Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: Cell Phones

Parallel Universe Blues

What if we lived in a world in which 52% of all 911 calls weren’t cell phone hangups? “World Leader,” they ask, “how may such a world be brought about?” I don’t know, FanBase. I just don’t know.

T-shirt on co-worker: “Live Life On Purpose.” But how can I, when my very existence is accidental?


–Needing to pee.

–Death investigations.

–Nick’s driving.

–Whatever else he’s planning that I can’t even imagine.

Rom asked, “Doesn’t Nick mind being written about as a beast?”  Well, what if he does? He is as God made him. But, lest you think my relentless media spotlight is inhumane, I assure you that Nick is a sort of black hole, sucking up all the attention available. And he has honored me with his friendship. Unless we go on a ridealong, and I end up hating him.


“I need the police because I let my daughter’s boyfriend stay with us, and he got mad at me because I gave their baby a bath, because he said that could wait till tomorrow, and I said that’s not happening in my house, so he got in my face and shoved me against the wall, so I punched him in the face, and he ran out the door. And he has warrants in Kentucky.”

–Alright, class, list all the points at which a wrong decision was made.


Le Marche Futile

…it’s what they call Crisis in Progress in France.

–Report of a man taking off his clothes and lying down on a pile of dirt. Sometimes it’s just one of those days.

–When you’re calling 911, make sure you hang up before saying, “They asked for my name, and I gave them a fake name!” Then, when the officer got there, she forgot how to spell her fake name.

–Speaking of hanging up, a colleague counted up her calls last shift and calculated that 40% of them were cellphone hangups. In case you were wondering just how big a waste of our time that is. WHY?? Why does no one ever acquire a clue? The next time someone laughs and says, “Oh, I must’ve butt-dialed ya,” I’m going to say, “Apparently your butt is smarter than you are.”

–Be it noted that the fire department does not fix broken elevators, nor does it “make” someone else do so.

And speaking of fire, this week’s ERRAND OF MERCY award goes to none other than Nick, who came speeding to the rescue with soothing ointment when a dispatcher burned her hand. See, he isn’t really mean. Sure, he tried to tell me the injury was caused by his breathing fire. But he has no powers that I do not grant him.

“See, you’re the one who’s mean!” he exclaims, burrowing under my porch–no wonder it’s crumbling into dust! Since he can’t see me, he thinks I can’t see him, even though his tail is sticking out.

“Could you eat any slugs you find under there?” I ask. “They’ve been mating on my door and getting slime all over the screen.”

Since I’m not supposed to know he’s under there, he ignores me. I resist the urge to tweak his tail.


Sometimes someone calls wanting to make a Dramatic Speech, and there’s just no stopping them. As in, “I saw car #XYZ just sitting on the corner, even though I drove by three times! I pay him to patrol the city, not DO NOTHING!” I started to explain that the car number he gave was a take-home car, and that officer was most likely off-duty, but he’d already hung up.

The above comments do not reflect the opinions of anyone other than myself. As far as I know.

Few and Far Between

…Am I alone here? No, I am not on medication. Yet.


Now that I have entered the Wonderful World of Texting, I must put in a word for the much-maligned auto-correct. {Bizarrely, spell-check just informed me that “texting” is not a word. I think my desktop is jealous of my smartphone.} It seems to me that the problems everyone has with auto-correct are actually their own fault, for hitting the wrong word, and then failing to read over their texts like I do. (You mean you’re supposed to just fire off texts spontaneously? What?) But how can you not admire a program that not only figures out what words are commonly used with each other, but is figuring out which words frequently use? (“Ride-along” is one of them. Hmm.)


I dreamed I was test-driving a black Mustang. They make great birthday gifts, you know. And you only have 1 month + 1 week to shop.



Caller: “A pickup truck pulled up in front of my house, and now they’re acting like idiots.”

Me: “What are they doing, exactly?”

