These signs irk me. They irk me good.
First, what a waste of effort. Does anyone think that these signs will actually change anyones' behavior? Is there anyone in the world who might have reason to be concerned about whether they are being recorded who would not understand what the big black dome indicated?
Second, these signs are both on the outside and inside of the door. That's right, they're not facing only at the street, but also inward to the lobby, to which only people with a key have access. Someone might generously assume that the shitheel who put up this sign did so in some misguided hope that it might prevent the homeless from sleeping in our alcove -- as if that would work -- it's not like they're trying to hide the fact that they're sleeping there. "We have video of you sleeping." "Ok..." But no, they're pointing the sign at me too. They think that I need to be reminded that I'm being recorded.
Third, the purpose of signs like this is merely to instill unease. They are fnords. You are to see them and have a little twinge. As if Jesus Christ Himself leaned down from his home on Mount Olympus and flicked your ear while saying BE GOOD. Some shitheel spent my HOA money to insult me.
Fourth, I've lived in this building for a long-assed time, and I'm like 99% sure that those cameras are not actually hooked up to anything, so it's a lie from start to finish.
Fifth, ubiquitous surveillance sucks, and asymmetric surveillance sucks even more. If these cameras are actually being monitored, by whom? Because as a condo owner in this building, I'm a not-insigificant-percentage owner of these cameras, so why can't I watch the feed too? If you're looking at me, I should be able to look right back. (I've asked these questions of the HOA, years ago. I never got any answers.)
Sixth, if there was some triggering incident for these signs going up, I think it's safe to say that, without knowing any details, we can summarize it as, "Something must be done, this is something, therefore it must be done."
Anyway, yeah, I hate these signs a lot. But instead of just tearing them down, as was my first instinct, I made some alterations instead. For the outward-facing sign, I added
DRESS CODE STRICTLY ENFORCED
and for the inward-facing sign, I added
EXERCISE VAGUE CAUTION
After a couple of days, someone peeled them off. Hey, that's cool, my label printer has a lot of tape left in it, and I had already printed a few others in anticipation of this:
DON'T SUSPECT YOUR NEIGHBOR: REPORT HIM!
FEAR THE UNKNOWN - MONSTERS ARE REAL
DRONE STRIKES AUTHORIZED 7PM - 5AM
AWARD-WINNING SECURITY THEATRE
YOU'RE PROBABLY GUILTY OF SOMETHING
(Feel free to add your suggestions below.)
Anyway, someone has been peeling these off every day or two, and I keep putting them back. I'm really curious who is doing it, though, and why. I suppose it's possible that it's some other condo owner who is both not offended by the original sign, and doesn't think I'm funny, but, I don't even know how to process that. Can there be such a person?
I think that a much more likely explanation is that it's one of the despicable real estate agents who darken our doorway on an almost-daily basis. I'll bet one of these shitbags looks at that surveillance sign and thinks that this is going to be a selling point to whatever new-Twitter-hire South Bay dudebro he's trying to foist off an overpriced condo on, and dammit he has a hard enough time already convincing this manchild that this hideous, filthy neighborhood isn't dangerous, and he doesn't need my sarcasm costing him the sale.
At least, I hope so. I hope a little vein pops out on his forehead every time he's scraping one of these labels off with fingernails bitten to the quick.
Update: This story continues in "Exercise Vague Spartacus" and concludes in "Exercise Vague Joy".