Saturday, December 1, 2007

Officer Smith, at Your Service...

I hand out my business cards like water. I get them by the hundred, so why the hell not? One unintended consequence of this is that a few people I have assisted, in some way or other, have taken a bit of a liking to me. They tend to think of me as their own personal police officer.

For example, I took a telephone detail one evening awhile back regarding a woman who wanted to complain about a pile of trash in front of her house. We had a rather pleasant telephone conversation and I told her there was no need for a report, but I would send a city crew out within the following few days to remove the trash. The next day when I got to work, a message was waiting on my voicemail. She just "wanted to let me know" that the trash was still there. The next day the trash was removed. End of story, right? Nope.

A month or two later, I received a voicemail message. The woman caller identified herself by her first name. I thought the voice sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn't place it. When she gave the address I remembered, it was the same lady who called about the trash. She was calling my voicemail, on my weekend mind you, to tell me there was suspicious activity going on in the driveway of a house a few doors down from hers.

The telephone number for the police department is prominently displayed on the face of my business card. Why didn't she just call the dispatch line? Why call me? Because she had come to think of me as her police officer.

I have sort of a following I suppose. I have people who will call specifically for me, whether or not I happen to be working their beat that evening. I have written some pretty lengthy reports as a result of some of these calls, thereby saving the officer who WAS working that beat a good deal of paper. I don't know whether to be annoyed or flattered. I suppose a bit of both is okay.

No comments: