Jail For Life

, , | Legal | June 15, 2018

(Years ago, a young friend gets her first moving violation. She is nervous so I agree to go with her for moral support. It is my first time live court-watching in years, so I look forward to it. Most of the cases that day are all young drivers. One case is a young guy, maybe 18. He is dressed casually, but clearly isn’t poor. His answers to the judge seem like he is avoiding answering and is trying to go off-topic. I think to myself, “This young man is an idiot.” No sooner do those words go through my head than I hear the judge say, “Young man, you are an idiot!” Go, Judge! He throws the book at the idiot. My friend, also roughly the same age, is a good kid, behaves properly with the judge, and leaves the court with just a fine. After the cases are cleared, I am still there. I go up to the bench.)

Me: “Judge, I have to say that I’ve done some court watching over the years; some are good, some are bad, but I must say you did a good job handling those kids today.”

Judge: “Thank you very much.”

(We talk for a little while about this and past cases.)

Me: “Is there ever anything you regret dealing with here?”

(The judge looks at me for a moment, but it isn’t to collect his thoughts. He actually has an answer ready for me.)

Judge: “Yes. There was one girl, just 16. She had already been my courtroom several times for speeding, reckless driving, and so on. Each time she said she had learned her lesson, but I had to escalate fines and give her community service, and I finally had to threaten her with jail time. When she did it again I was ready to put her in jail. She pleaded with me not to and since there had been no injury, I gave in. I gave her another fine and community service. She thanked me, and then left, and on her way home decided it was a good idea to race a train to the crossing. If I had given her the jail time, she’d be alive today.”

(Heartbreaking. And this is just one reason I didn’t want to pursue a career in law.)

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It’s A D’oh!

, , , , | Legal | June 14, 2018

(I think my mother’s car has some sort of psychic connection with animals, because my mom quite often has run-ins with deer in our area. She’s already had an accident on her way to work once, so sometime later, she is driving to work really early in the morning, when the street is practically deserted, and is going below the speed limit on a 40 mph road. I don’t know how slow she is going, but she is apparently going slow enough to catch the attention of a policeman. The guy asks for her license and says:)

Officer: “Ma’am, are you aware that you are driving under the speed limit?”

Mom: “Yes, officer, because I don’t want to get hit again.”

Officer: “Pardon?”

Mom: “I recently got into an accident with a deer in this street. I really don’t want to get into another one.”

Officer: “Ma’am, I’ve patrolled this street hundreds of times before, and I’ve never seen a single deer. I think you can go the speed limit.”

Mom: “Then, sir, would you be so kind to look ahead of us real quick?”

(My mom points up ahead of the street and, lo and behold, there’s a doe not twenty feet away, just staring at them.)

Officer: *hands Mom her ID back* “Have a nice day, ma’am.”

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Revenge Is A Dish Best Served In Secret

, , | Legal | June 13, 2018

(We have been called out to a residence who has had the front of their garden driven through by a car. It seems the driver swerved to avoid an oncoming vehicle and lost control. He has already offered to pay for the damages. I am taking a statement from the homeowner.)

Homeowner: “I need to get revenge somehow!”

Me: “For what reason?”

Homeowner: “He destroyed my garden!”

Me: “You believe the damage was intentional?”

Homeowner: “Of course not, but I still need to get revenge.”

(She thinks in silence for a few moments.)

Homeowner: “How about setting fire to his house?”

Me: “…”

Homeowner: “Would that be good?”

Me: “I don’t think you should be discussing this with me.”

Homeowner: “Why not!”

Me: “I’m a police officer!”

(I mentioned it to my superior and we agreed to monitor her in case she tried to act. Thankfully she didn’t, and the damage was fixed at the driver’s expense, without any trouble.)

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Nine-One-Dum

, , , , , | Legal | June 12, 2018

(I work as a dispatcher for a police department in the DFW area, and I also take 911 calls. It is a well-known “rule” in dispatch that the person with the least amount of information is the one who calls 911.)

Me: “[City] 911; what is the address of your emergency?”

Caller: “I’ve just been in a car accident! Please send help immediately!”

Me: “Is anyone injured?”

Caller: “No, but my car won’t start!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I’m going to send an officer to assist you. Please tell me where you are.”

Caller: “Um… I don’t know. I’m on a street in [City].”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I know. But which street?”

Caller: “Uh… I think it’s [Street]. Yeah, I’m on [Street].”

Me: “[Street] and what cross street?”

Caller: “Yeah, at the cross street!”

(That street is five miles long and has dozens of intersections!)

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Waging War On Wages

, , , , , | Legal | June 11, 2018

(I work in a fast food company and I recently witnessed some of my managers skipping around the question about their hourly wages. Curious, I asked them why. They told me that it’s illegal to talk about our pay. I was immediately confused because I’d always known it to be legal to talk about. I looked it up on a government website and found that it’s actually illegal to prohibit or punish employees from talking about their wages according to the National Labor Relations act. Finding this out, I proceed to tell one of the managers on duty.)

Me: “Hey, [Manager]! I looked it up on a government website and—” *repeats what it says on the website*

Manager: “It’s still illegal here.”

Me: “But… that’s against the law.”

Coworker: “If people were able to talk about their wages then they could find out they might be getting paid less than someone else and complain.”

Me: “That’s a good thing, though! It keeps companies from screwing over their employees!”

Coworker: “No, it isn’t a good thing!”

Manager: “[My Name], if you keep talking about it then I’ll write you up.”

Me: “…”

(I might complain to HR later on.)

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