Fiction, Truth Stranger Than

by pjmcbride


I don’t mean our attitude toward customers; I mean callers’ attitudes toward us. Two annoying examples:

1. A woman called for an ambulance, and I connected her to the ambulance service. She didn’t like the tone of the medical dispatcher, and said, “That was sarcastic. I want you to apologize.” The best part was, he wasn’t being sarcastic–he was interrupting the long story she wanted to tell, to return to the specific questions he needed to ask about her medical situation. And I salute him, because he apologized as she asked, in the interest of moving things along. I fear that I would not be so noble. It’s hard enough for me to apologize when I have done something wrong.

2. A guy called because he’d locked his keys in his car and he wanted the police to unlock it for free. I advised him we don’t do that, and he said, “Are you sure? I’ve had police do it for me before in the county I used to live in.” I said, “It’s never been the policy in this county, and I’ve worked here for 27 years.” He answered, “Are you sure there hasn’t been a change in policy that you aren’t aware of?” “Quite sure,” I replied. “Well, I just think that’s funny, that it’s not the same as in the other county.” I refrained from informing him that there isn’t a state-wide, nation-wide or, for that matter, worldwide standard for locking your keys in the car, lest I be deemed sarcastic and an apology be demanded.


It was apparently Bad Movies About Ancient Greece Night on the TNT network, featuring “Clash of the Titans” and “300.” Cue the bad dialogue!–from “Release the Kraken!”, which always makes me wish I had a Kraken to release, to “This won’t be over quickly. You won’t enjoy this,” which reminds me of my feelings about ridealongs. No offense to any specific officer. No, really.