CaneToad’s Thank You Note

AllCom – CaneToad,

We got this note of thanks.

“I wanted to drop you a note to thank you for doing what you do. A few hours before sunrise Monday after the Temple burn, a guy I know stopped by my camp looking for a place to crash, as he’d become extremely concerned about the mental health of his partner and was worried that she was going to physically attack him. He didn’t know what to do, and everyone else he knew was asleep or unavailable. After sitting him down and hearing what he had to say, I mentioned contacting the Rangers. He wasn’t aware of the Green Dots, was only faintly aware of the Zendo Project, and the idea of escalating (as he put it) worried him. Nevertheless, he was out of ideas, so we biked over to Outpost Tokyo, where an off-duty Ranger instantly switched back into work mode and radioed for a pair of on-duty Rangers. (Ranger) and (Another Ranger) whose name I’m embarrassed I can’t remember arrived not too long after, and accompanied us to where we thought the person of concern might be. By this point, everything occurred out of my earshot, but they seemed to help resolve things adequately enough for the evening.

Over the last few years in the default world, I’ve attempted to help a number of family members and friends with severe mental breakdowns–most recently just a week before this year’s burn, which also prompted my very first panic attack–and every time I’ve found it extremely difficult and emotionally taxing and struggle to figure out how to get them the help they need (Do I need to take this person to a hospital? How do I figure out if someone needs to be committed and how do I do that? What do you do when someone is kind-of maybe suicidal? Why do all my friends come to me when they’re at the worst point in their lives? Etc. etc…). Despite this being my seventh burn and knowing a half dozen Rangers very well, this was the first time I’ve had a substantial interaction with an on-duty Ranger. It was incredibly gratifying to have a readily-available municipal resource to turn to in such a time of crisis, knowing that there was little chance of anyone being shot or arrested. Thank you so much for helping create a better model for social organization and for being there when we needed help.”

Had to be one of my favorite Ranger calls ever. Myself and my partner MuttonChop got sent over to Tokyo for a Green dot call. Never know what Green dot calls are until you get there. Off duty Ranger guides the participants over to us and then goes back to their beer.

We chat to them, one of them tells us that he is worried about their partner. That they had never seen her like this before and he was worried she was going to hurt him. Wasn’t sure if it was drugs or anything else. We chat to them and walk our bikes next to them as we walk to their camp. The guy hadn’t heard of the Rangers, but his friend had, and so got hold of us by going to Tokyo.

So we head on over to have a chat to her and see what’s going on. When we get there, she’s in her tent. So we do a standard Ranger approach, announce who we are, ask her if she wants to come out to chat.

Myself and my partner debriefed about this afterwards. We did it exactly like a training scenario. One of us talked to each person, we made sure that we were in eye shot of each other as we talked to them.

We then reconvened to bounce ideas off each other, then went back to talk to them. Took us a while to unravel what was going on, and no need to get into details here. One big thing – it wasn’t a monogamous relationship and the issue that had caused the distress was something that only a member of our community would be able to understand and help them work through it.

It was one of the happiest Ranger calls I’ve done, as a lot of it was helping people to get to the point that would be able to get a good night’s sleep and then talk about it in the morning. I’m not sure if we saved a relationship that night, but we gave the couple the chance to sort it out the next day, which I think is one of the best gifts I’ve ever done.

Apologies if that doesn’t make a huge amount of sense.

I posted this on my FB at Commissary that morning when I was having breakfast:

“Think I had one of my favourite Ranger shifts ever. Chatting to random people, amazing partner MuttonChop, built a lot of social capital (talked about, yes you can be sad, that’s a valid emotion, Rangers aren’t here to make you less sad), hanging out at the firepit.

Had my fav Green Dot call ever. Couple arguing. Guy went to call in Rangers. After a long conversation, all they really needed was a good night’s sleep and time to process so they could have a proper conversation. Which took a bit of time to convince them of that. So I saved a relationship. Or at the very least gave them the chance to. I’m happy :D.”