I’ll never forget the day I got booted. In a big, white Atlanta Journal-Constitution truck.
I was sent to cover a story outside the Fulton County jail and I decided to take a company vehicle. My colleagues in television thought nothing of jumping the curb in their monstrous trucks and hopping out. The TV trucks were lined up, on the curb, as if to say “Yeah? So?”
But not me. I’m a reporter, not a stunt driver. And I wasn’t sure the trusty AJC truck could handle the off-road heroics of jumping up onto a curb. Instead, I parked across the street from the jail in front of a small building housing a bail bondsman and some other company I can’t remember. Then I walked across the street and interviewed people who had just been released from jail, along with their supporters.
By the time one of my colleagues pointed out the AJC truck was getting booted, it was too late. I got booted. I paid my $75 to have the ugly metal removed, and no, I didn’t ask the company to reimburse me for my mistake. But I fumed about it, and I learned my lesson, I guess.
My AJC colleague Jeremiah McWilliams has recently written about the tactics employed by booters. Do you think they are out of control, providing a vital service or both?