The first "best practice" we're going to examine in this series is The Trophy Case. This particular "best practice" belongs to Allegheny Energy, although for all I know AEP does it too, they're just better at not getting caught. It became quite evident to me over time that Allegheny was the PATH partner that got dropped on its collective head a time or two too many, resulting in a distinctively diminished mental capacity (okay, these guys are just DUMB!)
The existence of a "trophy case" was revealed by PATH/
Allegheny Energy Assistant General Counsel Randy Palmer at the Harpers Ferry federal EIS meeting in July of 2010. After he made some snide remark about one opponent's StopPATH t-shirt, we decided he must be jealous because he didn't have a great group of friends with their own special t-shirts like we have. We decided to heal his bruised "fee-fees" by giving him a t-shirt of his own so he could pretend to be a part of our cool club. He told the people who presented it to him that he "collects this stuff" and had a trophy case for it. Whether it's a personal trophy case or a corporate trophy case, I don't know, but that's just sick, dude! Trophies are things that serial killers collect! The serial killer often takes something known as a trophy or souvenir, of no obvious value except to him in his fantasy world. The item is known as a trophy if it is seen as a symbol of achievement and a souvenir if it is to remind the killer of the crime. Randy also made off with one of our StopPATH hand fans at the meeting and although I told him he could have one of our "Oh no, we won't glow!" bracelets, I don't think he had the nerve to go ask the people minding the information table for one.
So, it's an Allegheny Energy "best practice" to collect trophies from the citizens they victimize so they can gloat, laugh, feel good about themselves, pave the road to hell, or whatever it is they do with their booty after they get their project built. Wow! That's one of the dumbest "best practices" I've ever encountered!
The next instance of trophy collection by an Allegheny Energy employee occurred two nights later at the Frederick EIS meeting crime scene. Senior Attorney Jeff Trout collected a photograph of a protest sign taped in the back window of an opponent's vehicle. Trout needs to work on his technique -- he walked right past me and did his collecting in plain sight and in broad daylight. Duh, Jeff, sloppiness is how serial killers get caught! Although he didn't mention that the photograph was for a trophy case (I think he was probably concentrating on not wetting his pants instead, after being confronted about his actions), I can't imagine what else he could have been planning to do with it.
"Best Practices", Allegheny Energy style! These guys have so much to teach their new co-workers at FirstEnergy!
Jeff's little photography spree kicked off a bit of "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" that resulted in "Best Practice" #2 - The Company Policy on photographs at meetings. Up next -- stay tuned!