It was dusk on Friday evening when an officer requested a follow up on a stop he’d made on a residential street not far from where I was writing parking tickets. When I got there, I saw an older car parked along the north curb and a male in the driver seat. Another male was already sitting on the curb with two other cops standing by.
The driver was patted down and instructed to sit on the curb next to his friend, who had been the passenger. The driver was in his early forties, thin and was wearing a Green Bay Packers hat. As soon as he sat down he started complaining as he said, “The cops are always pulling me over.” He followed that up with some more nonsense about being a victim and how the cops are always picking on him.
He said all of this despite having a meth pipe and being on parole for robbery.
Rather than stare at each other, I engaged him in small talk because you never know what’s going to come up, so I asked, “What else have you been arrested for?”
“Robbery, but that was a long time ago. I stole something from a store and they called it a robbery.”
“They once said I tried to cash a forged check.”
“So, you’ve been arrested for robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, forgery and now you have a meth pipe?” The driver nodded, but still had the victim look on his face. “And you say the cops are always stopping you?” I added with a tone of skepticism in my voice.
He nodded again and said, “I can’t even sit in my car without the cops giving me a hard time. They’re always stopping me.”
This guy clearly has made poor life decisions and continues to do so. I wondered if there ever was a time he owned any of his tomfoolery or idiot missteps in life. This guy was the poster child for people who don’t accept responsibility for their actions.
I couldn’t resist and asked, “Did you know there’s a book called Maybe It’s You?”
He couldn’t help but smile at that one, but continued to talk about how the cops always stop him. That’s when I added, “Once again, maybe it’s you.” He shook his head and smiled because he knew I had zinged him again with Badge415 wit.
His attitude improved after some light humor and talk about his Packers hat and how they became the team. In the end he was cited for the pipe and sent on his way.
My comments were meant to be funny and to have a little fun at his lack of responsibility in life, but it was obvious this grown ass man has never looked in the mirror and figured out his biggest problem in life was him.
We see this a lot in HR, too. Your manager isn’t picking on you – they’re holding you accountable for a lack of performance and spotty attendance. (And yes, your manager does have “favorites” – they’re the ones we can rely on to show up, and the ones who get the workload managed without alllll the drama….) LOL