06 May 2011

Friday Follies...
End of another week...FINALLY!
And the best part is...I DIDN'T have to call the FWPD for ANYTHING!!!
(doing the happy feet dance)
That is utterly astounding.
But, before we get into Wednesday's "bread and circuses", I DID manage to get ALL the lawns mowed yesterday.
Took over an hour, too, because the grass was getting so damn thick with all the "off and on" rain we've been enjoying.
Good to know the electric mower still runs fine...Lord knows I put it through it's paces.
Got started about 0745 (before most any of the "locals" get outta the sack), and finished up a little after 0900, and that included using the string trimmer, too.
It was nice to get out and smell the freshly mown lawn...gets all that "ghetto-stank" out of your lungs...for a day or so, anyway.
And it was nice to be out there relatively by myself (except for an occasional passing car).
The only REAL sounds, aside from the mower (which is a bit quieter than gas mowers) were the morning songbirds...robins, cardinals, wrens...that sorta thing.
Sometimes, God provides hope in the smallest of things...all WE have to do is pay attention, hmm?
*** Now, onto this past Wednesday's "fun"...
We had some kids loitering along the side of the property (they do so love our corner...something I'd like to remedy).
And like most teens today, they get LOUD...like feeding time at the hyena cage.
So, I call it into dispatch, and THAT is when we had a "communication breakdown" (with apologies to Led Zeppelin).
The dispatcher, "Dave", didn't want to just be satisfied with playing "ask me another"...OH, NO...instead, he wanted to know a lot about something called the ENGLISH LANGUAGE. And I was willing to oblige
Whenever I call into the FWPD, I express myself clearly, and in a comprehensive yet brief manner, so I'm not on the phone longer than necessary (and THEY can get to the next call, which might be more important), you understand.
Brief, and to the point.
I explained to Dave that these kids were loitering outside (hanging out at OUR house for some unknown reason), wandering both ON my property AND in the street. Been there for 15 minutes or so.
Sounds simple enough when explained that way, right?
Not for good old Dave,
He wanted to know "Which is it, sir?"
(excuse me?)
"Uh, I said they are BOTH on the property AND in the street..."
(pause from Dave for contemplation)
"Well, if they're in the street, there's nothing we can do...it's a public thoroughfare"
(my turn to contemplate...aka wonder "WTF?")
"Let me get this straight...if kids are wandering into a street with cars passing by,. that is NOT considered a HAZARD?"
(Dave's turn...I can almost hear the wheels turning upstairs)
"Well, sir, are they on YOUR property OR in the street?"
(I thought we just danced this number....I can feel the blood pressure rising now)
"Ok, they are ON my property...will that work for you?"
"Are they on there NOW, sir?"
(Walk back to the window...frustration level now rising)
"Yes, they are ON the property."
(one of them wasn't, but that would have caused about THIRTY more questions from Davey-boy)
"What are they doing, sir?"
(Why the hell are we back to this crap?)
"Ah...they're LOITERING...like I said BEFORE...why are we having trouble communicating?"
"We're not sir, I just need to know the situation."
"I already EXPLAINED IT TO YOU...were you not PAYING ATTENTION?"
(and then the magic sentence came)
"There's no need to get upset, sir."
(getting close to reaching through the phone and yanking out Dave's tonsils)
"Son, I'm not upset...you don't WANT to see me upset...I'm just frustrated by YOUR inability to comprehend what I've been explaining to you."
"We need to know the details when we send out an officer, sir."
(my brain is now screaming YOU F$CKING MORON, but my mouth is restraining itself nicely)
"Look, I just GAVE you the details - several times...just send out an officer to my location, THAT should be simple enough, got it?"
And after the obligatory Q&A for the name, phone, address, etc, I hung the hell up.
Then, I paced around in total disbelief at thewonderfully ASININE MANNER that THIS dispatcher handled a "routine" call.
I want to add that as soon as Dave started the "interrogation" (your name, sir), the ANSWER was already coming out of my mouth...done this way too many times to NOT know the procedure. I can recite this crap in my damn sleep!
Maybe Dave was having a bad day...maybe he's off his meds...I dunno, but the FWPD needs to have him take a vacation...ASAP.
I have NEVER come across someone at dispatch SO damn clueless in my frigging life!
I suppose if one of the kids got hit a vehicle, he'd want to know if they're in the street or on my property, because if they're on my property, the EMTs can't do anything, because it''s not PUBLIC property...that's the mentality I was receiving from Davey.
"Lemme spin the body around for 'ya, Dave...so the police and ambulance to get to 'em faster...how's that?"
I didn't know that one of the jobs of a police dispatcher was to FRUSTRATE citizens whenever they call in.
Maybe it's ONLY on the SOUTH SIDE of town?
Never encountered that before (and never hope to again).
Anyway, back to the kids...(remember them?)
THEY decided to up and leave about 5 minutes AFTER I hung the hell up (isn't that ALWAYS the way?)
