Ray Dahl spent years working as a licensed guard contracted by one of the eminent security services in Orange County, protecting property and people at a number of sites. Some of his best memories, however, involve seeing how people are affected by his intervention.
“I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel,” says Dahl, “when people on occasion come back to me to thank me for my help. They are usually not the people you imagine.”
Dahl recalls working as an agent for one of the best security services company in Orange County at a shopping mall when he was approached by a clean-shaven man in a suit and tie who smiled warmly, though a little nervously at him. “I thought at first this guy was from the IRS,” said Dahl. “I couldn’t figure out what was going on initially. It flashed through my mind maybe I had won the Publisher’s Clearing House contest or something. But the reality was even better than that.”
The man visiting shook Dahl’s hand. “You probably don’t remember me,” he said. “But five years ago I was making a huge fool of myself right here in this mall. I was dirty, homeless, not in my right mind. And I was causing a scene,” he said. He described some of the things he was doing, and how he nearly passed out in the food court.
Dahl recognized him at that point. Add a scraggly beard, heavy-lidded eyes, worn and dirty clothes and a really bad stench, and yes, this was the same guy. Although he had dealt with many people in his decades of working for security services in Orange County, that one was hard to forget.
“You came and even though I cussed at you and called you all kinds of names, you didn’t react. You escorted me out of the mall, but then you stopped and spoke kindly to me and I’ll never forget it. You did tell me to never come back here in that kind of condition, but you also encouraged me to get help, get my life back together. You even gave me a phone number. I got help,” he said. “I have a good job, a house, a car, even a family now. I just wanted to come and thank you.”
Dahl was amazed that this was the same foul-mouthed public nuisance that he had evicted nearly half a decade previously. In all his years working for security services in Orange County, he had never seen such a profound transformation.