Him: “I don’t know what they’re doing. But if you don’t get a cop out here, I’m going to become involved.”

Me: What do you mean by that?

Him: I’m just going to…{ominous pause} become involved.

Me: But what are they doing?

Him: I don’t know what they’re doing! You just need to get a cop out here quick!

Me: But are they threatening anyone, or fighting, or…”

Him: You know what? I’m done. {click}

And so was I.


I was reading the latest installment of the omnipresent training material, which was (once again) threatening us with texting to 911, coming to a PSAP near you! (PSAP means Public Safety Answering Point, and may I just mention that I hate cutesy acronyms, and if anyone hears me use PSAP in a conversation, or refer to myself as a “telecommunicator,” or even worse, a “TC,” they should slap me. {Spell-check says PSAP isn’t a word. Good.}) As always, they were claiming that people are demanding the ability to contact 911 via text, and social media, and as always, I’m wondering, Who is demanding this, exactly? Who is saying, “Talking into a phone is too much trouble. I need to be able to get hold of 911 on Facebook and Twitter” ? It’s as if They think that if we don’t give people this capability, they won’t make use of our services. We should take the money we (or whoever) spend on billboards saying “SEE A RECKLESS DRIVER? CALL 911” and spend it on billboards saying “TALKING IS STILL FASTER THAN TYPING.”

By the way, the above attitude is one of the many reasons why I’m un-promotable. I’m not pro-active and visionary and stuff.


Speaking of scary future stuff, here’s something even scarier. Now they have computer programs that tell you what questions to ask people who call for police assistance. And, like such programs tend to do, it’s not treated as a set of guidelines, but as a set of cut-and-dried, mandatory steps, invoked in the name of Standardization! and Consistency! I can see this working for ambulance services, where it’s already widely used (although it tends to irritate callers, who don’t understand why they’re being asked the same questions twice). But police runs are more complicated, with variables and, dare I say, the use of intuition, and a lot of thinking as you go, which is probably what they’re trying to eliminate with the use of these programs. But I don’t think the unpredictability factor can be eliminated–I’ve been doing this a very long time, and I still run into things I’ve never encountered before. But the great god Liability gets invoked–if you just asked the questions the computer told you to, you’re off the hook! And don’t you dare ask any others. ROBOT DISPATCHERS, COMING TO A PSAP NEAR YOU!

Tiny and Meaningless

The NOSE-PICKER was on the bus again today. Yes, you had to know. And yes, that’s what it takes for me to remember the face of someone I’ve only seen once.


Answered 911, and heard a kid telling his friends, “I’m dating girls older than me! I’ve got a 15-year-old!” He was very embarrassed when I called him back.


Somebody Slap Me Around

home again...

home again… (Photo credit: bunchadogs & susan [hiatus])

…Any volunteers?


In the course of last night’s deluge, someone called in and said, “The wind is blowing, and all this rain–I’m so scared!” Um, we can’t stop the wind from blowing.

“I’m 13 years old, and I’m dog-sitting for a friend of my mom’s. I don’t know her name or address, but I think there’s someone in the house.” And of course it was a cell phone, so we didn’t know the name or address, either. Luckily, she was able to find a piece of mail with the address, and even more luckily, there wasn’t anyone in the house. PARENTS, MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS KNOW WHERE THEY ARE! A CELL PHONE IS NOT A MAGIC TRACKING DEVICE!




Assorted Crises in Progress

zombie firefighter

zombie firefighter (Photo credit: Rob Ireton)

The mate of the Beast has brought forth another cub! Yes! They now have a litter! The little ones are so cute, before they develop fangs and claws.

Nick, if someday Reid wants to know what happened in the world on the day he was born, you can show him this post. Explain, “She was an old lady I used to work with. She died a long time ago.”  (The alternative would be, “She’s that crazy old lady who keeps calling for the police at her house and then saying she wants me to mow the lawn.”)