So, I wait to see an officer...ANY officer.
About FORTY MINUTES LATER (nice RAPID response), a black officer shows up, cruises the area and then comes to my door.
Nice BIG guy...kind you don't wanna honk off. Well spoken, too (thank God he didn't seem to be suffering from chronic "Davey-disease" )
I shook his hand, thanked him for stopping by, and welcomed him into the house.
I told him that first up, dispatch "might" have told him that I was IRATE...(wrong).
I told the officer I was getting frustrated by Dave's inability to understand what I was saying about the loiterers, and that I felt that even though they were in the street, that presented a traffic hazard.
I explained everything EXACTLY as I told Dave...only THIS officer knew that I knew ENGLISH, and he had NO problem understanding me.
This officer made up in professionalism what "Dave" was lacking...like the difference between night and day...amazing!
The kids were also screaming as cars went past. (didn't want to tell Dave this, because he''d probably want to know WHICH WAY the cars were going, how fast, and whether they had current tags...I wasn't gonna go THERE and play HIS "game")
And, I also had a "trump card" up my sleeve that I then SHOWED to the officer:
A DIGITAL PICTURE I had JUST TAKEN of the kids standing ON our property...just hanging out.
(sometimes, technology DOES work)
The officer looked at the picture, as well as another one I scrolled through showing 2 Hispanic guys letting their dog (again) ON our property to try to piss on our trash can...
I chased THOSE guys away by banging on the back door window - at least THEY knew how to take a hint).
I told the officer the kids were now playing football IN THE STREET in the next block up (city ordinance violation for sports in a public thoroughfare - can't do THAT, either kids), and he said he'd go up and have a talk with them.
I said to the officer:
"Makes me wonder WHY they don't stay closer to home, given the area, the speeding traffic, and such. I don't want to see any kid become some statistic because their parents didn't care to know where they were..."
He said he understood, and thanked me for my concern...hey, kids will be kids, but dead ones won't be much of anything to anyone, except a memory here and there, right?
And that was that...until two of the kids, came down in hoodies, and ran past the house into the alley flipping us all off as they ran.
Yeah, no GOOD DEED ever goes UNPUNISHED.
Well, if one of the kids DOES become a hood ornament for some lunatic driver down here, it won't be because I didn't try and give a rat's ass about having them hanging out anywhere they want to (like in the damn street), will it?
Then again, if those that are supposed to be RAISING these kids would act a bit more like CONCERNED PARENTS, we wouldn't be having this sojourn down Idiot Lane, would we?
(nice place to drive through briskly, but you don't ever want to live there)
Now, I don't know about you, but being a "surrogate parent" is not on ANY list of mine regarding life accomplishments.
I have plenty to concern myself about, and don't need to watch other peoples children, because THEY can't put down the crack pipe or blunt, pull themselves from the TV, or stop making even more babies the taxpayers will foot the bill for.
That's not the way I roll.
And yet, I DO get concerned whenever I see kids doing things they need not be doing (like hanging out along a street half a block away from their own house).
It was once said that an idle mind is the devil's playground...got enough of them around here...BOTH playgrounds AND idle minds.
Seems we need to get them a lot more together to make things right.
Those idle minds should be at the playgrounds...playing, and not texting on a traffic-laden street (we don' need no steenkin' sidewalks).
Or, they should be inside...doing HOMEWORK.
I learned early on, that city streets are NOT anywhere close to being the best "play areas" around. Too much can happen and most of it not all that good.
Darting from between parked cars, not paying attention to traffic going by, throwing things that might strike those cars...none of that is any good, especially if some driver gets out and thrashes the hell outta some youngster that was doing something he/she wasn't supposed to be doing.
This is the kind of thing that highly contributes to societal breakdown, because these kids will grow up with the wrong things bouncing around inside their heads, such as disrespect for others' property.
Democracy is only ONE step above anarchy (Plato said that), and that's something we'd best not entertain.
The future that will unfold will be shaped by what we all do HERE and NOW.
And if we learned anything from the past, it's not to repeat the same mistakes.
We should also not look for any NEW mistakes to make as well.
It should be a simple enough concept to figure out...don't need some degree or high education to make that happen.
All you DO need is the willingness to give it a try, and the courage to see it through.
I think that works for most anything (or anyone) in life.
To do less, makes us less. To do more makes us more.
Doesn't get any easier that that, does it?
Have yourselves a great weekend.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and as always...
Stay safe out there, America.


