Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Well, That's a Stupid Question...

I stopped a gal today, and she asked me this.

"Is there a reason you stopped me?"

What I wanted to say:

No. No reason at all. None whatsoever. I just run around with my lights on for the hell of it. Is there a reason you stopped? Of COURSE there's a reason I stopped you. Perhaps you might like to know what it is.

What I said:

Yep. I'll explain it as soon as I get your license.

I also stopped the Town Crier III today. I felt kinda bad about his one though because I don't think it was just a plea for sympathy like the others. This lady just started crying, and seemed rather embarrassed by it.

And I stubbed more jaywalkers.... So there.


USAincognito said...

I think you just proved the point that there IS such a thing as a stupid question.

Tonya said...

I've been reading for for awhile now and have never felt compelled to respond until now. I want to preface what I'm about to say with this: I mean my comments gently and respectfully. I'm not trying to be accusatory or put you on the defensive ~ I just want to put in my .02 from the perspective of a female. :)

You mentioned the "town crier" how she seemed to be genuine but other women who have cried were just a plea for sympathy.

So.. I just wanted to gently point out something about women. Ahem. Women and men are built differently. As a male, I'm sure it's impossible to -really- fully comprehend this in a meaningful way -- but women cry more easily and more readily when stressed because we have more prolactin, which is a hormone released under stress.

My guess is that you see it as manipulative, when in fact it's something that they may not be able to control. It just comes across that you are perhaps berating or looking down on women for a natural reaction to stress.

It happened to me! I got pulled over a couple of years ago and, though he was unfailing polite to me, though I was lucky enough to only receive a warning to slow down (I had been doing 40 in 30), I still balled like a baby after he left. Why? Because even though I am a tax-paying, law-abiding citizen, it's still scary as HELL when the lights and sirens go on behind you and my adrenaline went like crazy. It happens without fail that I cry after my adrenaline shoots up.

Yes, I was able to hold it together until he started walking back to his car (thank god) but if we'd talked for another 30 seconds I would have started to bawl in front of him.

The woman you pulled over? She probably WAS embarrassed, but also unable to stop it.

You are the one on the street dealing with this stuff on a day to day basis and I'm SURE there are some who turn on the tears for sympathy ~ but I also think that far more are simply doing what they are meant to naturally: Cry under stress.

Officer "Smith" said...

Thanks for the comment Tonya. No offense taken, and no defensiveness put on. You made your point very well, but I'm not sure if you understand mine. Let me toss in a little more of my perspective here.

I feel like I can generally tell when a woman driver is crying for real, and when she's turning it on. There's a difference. It's subtle, but it's there.

The woman yesterday was crying, and apologizing for doing so. She said she didn't know why she was crying, because I was very courteous and polite and she didn't feel she had any reason to cry. She was embarrassed.

The others will generally sniffle a bit and work up the tears while they're telling me how I'm ruining their life, or they hate me, or some such rhetoric. It takes them a while to get going, and then they can turn it off right quick when they see it isn't working.

I'm no psychologist, but I feel like I can tell the difference between the real thing, and the worked up tears.

I never comment on it to the driver. I let them do their thing, because it makes no difference as to whether or not they get the ticket. I don't treat anyone any differently than anyone else, regardless of how they act.

I'm not trying to be derogatory by mentioning them here. I'm just describing how it torques me off when it's done in an obvious attempt to get out of a ticket.

The lady yesterday did not seem to be doing this. The others did. Maybe you had to be there.

Anywho, thanks for reading, and don't hesitate to comment.

Kojak said...

Hey, As a brother officer for the last 27 years, I have certainly seen my share of theatrics when it comes to women and traffic stops. I must agree with officer* smith*, I think you learn to tell the difference. I stopped a woman that just busted out in hysterics, I tried to calm her down, but she totally stopped crying when she realized it didn't work to get her out of the ticket. I do agrree also with tonya she has a valid point.