Sunday, 3 August 2008

Having a laugh

Police humour has always been known as macabre and and is often perceived as inappropriate, especially when the public hear it or the papers get hold of examples of it. This is no different to the military, the NHS or other emergency services and is a direct result of the level of pressure regularly endured from shifts, disruption to family life and of course, to the types of incidents we deal with. An equal level of 'release' is needed to counter it, otherwise the pressure turns to stress, and that's not good.

It's another form of disassociation and a coping mechanism and usually takes the form of a bit of pissing about during work time, or making light of situations that you really shouldn't get caught making light of, or it could just be a bit of venting. As unhealthy as people think it is (that 'evil' canteen culture again...) the alternative is you'd just end up doing your head in - quite literally in some unfortunate cases. Being able to have a laugh and a joke is as essential as being properly trained to deal with the given situations you are expected to attend, and helps the team to get along and bond well, which is essential in our job.

Thanks to mobiles and the ease of being able to record anything and everything I've seen and heard lots of examples of 'destressing' that would look awful on the front page of a newspaper, simply because people either don't get it, or don't think we should be having a laugh at work. The vids that the Daily Mail got from facebook of someone being cuffed to a chair in the writing room, or a DPG officer doing a silly walk and falling over are absolutely nothing, but as I said if you can't take a minute or two to relax and have a laugh then you'll lose it. What also didn't surprise me was the complete hypocrisy of some of the commentators about sharing a joke with colleagues during work time, along with the usual "is this what we pay our taxes for...." comments.

The following is a recording that has been doing the rounds for a while, I guess it's from the US given the accent and terminology and just goes to show that the run of the mill rubbish aimed at the Police over here is universal.


"Hello, you've reached the Police Departments voicemail. Please pay close attention as we update options regularly, as new and unusual circumstances arise.

Please select one of the following options -

To whine about us not doing anything to solve a problem that you created, press 1

To enquire whether someone has to die before we'll do something about a problem, press 2

To report an officer for bad manners when in reality the officer is just trying to keep your neighbourhood safe, press 3

If you'd like us to raise your children for you, press 4

If you'd like us to take control of your life, due to your chemical dependency, press 5

If you'd like us to instantly restore order to a situation that took years to deteriorate, press 6

To provide a list of officers you personally know, so that we will not take enforcement action against you, press 7

To sue us, or tell us you pay our salary and will have our badge OR to proclaim our career is over, press 8

To whine about a ticket AND/OR to complain about the many other uses for police other than keeping your dumb ass in line, press 9

Your call may be recorded to ensure proper customer care and support, and please remember we're paid to save your butts, not kiss them.

Thank you for calling you local Police Department, and have a nice day"

Metcountymounty

28 comments:

MB said...

Brilliant. Wonder if that would work for my voicemail....(evil laugh)

TheBinarySurfer said...

Ah if only we could have a phone system like that over here.

Perhaps there should have been an option to complain about the phone system too though?

Blue Eyes said...

Very good, I've seen a schools version of that as well :-)

I have seen people getting worked up about officers "wasting time" getting their sandwich in Tesco's or grabbing a cup of coffee while in uniform. Do these people really expect coppers to be superhuman???

Metcountymounty said...

blue eyes - funnily enough I wrote a big old rant about getting food while at work but decided not to post it. I suppose the superhuman expectation just follows the view we're supposed to be completely infallible and not just normal people who can get annoyed or make a mistake.

Anonymous said...

That is quite funny, a real chuckle producing tonic. Thanks ;0)
It's true though, what you say, and "dark" humour can often be misunderstood by some people, who DON'T have to deal with "extreme" situations.
I suspect that some of my communications to a senior officer have been misinterpreted....Like a joke about there being no point in "stalking him" at the office, because he was like the scarlet pimpernel, always on the move!

