Thanksgiving musings Part 1
I'm on patrol all day on our national day of thankfulness. You're getting blogs on my coffee breaks.
The day is overcast. The first frost of the year was on my patrol car as I got in this morning. The closest town claimed only 35, but out here in the outlying areas, we get a little colder. There's a 15 mph wind from the north, and the flag is snapping over the fire department.
Naturally, I've forgotten to don my long underwear, and that means I've even less incentive to actually get out of my warm patrol car to hassle passers-through. And there are many of those. Today's day of gathering puts a LOT of people on the road, and some of them don't know this area and are yapping into their cell phone as they seek the best route to Grandmother's House.
_ _ _
I stopped a tired little sedan tearing into town. The driver had the ubiquitous phone stuck to her ear, and never noticed me as she passed me or as I pulled out behind her and paced her speed through town. When I stopped her, she was clearly harried. In a peasant's blouse, crevat, and a little too much makeup and perfume, she was obviously on her way to work. On the seat beside her were an apron and an order book, each bearing the logo of a large national chain of restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving.
"I'm late, and I've just gotten a ticket for my registration being expired, and I'm just trying to get to work to do my 8 hours and...." I took her driver's license to the car and checked to make sure she wasn't wanted in ten states or had 15 citations in the last year for speeding. She didn't. I wrote out her ticket as she got out of the car to tie on her apron. I looked at the dash clock; 2 past the hour. She probably was late already.
"Ma'am, this does not require any further action on your part, other than that you comply with traffic laws in the future," I recited as I handed her the warning book and my pen. "If you'll just sign here, you can get back on your way."
"I just asked for one thing! Just to cut me a break! That's all I wanted. I'm already having to work on Thanksgiving just to pay for my otheer tickets, and now I'm late, and I'm probably in trouble, and..." She started to sign on the line, but had stopped halfway through her signature, and was pointing at me with my pen. I smiled encouragingly.
"If you'll just finish signing, ma'am, you can read the paragraph on the bottom of your warning ticket, and be on your way." I plucked my pen from her loose hand. "Now, I went ahead and took the minute to write you this warning ticket as an excuse for you to show your boss when you get there. Note that it doesn't show when I let you go-- if you want to let the boss believe that I held you up for a long time, I'm fine with that. Tell 'em I was a big ol' meany." I avoided looking at the tears in her face, but she was smiling, now, so I concentrated on that instead. "Now, do me a favor, and drive carefully on into work. You've got your excuse right there, so there's no reason to speed any more, okay? Happy Thanksgiving," I said as I started back to my car.
Hey, we who work on holidays gotta stick together occasionally.
Labels: day at the office