LOS ANGELES— Local security guard Mike Stoples said Tuesday that he lives for the moments when customers wave at his security camera, adding that he couldn’t think of any other reason to keep living.
“I like to think they know it’s me behind the camera,” Stoples said. “And waving at me is their way of saying, ‘Hey, I appreciate you. The hours you spend watching these tapes do not go unnoticed. I know I can’t tell you face-to-face, but consider this wave-to-camera my way of saying, I love you and all you do for my safety. You’re welcome in my home any time,’ or, you know, something like that.”
While monitoring surveillance footage, Stoples is greeted on average by upwards of 50 waves per work day, but his wave-watching doesn’t end there. He reportedly saves his favorite surveillance tapes and plays them on a loop in his bedroom.
“I tend to bring my work home with me,” said Stoples. “I guess you could call me a workaholic,” he joked. “And an alcoholic and depressed.”
After 42 years in the business, Stoples says he has no plans to retire any time soon.
“I couldn’t imagine waking up and not watching families wave at the camera, or little girls dance in front of it, or teenagers flip it off,” said Stoples. “I’d rather kill myself than let that happen.”
At press time, Stoples was under intense suicide watch to which he responded to by continually waving at the man watching him. ♦