“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”


"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Opening your mouth and removing all doubt...

Honestly, I try not to call people stupid in this job. Sure, some of them (well, a lot of them) do stupid things, but I generally don't think they are stupid people...

Of course, some always prove you wrong.

The other night had to go deal with a "customer dispute" at a late-night diner. A young lady who'd had a few more than she probably needed decided that her food wasn't to her liking, and she didn't want to pay. The restaurant of course felt that they should be compensated for their meal and effort. By the time I showed up both sides were in a full-on snit.

Well, the first ten minutes were spent in a deep discussion... I really didn't want to arrest this girl for a 9 dollar breakfast, and go through the hassle... she had a ride home, she was just being stubborn. I explained very clearly, numerous times, that she needed to pay for her food & if she had an issue she needed to address it with their corporate offices. Of course, she was all talk, no listen & so I was wasting my breath. Finally we got to the point of me explaining the two options - she paid for her food, or she went to jail that night. At which point I THOUGHT common sense showed up, and she relented...

When, not thirty seconds later as I wait for this to be resolved, she looks at her companions and says "I'll just put it on my credit card and cancel it when I get home."

*SIGH*

Seriously, I really wasn't trying to arrest her, honest.

So then I decide to give her one more chance, explaining very politely that sort of of behavior would meet the same criteria of not paying for the meal, and that I would be then placed in a position to do my job. Well, little miss smarty-pants just looks at me and says "I don't care, I'm going to do it."

*BIGGER SIGH*

Alright, fine. Here we go. Stand up, put your hands behind your back, etc etc.

Two hours of gratuitous verbal abuse later I'm done. And of course it's the full tirade - this is a race issue, I'm profiling, she knows such&such and I'll lose my job, she isn't drunk, I didn't give her a chance, and about ten others I let pass right through both ears.

I mean, seriously. All she had to do was pay the damned bill & complain - I guarantee that the head office would have sent enough her way to cover drunk breakfasts for a year. Instead, she not only got two charges out of the night, her little statements (oh recorders are SUCH a wonderful tool) pretty much take it right out of the "didn't mean it" category and straight into the defense attorney nightmare of damage control.

This is one of those where I live for the discovery motion, where I get to share all their statements... because you just know that about thirty seconds later it turns from "Let's fight this." to "OK you need to plea to this, because the last thing you want is the officer testifying."

So... long way of getting to an end point... but yes, I do swear, some people absolutely fulfill Mr. Twain's statement with their every breath....

3 comments:

Amy said...

Oh, now that's just sad. And coming from a former (thank goodness) employee of one of the largest credit card companies out there, had she called in to dispute the charge, her credit card company would have simply reimbursed her. No paperwork. No claims. Just one phone call and anything under $15 (and I've heard they upped that to $25) and the bank absorbs the charge. It's not financially worth it for the bank to persue such a small amount. That is dumb, with a capital D-U-M.

Amy said...

Oh, umm, not saying that I'd do such a thing, officer...

Sean said...

Yeah.... I know how you are!

There are so many ways she could have handled this, but some folks don't seem to think first...