My team member, a tech who is Black, was working at an office after hours–in uniform and with company identified equipment. The janitor came in to clean, and when he saw my Black employee he dodged around and refused to respond to a “hello.”
When my crew was leaving 15 minutes later 3 cars with 8 guys came into the parking lot and a voice called out, “hey you, we want to talk to you.” My tech was by himself in a dark business park and afraid for his safety. He left his equipment on the curb, jumped in the car and drove to the police department and made a report. The police did not follow up with me or the client office.
I reported this to the client by voicemail and email immediately and called the next morning. They called the janitorial company and it was discovered as a “misunderstanding”–the janitor had been surprised and called his boss, and a gang came over to rescue him.
I asked to meet with them to talk about it and to get an apology but they wanted to sweep it under the carpet and wouldn’t meet. My tech was angry and felt vulnerable. People didn’t see the uniform or the company equipment. They didn’t ask the basic question of how he got the security access to be there. All they saw was a big Black man, although no one would use the words.