Thursday, March 06, 2008

This and That

by Joyce Tremel

One would think that by working in a police department I'd have all kinds of things to write about. I mean, there was a robbery at Walgreen's last week and a bank robbery in the neighboring township. The problem is they're not really as exciting as they sound. The police report for the Walgreen's robbery was only two paragraphs long. The store manager ended up with a bump on his head, but if you watched the 11 o'clock news that night you would have heard he was "brutally beaten." That sounds much more exciting than just getting whacked on the back of the head.

There's been one annoyance after another this week. The people causing me the most
grief this week are senior citizens. Now, don't get me wrong. It's not everyone. It's just the ones who have this attitude that you should drop everything and do their bidding. I've run into an overabundance of that type lately. For the record, I know I'm going to be old someday (no wisecracks from you youngsters!), but would someone just shoot me if I turn into anything like these people?

There are volunteers doing taxes for senior citizens in the training room upstairs in the township building. They're not affiliated with the township or the police department in any way. I have no idea who these saints are. The problem is I get at least three or four calls a day from old people asking what time the tax preparers will be there, what days, etc. And they won't take "I don't know" for an answer. Here's a conversation I had last week:

Me: Shaler Police, can I help you?
Old lady: Are they doing taxes today?
Me: I don't know, ma'am. They aren't affiliated with the police department.
O.L.: Well, I need to get my taxes done. When will they be in?
Me: Ma'am, this is the police department. We don't do taxes here.
O.L.: I know that. But I need to know if there's anyone upstairs doing taxes today.
Me: I have no way of knowing that.
O.L.: Well, I'll hold on and you can run upstairs and see if anyone is up there.
Me: I am not doing that.
O.L.: Maybe one of the policemen can do it then.
Me: They're all out on emergency calls right now.
O.L.: Okay. I'll call back later.

It's been like this every day. Yesterday I gave a call to one of the officers because the woman wouldn't take no for an answer. She wanted someone to go upstairs and tell her husband to call her. She wanted him to pick up something at the store on the way home.

In addition to all that, you take your life in your hands walking through the parking lot. Yesterday there was a car parked in a handicapped spot that should have been parallel parked. Instead the driver was parked head first with the entire back half of their car out in the traffic way. Today when I went out to go home for lunch, there was a car parked so close to mine that I couldn't open the door wide enough to get in--I had to use the passenger door.

As far as I'm concerned April 15th can't get here fast enough!

33 comments:

Tory said...

It's sort of interesting noticing how people are seen differntly when they get older. My mom actually did much better once she reached the age of being a "senior citizen." Behaviors that had previously been seen as flakey were now seen as eccentric.

I hope, when I reach that age, I can tap into something similar.

Annette said...

My mother's roommate at the Washington County Health Center, where she's rehabbing from hip surgery, sounds like one of those biddies you're trying to deal with, Joyce. This lady acts like she's in a five-star resort and doesn't like the service. She keeps a notepad where she jots down all the staff's "infractions." No one responds to her buzzer fast enough. She doesn't want them touching her (as in bathing her). She doesn't like the way the in-house beauty shop does her hair. When her daughters come to visit, she yells at them and makes them cry.

I respond by giving my mellow mother a kiss on the cheek and saying "I love you, mom!"

And I have to take my mom's taxes to the Senior Citizens' Center this afternoon so one of those volunteers can do them for her. Those people truly are saints.

brenda said...

two of my least favorite things in one room -math(taxes) and seniors! egats!

Nancy said...

Sounds like it might be easier just to get the schedule from the saints, Joyce.

But count me among the people who really, really want some changes in the driving rules for seniors. LIke they have to take a test every year after 75. I know my aunt has NO BUSINESS WHATSOEVER behind the wheel of a car. And we're doing everything we can think of to prevent her from getting the car out, "once the roads are better." Think we can convince her there's still snow on the highway in July?

Lee Lofland said...

I remember seeing the little darlings - senior citizens - packed four or six to a car headed south on the interstate at the first sign of cold weather.

They drove way below the speed limit, straddled the center line, traveled halfway on the shoulder, failed to give signals, and caused accidents.

The cops who patrolled the highways called them Q-Tips because that's what they looked like inside their cars, lined up in little cotton-topped rows.