It is the humourless and often ignorant who fail to see "dark" humour, or a private joke. But it's really quite sad and sometimes disasterous, when they take things said too seriously, or literally.
And YES Blue Eyes, people do expect cops to be superhuman. Cops AND single mothers! Not much difference really, both are required to keep the unruly under control and enforce the "rules".
DQ

XTP said...

MCM - please rethink about publishing the food rant. That's been a bugbear of mine for over 20 years and I'd like to read your take. ta.

daedelus said...

These look cut and pasted from an American site.

Metcountymounty said...

nope, listened to and typed from the file on my phone, but the guy's got an american accent as I said in the post

northern cop said...

Even our Chief Super found that one funny when he listened to it....

Area Trace No Search said...

£20 to any metcall staff to actually play this over the phone as a way of resigning.

steve said...

Yep, the food post would be good. Since my farce closed down our canteens about 4 yrs ago to make us spend more time in the community (save money) we have taken refs in a variety of supermarket staff canteens as you dont want to be bothered with SFQ's whilst in the public area.

We always get smart arses making comments about us eating, just loud enough for us to hear.they dont like it when they get a witty retort back though.

Louise said...

Genius! Can think of a few for the ambulance service!!

Moshe said...

MCM you are a genius !!!!!wzyci

Jonsie said...

Steve, where are you Mate? I liked the metaphor of yours about a literary pint glass.

Should put it in your book, Steve. Along with a head and shoulders picture of you too....

Girl*Next*Door said...

I have a naturally sick sense of humour & find things funny that I really shouldn't sometimes. It does sometimes lead to horrified looks or stunned silences... Lol

PS - have finally got your link up :o)

Metcountymounty said...

Jonsie - although the saying goes that everyone has a book in them, I've neither the time nor the inclination at present to write one and where exactly did the Steve thing come from?

GND - ta very much! are you back in the fold now? been a distinct lack of input from your good self on all of the other blogs!

Girl*Next*Door said...

MCM, yeah sort of back on track. Been an odd few months to say the least so I'm sure you'll see me around a bit more now :o)

Anonymous said...

Hey MCM....If you were paid to "Kiss my Ass"...well what would that make you? A government Ho!
But I'd let you kiss it for free, cos I like you....

Minnie the Minx ;0)

Metcountymounty said...

Minnie the minx - thanks... I think.

I will be posting again soon, just been a tad busy of late!

Anonymous said...

MCM....You are most welcome.
I guessed you have been doing a very good impression of a blue assed fly. Be gentle with yourself.

Minnie the Minx ;0)

AnneDroid said...

That's f.a.b. and I like Area Trace No Search's dare.

Area Trace No Search said...

I have to admit my time in carriers the past few days has tested my tolerance for having a laugh at work.

Blue Eyes said...

Nice long holiday Mr MCM! Hope you will be back soon!

Metcountymounty said...

ASNT - having been there a number of times my self I can full imagine. Hearing last night go completely tits up ad being unable to respond to it was fucking horrible, we had the link on at the nick and were listening to it. one of the girls on my team was on the L3 serial that got jumped, she's got a 2 inch hole in her bowler hat where she took a bottle straight in the head, a couple of others weren't so lucky. Thank god the commanders made quick and effective decisions to get some properly kitted up and defensible units in there sharpish eh.... I would just like to say again or the record, I hate carnival.

blue eyes, I'm still around but in need of sleep and things to settle so I can actually sit down and write stuff at the mo!

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons i think i would be great in the police is because i already appear to have taken on the kind of black (sadistic?) humour needed for the role, one example was during a visit to a prison when one of the officers told a joke about a train crash and while all my classmates were a little shocked by it i actually laughed quite loudly.

Caroline said...

Just found your blog and have laughed and nodded through an hour of it while I was meant to be working - this one could definitely apply to social care and most other public sector jobs

Pete said...

anon 21:45 - the other main reason why you would do so well in the police of course, is that you obvioulsy aren't too bright.

Metcountymounty said...

Pete - at least anon 2145 could spell check, unless you were being ironic....