“Stranger Danger, or, The one where I’m not the only alarmist currently employed at the Museum.”
A co-worker came up to me today, wearing her patented “I’m concerned” face, and asked me if I had access to the security camera feed at the front desk. She then said she needed to show me a man who was acting in a suspicious manner. I was a little stunned because everyone who had come in to the museum in the past few hours was a member and so I at least somewhat knew all of them.
We pull up the cameras and the man in question had just walked over to the art room and was standing almost directly under the camera. It was one of our regulars, we’ll call him John Doe. I told her that we see the Does at least once a week. They are loyal members, their twin girls did the fall session of our dance class. Never once have I seen him do anything suspicious or gotten any bad vibes from him. From all of our interactions, I knew John as a nerdy, doting father. He even patiently indulges my need for small talk as I check them in when they come.
So my co-worker then explains why she was worried. Apparently he had been wandering around on the other side of the museum, away from his family, and had his phone out. Now, as much as I’d like to ban parents from using their phones when they should be playing with their children, there is no rule that says “You MUST put your phone away in the Children’s Museum.”
But here’s where it gets strange:
From my co-worker’s point of view it looked as if he was taking pictures of children that he didn’t know, and when he noticed her looking at him he shoved his phone into his pocket and acted really guilty. That, of course, set off the alarm bells in my head. She could see it on my face just as I could see it on hers, spelled out in big letters. P-E-D-O-P-H-I-L-E. Working with kids, this kind of behaviour is a big problem and we’re all trained to look for the signs –I have the Darkness to Light certificate to prove it. And as my mind is spiraling down the rabbit hole, wondering how I could have been so wrong about this man, I notice on the monitor that he has pulled out his cell phone.
And then I see it. Those familiar shades of blue and green. A small spot of red near the bottom center of the screen.
Then finally, perfectly positioned under the camera for me to see, he swipes the screen with his finger, tossing out the pokeball and making a perfect catch. He was playing Pokemon Go. That was the moment I remembered that there are 5 pokestops available through out the museum. It was also the moment my co-worker learned that people are still playing that game.
Needless to say, we felt pretty stupid after all that. At least I can say with confindence that my initial opinion of John Doe was correct. He’s definitely a nerd. (But who am I to judge!)