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Sovereign Citizen, Stupid Coworker

, , , , , | Legal | July 12, 2021

I work in a nursing home. My coworker and I don’t get along very well, mostly due to personality conflicts. He’s a Sovereign Citizen, a group of people who think they are above the law due to old irrelevant documents that date back to pre-Civil War. I know little about the movement because I don’t like their attitude when it comes to the law and they just generally get on my nerves. My coworker is no exception. I work in a different department from him — I’m in housekeeping and he’s in maintenance — but we share a supervisor.

One day, said supervisor asked me to drive [Coworker] to a nearby gas station to fill up some gas cans for the building’s generators since they were nearly empty. Though I didn’t really want to drive [Coworker] anywhere, I agreed, since he didn’t have a car, and really, I can put up with him for a total of half an hour, right? Well, on the way back to the building after getting our cargo, I accidentally drove past a stop sign due to a brief lapse in my attention due to trying my hardest to ignore my coworker’s rambling.

Me: *Looking back for a second* “S***, I blew a stop sign.”

Coworker: *Waves a hand* “Eh, I drive past them all the time if I don’t see anyone else.”

Me: “Well, I try not to regardless. We got lucky that there was no one at that intersection. It’d be just my luck if I got pulled…”

Sure enough, when I looked at my rear-view mirror, there were blue lights, and the police cruiser that had shown up out of nowhere chirped its siren.

Me: “…over.”

I sighed and turned on my hazards, slowly pulled over to the side of the road, put my car in park, and started rolling my window down.

Coworker: “Don’t roll it down too far; you don’t need to—”

I interrupted him and rolled my window most of the way down.

Me: “[Coworker], I’m going to need you to stop right now, okay?”

Coworker: *Offended* “Hey, I’m just trying to help. They don’t own the roads. You’re just traveling—”

Me: “No, [Coworker], I’m driving, and I’m not putting up with your Sovereign Citizen, or Freeman of the Land, or whatever s*** today.”

I pulled out my license and then leaned over to open my glove box for my registration and insurance, but my coworker had pinned his knee to the door.

Me: “Move your knee so I can get my documents.”

Coworker: “No.”

Me: *Stares at him* “What? No, we’re not doing this right now.”

I looked back at the officer who had just arrived at my window, smiled politely, if strained, and opened my mouth to speak, but my coworker interjected.

Coworker: “He doesn’t have to give you anything! [My Name], keep your license. They’re just pulling you over because they have nothing better to do except bother people who are lawfully traveling—”

I shook my head, wide-eyed, at the cop, who looked at me with surprise at my passenger’s outburst, trying to communicate that I did not agree with anything my passenger was saying as he kept ranting about maritime law or something.

Me: “Here, take my license before he tries to grab it from me.” 

I held it out to the officer, outside of the window and out of my coworker’s reach.

Coworker: “Hey, stop! You don’t have to—”

I finally snapped and rounded on my coworker, screaming in his face.

Me: “Yes, I do! Shut the f*** up, [Coworker]! You’re not helping! Stop talking! I’m sick of your bulls*** and I’ve got half a mind to trespass you out of my f****** car! One more word, [Coworker], and I’ll tell this officer to drag you out in handcuffs! Now, MOVE YOUR F****** LEG!”

I glared, panting hard through my nose at my coworker, who stared right back, looking terrified, before he shrank back into the passenger seat and pulled his knee away from the glove compartment. I tugged it open, grabbed my documents with shaking hands, and turned back to the police officer, who stood patiently with his hand out, looking bemused but not otherwise. Red-faced and shaking, I handed over my documents.

Me: “Sorry about that, officer. Is this about the stop sign I blew back there?”

Officer: “No problem, sir, and yes. Just so you know, if you do trespass him out of your car, you would need to make a statement for us, which might take a little while longer.”

Me: “As long as I can call my supervisor and let him know I’ll take longer than expected, I’m fine with that.”

Officer: *Stepping back toward his cruiser* “Just give me a few minutes.”

Several minutes went by, and I didn’t even look at my coworker, but out of the corner of my eye, I could see that he was fidgeting and looking my way. I couldn’t tell if he was sulking or scared, but I took a swig of water and composed myself by the time the cop returned.

Officer: *Handing me back my documents* “I’m just going to give you a warning today. Promise me you’ll pay attention to those stop signs in the future, sir.”

Me: “Yes, sir. Thank you, and I promise.”

The officer wished me a good day, and I put my documents and the warning in the glove compartment and my wallet back in my pocket, and finally looked my coworker in the face. He looked back at me for a second and then turned away without making any effort to apologize or even look ashamed. He was put out.

The first chance I got, I went to my supervisor to report the interaction to him and told my side of the story first, including the fact that I swore at him and threatened to have him trespassed out of my car and potentially arrested. He was shocked at first, but I could tell he was thinking about the person [Coworker] was, and he let out a sigh, telling me that he would still hear [Coworker]’s side but that I likely wouldn’t get into trouble.

Sure enough, [Coworker] came to [Supervisor] with a similar story, though he claimed I threatened to shoot him on the side of the road, despite the fact that I don’t own a firearm. The next day, [Supervisor] approached me.

Supervisor: “[My Name], would you like to start training for a new position in maintenance that just opened up?”


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