favorite color: Orange.
It was a 17″ Orange Laptop. Maybe the orange color made it look even more enticing. I don’t know. It was the theft of my personal property, and it left me shocked and incredibly upset.
It all went down at a job. We were hired to do a Presidential Prompter job at the Hilton on 6th Ave for Global Green, a repeat client. We were glad to see them again.
I got set up on the tech table to stage right in the Grand Ballroom. I set up my glass, made sure the monitors looked correct. I did all the things I normally do.
There were several other people in the room, about 20 feet from my table, but I was alone in my station. I had to use the gents, so I popped out for less than 5 min.
When I came back to my table, my computer and its power supply are gone.
I asked around, and we called security right away. Hilton security is pretty awful, it took them 20 minutes to get to us. I have nothing good to say about them, except that they are polite.
They didn’t tell me directly not to call the police, but they insinuated it pretty heavily. I’m in a state of shock, not only worried about whether I’d ever see my machine again, but was also trying to figure out how I’m going to work the gig that is 1.5 hours away. I file my report with the Hilton. Get one of the client’s computers, luckily the software we use has a free trial on their website. I downloaded that.
I re-did all the work that I had done on the script to make it legible on the prompter, and read smoothly.
The job went without a hitch.
Global Green thanked me a lot, and offered condolences for the loss of my computer.
I still can’t quite believe it.
My poor computer. I think about it like a puppy or a child. It’s out there with someone who doesn’t know it like I did. It’s with a thief who can’t understand it the way I did. A computer takes on a personality and I knew its eccentricities, its particular noises, its heating tendencies, its weight, its power.
I get upset, even though I’m writing this blog on its replacement, a far more powerful machine.
I don’t know if I will ever truly get over the theft. I’m just glad it wasn’t jewelry or a unique gift. I’m glad I could live without it. Plus I’m a savvy computer person and had backed up all my information a few weeks prior to the theft. But it was still personal. It was a violation. My trust was robbed too.
Since the theft, I went through an ordeal with the Hilton. First they “accidentally” wrote my phone number down wrong. I called them many times for weeks until they finally got back to me. Then a few weeks after that told me that since my computer was in a public space and not in “their possession or care” that it wasn’t their responsibility.
Also their cameras caught nothing. So there is that as well. So no dough from the Hilton.
I immediately get a hold of my renter’s insurance. It’s a policy for my girlfriend and I. We are both on the lease. But somehow I was listed as an “occupant” and not a “tenant” so my computer wasn’t covered. It took yet another week to get that bit corrected. Finally they get me all set. I get a check for $22.73 for a $1400 computer.
Yes, you read that correctly. Now that did include our $500 deductible for the year. Too bad that year is already over.
So, in the end, I’m out $1400. The thief got maybe $400. And I got the added stress.
Thanks for the theft, scumbag.