A few weeks ago, an elderly lady was on her way to see the doctor in the Boston area. She hit the gas instead of the brake when pulling into a parking spot at the hospital, and drove through the side of the brick wall. She killed her doctor and one of his nurses.

Yep, sweethearts of the freeway. That's what they are.

Annette said...

Nancy, contact your aunt's doctor. Just plant a bug in his ear. My dad's neurologist, cardiologist, and PCP all joined forces and had my dad's license pulled for medical reasons. It was horrible for him, but a relief for me on so many levels. I didn't have to be "the bad guy." The doctors were. And they didn't have to deal with him on a daily basis.

ramona said...

I like old people, to talk to in the check-out line. In traffic, not so much. My dad is not a Q-tip, but he's so pokey, he's a menace.

Joyce, it is Thursday and I have a police-related question about rewards. Is it okay to ask it here for all to see, or should I email you?

kristine said...

Joyce: You've provided yet another amusing glimpse into life at a suburban police department. Who would have thought that senior citizens and taxes would be such problems for you. Too funny.

Lee Lofland said...

Hey, Ramona. I didn't mean to give the impression that I'm anti-old people. I really like them. I have to because there's one living in my house. He's starting to peek at me in the mirror every morning.

I'll never be a Q-tip. Not enough hair.

Joyce said...

Ramona, feel free to ask here.

Joyce said...

Sometimes the person staring at me in the mirror is unrecognizable. It can't be me, though.

Forget about that aging gracefully crap. I'm going down kicking and screaming!

ramona said...

Hey, you don't have to backpedal to me, Lee. I'm not old, and thanks to L'Oreal, I'll never be a Q-Tip. Because I'm worth it.

ramona said...

Thanks, Joyce. It's a question for a story.

If a citizen wanted to offer a reward after a murder, is there some kind of procedure, paperwork, form, etc. to get it going? Also, if you know, how do the police feel about rewards in general? Are they helpful, or do they bring out every imaginative whackadoo in town and waste time and resources?

Sorry, I guess that's several questions. I dreamed this up yesterday, and Lee doesn't address it his book, so I'm taking the lazy way out of researching. Thanks!

Lee Lofland said...

I only know how to peddle in one direction. However, I will stop and move something out of the way if it's offensive.

JennieB said...

I have no idea how the police feel about the idea of citizens offering rewards, Ramona - (although I can guess!)- so I really have no business answering your question, although I'm sure a reward brings out every kooky weirdo in a 30 mile radius. Depending on the type of book you write, it could make for some very, very funny scenes! Also tons of red herrings, and a bona fide clue hidden in all the dreck, most likely. To me, it sounds like a brilliant idea.

Joyce said...

Maybe Lee has a different answer, but I don't think the police care one way or another about rewards. We have an unsolved hit and run from a few years back that the family still puts up reward posters all over the township. It hasn't increased the number of tips we get (which has been zero). I would imagine that in a big, well publicized case with a big reward, there'd be a lot of tips from people who want to cash in.

And for the record, I'm worth it too!

ramona said...

Thanks, Jenn and Joyce. I think I can twist this idea to make it work. I'm just trying to avoid any glaring errors.

I owe you both a big box of hair dye. Unless you'd prefer chocolates?

JennieB said...

Virtual chocolate! Yum!

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lisa curry said...

Joyce, I used to wonder why a lot of government employees seemed so grumpy and unfriendly. Then I worked for 18 months at the Moon Township-owned TV station. And I got those calls like you're talking about. Coming from a corporate, be-nice-to-clients-or-else background, I tried to help them. Like the old lady who called and said she needed the number for Andrews Tree Service. I said, "But ma'am, this is the TV station." She said, yes, she knew that, but she needed that phone number, because she'd lost it and there was a big tree that had fallen in her back yard. We were a public/ government access station, so it's not like we ran commercials for this tree service or anyone else that she would think we ought to have their phone number. So I looked up the phone number for the tree service on the Yahoo yellow pages for her. But people were always calling and asking stuff like that, and I can definitely see that 10 or 15 years of that could easily make you grumpy and unfriendly. However, I won't know for sure, because I went back to the corporate be-nice-to-clients-or-else world!

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n said...

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Annette said...

Aw, rats. The spammers found us again. Looks like the darned squiggly letters will be coming back, too.

Joyce said...

Sorry guys. The squiggly letters are coming back.