by Gail Koger
Thirty-one years of wild requests, screwy questions, bizarre behavior and outrageous demands have left me with a permanent twitch and an uncontrollable craving for chocolate. Don’t get me wrong. Working as a 9-1-1 dispatcher can be very rewarding. BUT - some days I felt like the whole world was nuts and Halloween brings out all the freaks.
Instead of passing out candy to the little fairies and ghouls, I got to deal with reality and reality sucks. Take this call for example:
“I need to find Grandma’s haunted house,” a drunken idiot said.
Digging for my supply of Tylenol, I responded, “Sir, 9-1-1 is for life threatening emergencies. We don’t give directions.”
The drunken fool cried, “You’re 9-1-1 you know everything.” Wonder where he got that idea?
“Sir, I have no idea where your Grandmother’s haunted house is.”
He sputtered in surprise, “You don’t? But… But I’m late for the party!”
The guy was really starting to annoy the hell out of me. “Why don’t you pull over and I’ll have a nice officer come and help.” Yeah, right to jail, you moron, driving while intoxicated is against the law.
“My pleasure, and have a great Halloween.”
Downing a handful of Tylenol, I answered another call and could hear people screaming blue bloody murder. “9-1-1 emergency, what is your emergency? Hello?”
An out-of-breath woman cried, “We need the cops. My three brothers are fighting over the candy corn.”
Not quite sure I had heard her correctly, I repeated, “They’re fighting over candy?”
There was a loud crash and the woman shrieked, “Omigod! They just knocked the wicked witch out the window, please hurry.”
I quickly typed the information in. “Ma’am does any of your brothers have a weapon?”
The woman shouted, “What kind of stupid question is that?”
One I need answered, sweetie. “Ma’am, I need to know if any of your brothers are armed with a weapon.”
She huffed, “Just get someone out here before Rex gets his chain saw started.”
“Chain saw? Hello?” The line was dead.
The moral to this story is; the family that fights together gets to go to jail together.
Some citizens of our fair cities have absolutely no idea of what an officer can or cannot do. They aren’t plumbers, electricians, alligator wrestlers (don’t ask), or allowed to shoot your neighbor’s noisy Darth Vader carousel. Give your poor overworked 9-1-1 dispatchers a break and don’t call unless you have a real emergency. And no, we won’t haul away your sixty-pound carved pumpkin or help you take down your decorations.
Anyone have any chocolate?
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You can find Gail Koger at Gail Koger.com