A.J. dreamed that she was fighting a fire for 8 hours. So then I pictured her showing up at a fire scene, sleepwalking. It would be like a zombie firefighter. Seriously, zombies could be good firefighters. Just tell them there are brains inside the structure, and they would be heedless of all danger. (I can’t believe I just started a sentence about zombies with “Seriously.” It makes you wonder how often I actually am serious.)


You know, if you get a run in which the suspect is a white female, wearing a pink tank top, who has a small child with her and is stealing items from a dollar store, and then later get a run of the same from a different dollar store, you tend to assume you’re dealing with the same suspect. But that turned out not to be the case–it was just the Case of the Pink Tank Tops.  By the way, Pink Tank Gang, if you’re going to shoplift and might have to run from the cops, I advise against wearing flip-flops. Of course, I always advise against wearing flip-flops.


The height of human achievement is our new-found ability to dial a phone with our butts. But we can now dial with our boobs as well! A 911 hangup was made by someone who had tucked her phone in her bra. Surely she could hear the tiny voice of the dispatcher emanating from her chestal area? Speaking of which, I read an article saying, “Those clamshell cell phones that you open and close scream that you’re old.” Leaving aside the fact that clamshell phones used to be considered the epitome of cool–you can pretend you’re on Star Trek, after all–they make butt-dialing a non-issue, so who’s the fool now? The answer is, Not me.


–“You can’t dial 911 just because you need someone to talk to. I’m not your friend.”

–“I am not an alien.”

Well, if you’re not a friend and you’re not an alien, then what are you?




Theater of Cruelty Has Been Canceled

…Instead, ALL PRAISE to the WONDERFUL, dare I say SAINTLY, Nick, who neither smelled like cigarette smoke, nor was he covered with fire-extinguisher foam. By the way, he brought us food.

Speaking of Us, the Thought for the Day was uttered by my colleague A.J. Vader (daughter of Darth), who told a caller, “Ma’am, I’m not in the business of solving puzzles.” Well, WHY AREN’T YOU? I’ve been asked “Why are cigarettes so expensive?” (I told him that wasn’t an emergency, and he answered, “It is to me!”) I’m surprised no one has called 911 to find out the meaning of life yet.

Adding to my list of Things to Do on My Last Day of Work:

–asking “Am I clear for a meal?” on the air

–when an officer calls and says “I need….(fill in the blank),” saying “What about my needs?” (thanks, Karen)

–telling every person who calls to complain about someone texting while driving, “Well, you’re talking on the phone and driving!”

And, signing off with old-fashioned call letters, which I still remember, for each agency:

Chemical Foam extinguisher, inner parts, and c...

Chemical Foam extinguisher, inner parts, and charges (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EPD–KSA931, VCS–KSF295, EFD–KSC497. Yes, I know nobody asked.


Crisis in Progress and Unrelated Objects

facebook engancha

facebook engancha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know you’re not supposed to tell people your dreams, but I’m in charge here, so you’ll read this and like it, got that? I dreamed I had a cat embedded in my head. That’s right, an actual cat in my actual head.

Speaking of readers: To anyone reading these things who doesn’t know me personally (hey, it’s theoretically possible), who notices that many of these posts have no comments–they mostly comment on Facebook, which you may have heard of. I’m not just talking to myself here, it only looks like it.

On to our ongoing crisis:

Officer of the Day yesterday (Officer of the Previous Day?) Award goes to poor pitiful Nick, who volunteered to work 3rd shift after already working 2nd shift. I slept better knowing there was a sleep-deprived man with a gun driving around out there.

I’m going to stop everybody I see on the street (and since I walk the streets a lot–stop snickering–I see a lot of people) and say STOP GIVING YOUR OLD CELL PHONE TO YOUR SMALL CHILD TO PLAY WITH! THEY CALL 911 ALL THE TIME! I was treated to one such call tonight where Mom was congratulating said child on having pooped. “You pooped!” I’m honored that I could be part of this special moment with your family.

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