Wrexie said...

God DOES provide hope in the smallest of things...
Nice to enjoy them in a few hours to yourself in the great outdoors, huh?

the pic of the kids in the dog kennel made me laugh. hehehe...

We have a kid that comes over every afternoon... parents are divorcing. I think he just feels lonly and lost... he walks a mile across the field after school and stays until dark.

parents just aren't around these days like they used to be, I guess.

CWMartin said...

The thing that strikes me about this whole situation is it sounds like Dave has a bad case of OMG, its Bob again. To which I say, Y'know Dave, if you'd have more officers IN THE HOOD to patrol and take care of the BIG things, maybe the LITTLE things wouldn't be a problem. Its a shame when you gotta irritate the crap out of the cops to get ANY response.

Isn't there a way to file a complaint about Dave to the FWPD (other than telling the officer, who probably already knows he's a wienner)?

As for the flip offs, SOP for the age group. Thought is still a courtesy and not a requirement at that age. Wanna bet the officer told them, ol' boy down the street's got a problem wit' y'all, keep it down the block, ok?

I think that if I find myself calling the cops and get Dave, I'll ask if I can have another dispatcher.

Bob G. said...

I tend to grab my solace however and WHENever I can...!

If I knew of a child such as the one you mention, I'd be there, if he needed an ear to listen or a shoulder to lean on.
I remember people like that in our old neighborhoods growing up.

Then again, back then, a LOT more people up and cared outright for most everyone else.

I miss those days.

Thanks for taking time to stop on by and share your thoughts.

Have a great weekend.
Stay safe out there.

Bob G. said...

I thought about that whole scenario...same guy calling in "complaining" all the damn time..let's REALLY piss him off and not care (even more than we don't now)...

It's not complaining when someone can possibly be AT RISK, is it?

Only takes ONE driver not paying attention (DUI? got plenty of them down here) or ONE kid doing likewise (texting while meandering) and then...WHACK!
Big mess along my property or in the street...and ALL of this CAN definitely be avoided.

I'd LIKE to think that the department is ABOVE that sorta thing...
Well, I'd "like" to think that, but I gotta wonder.
The officer was fine (as are they all for the most part).

It's just the way the ENTIRE SYSTEM is put together that produces such a "major fail" in my estimation.
Can't have community-oriented policing when you don't even have a COMMUNITY...can you?

Therein lies the MAJOR problem down here.
And something no one downtown wants to admit to, sadly.
Ignorance IS bliss when it comes to city hall, that's for sure.
Damn shame all those "blissful" people don't live anywhere around here...they MIGHT just learn something.

Hey, thanks for stopping on by today.
Enjoy your weekend.
Stay safe up there.

ms nk rey said...

Your home is where you go to relax, not to listen to a bunch of idiots partying or kids playing in the street. Seems as tho Dave is not doing his job. My concern is that the kids will try to retaliate, probably not face to face but by littering in your yard. tossing rocks at your house or fence and in general being delinquents. Stay safe and dry and have a good weekend.

Bob G. said...

Yeah, I agree that one's house SHOULD be a place where one can find some peace, some quiet and act as a safe haven from everything else OUTSIDE trying to stress you out.
Just wish our CITY LEADERS thought the same way.
Feels like this part of town HAS indeed been written off.

Juveniles (the delinquent kind) ought to learn RESPECT, because they NEVER know who they might be messing with...OR how that person might react to their retaliations.

That's why "WE" didn't mess with ANY adults or their property when we were growing up.
If we were chased ONCE...that was enough for us.

I miss THOSE days.

Thanks a lot for taking time to stop on by today.

Stay safe down there.

Phil Marx said...

I once called the City about some very large tree limbs that were hanging in a very dangerous way. It was at the point where they questioned why I had not called earlier (totally irrelevant) and indicated I would have to be put on a long waiting list that I simply told her “The city bus stops on this corner and kids stand under the tree every day waiting for the school bus. If you don’t care about people getting injured, then neither do I. It’s your tree, so do what you want. I’ve done my duty by calling you.” Then I hung up the phone. They sent a crew out to trim it the next morning.

When talking with dispatch (and other city employees) the trick is finding a way to make them feel your sense of urgency without actually saying something that could land you in jail. Honestly, I think their training teaches them the less calls they receive the better - and then suggests methods for frustrating people to the point where they just give up. That’s also why I think a lot of those 911 hang-ups are not just “kids fooling around” as many cops will tell you. It’s people desperate for a police presence, but realizing that talking with dispatch is often futile.

Don’t give up, Bob!

Bob G. said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

I admit to times that make me want to run in the streets screaming (the neighbors would just stand around, smoking blunts and laughing anyway - like they always do over everything), but I refuse to knuckle under to a system that has demonstarated to me time and again that apathy and ignorance is a "way of life" down here.

My lists of needs from this city are small, and I like it that way.

I don't "rely" on them for much, even though we're STILL in the minority when it comes to those STILL paying taxes down here.

But what I DO expect from them is NO LESS than what every other quadrant in this city seems to get without question: QUALITY-OF-LIFE.

Now THAT, we are ALL entitled to, and a bit more EQUALITY on the city's part (imho) would go a LONG way.

But, seeing IS still believing, is it not?

Thanks for taking time to stop by and comment.

Stay safe up there.