Wild Woman (Kind of.)

If you have a job without any aggravations, you don’t have a job.
~Malcolm S. Forbes

Uh oh.  My time at the PD is winding down and my inhibitions are loosening their grip on me.  Either that or the early hours are already affecting me…

A patron came in to contest a ticket, and I went out of my way to try and help him craft an appeal, at his request.  I even directed him towards some student groups that are working to change the policy if he wanted to voice his views more broadly.  While answering his questions as best I could this 18 year old kid seemed to decide to make me the focal point of his frustrations.  He gave me a lecture on the subject of university policy, call me dumb, and interrupted and snapped at me several times.  Even the front desk officer was taken aback by this young man.  I really hate patrons like this, but I kept it together.  Until…

He asked what tone he should strike in his appeal, and I recommended, “Well, I understand you’re angry but I wouldn’t be argumentative with the appeals officer about the policy, just lay out your facts as to why this ticket is undeserved.   ”
“Of course I’m not going to talk to him the way I’m talking to you,” he said and rolled his eyes with a terrific sound of disgust.  That brief hacking sort of noise teenagers make when you do something “lame.”

My eyebrow shot up.  “Then why are you talking to me this way?  Why is it appropriate for you to be rude to me, especially since I’ve been trying to help you get out of paying a ticket, but not him?  Frankly I don’t appreciate that. ”
His eyes stretched and he sort of mumbled something before he grabbed the map of campus (I’d provided) and marched off without another word.  The desk officer gave me a discreet thumbs up.

I’m not proud, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a brief rush of satisfaction!  I may turn over a bale of paper next, or run barefoot through the office.  The Revolution has arrived!  But you know, a sensible sort of one.  Properly managed and not too violent, we don’t want to make a fuss.

One thought on “Wild Woman (Kind of.)”

  1. I was on the receiving end of such a lesson one day: a lesson I count as one of my greatest. While at a church social event, I stepped into the social hall and began issuing directions to help with the cleanup. Not realizing I was sounding like the Air Force Colonel I was, a lower ranking congregant stated, “I don’t appreciate being spoken to like that.”

    I was immediately taken aback, both by the realization that I was overstepping the bounds of propriety (acting like a colonel at a church event), and by the bravery and precision of the put down that put me in my place without offending me.

    By expressing his own feelings at the time, without directing any specific complaint about me, I was left with no course of action but to realize I had uneccessarily hurt another and to profusely apologize. I have never had to use the lesson against a social or professional superior, but I’m ready.

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