To Protect And Perv
Regular readers will know that NSFWCORP's largest investor is the Vegas Tech Fund, part of Tony Hsieh’s plan to revitalize the area around East Fremont Street. We're thrilled to be here.
Not everyone is bullish on East Fremont, though. Last year, some employees of Hsieh’s dayjob company, Zappos, expressed concern about the safety of downtown after dark. At least one female employee had to fend off a would-be attacker who attempted to get into her car.
Imagine the relief, then, when Hsieh revealed his plan to keep Fremont safe. Based on a similar scheme in Austin, Texas, more than a dozen "Downtown Rangers" dressed in smart uniforms -- consisting of body-mounted video cameras and, uh, brown shirts – are paid $12.50 an hour to patrol the streets around East Fremont, even offering to walk women to their cars after dark.
Phew! And surely those same women will be reassured to know that the man in charge of training the Rangers is retired Sgt Chris Curtis, a 20-year veteran of Las Vegas’ Metro Police Department. Curtis was a finalist for Officer.com’s "officer of the year" and was described by Zappos downtown team director, Jeanne Markel as “a fantastic person.”
Strangely, though, neither Officer.com nor Markel saw fit to recognize Curtis’ other major achievement: in 2005 he wrote a critically acclaimed book (four stars on Amazon and reviews around the world). Its title?
The book, which references other negotiation manuals like “Getting Past No” by William Ury, also details Curtis’ rule of reciprocity: how, when a “MACK” does something nice for a woman it is reasonable to expect something in return. (We can only speculate on the appropriate reward for walking someone safely to her car.)
"When you're a negotiator, the way to speak to people is drilled into you. It becomes natural," Curtis explained to Karyn Miller from London’s Daily Telegraph. “You don't ever say to a woman, 'Let's go back to my place.' Women don't want to seem easy. Instead, suggest there's something you want to share with her, like a CD you talked about or a bottle of wine."
Curtis then proceeded to hit on Miller:
“You're attracted to me, aren't you?" No, I confess. "Go on, admit it. You find me attractive. If I went out on to the street, I could use M.A.C.K. Tactics to pick up the next woman I saw."
Despite its $80 price tag on Amazon, I’ve ordered a copy of MACK Tactics (more extracts to follow). At time of publishing, a spokesperson for the Downtown Project had yet to respond to a request for comment.