Tuesday, 8 April 2008
Off The Wall
My last post was basically about "challenging stereotypes." Yes, I've had the diversity training as well.
This is something I like to do, or more accurately, I like to make people re-think what they think about me, especially the non-job people I meet as I go about my day to day tasks at work.
Hence why I like to have a laugh; I like people to see the human side of Policing, it's great to see people's reaction when they see a Policeman behaving in a way that they wouldn't necessarily expect.
On the flip side, it also means people underestimate me. And this is very useful, as when I change from big, friendly and slightly dopy copper and snarl into actual action, it takes people by surprise.
I was surprised recently, taken aback by someone else at work. I was in our custody area, waiting for a colleague who had asked me to wait with her prisoner. I was chatting to a defence solicitor. This is frowned on in some police circles, as they are THE ENEMY. Personally I think anyone who is cynical enough to be a copper should at least appreciate the level of cynicism required to be a defence brief.
One thing had led to another, resulting in the Defence Solicitor giving me an impromptu lesson in how to Moonwalk, as per Michael Jackson in his hey day.
I have to admit that perhaps I wasn't completely successful, but I tried.
Unfortunately, my practise was interrupted by a Custody Sergeant, a notoriously grumpy bugger who works as a permanent nights Custody Officer, and actually seems to enjoy it.
He called me over to the Custody desk, and tilted his head to the side. "Area, what in the name of God do you think you are doing? We have to at least pretend to have a semblance of respect in our own Police Stations."
"Sorry Sarge." (Defence Solicitors are THE ENEMY).
The Sergeant hitched his belt over his ample waistline, and leant over the desk towards me. "Besides," he continued in a quieter voice, "You'll never do it properly in boots. You need shoes cut below the ankle; not trainers, something with a hard sole is best."
"Er, thanks Sarge."
That showed me - it was the Sergeant's way of reminding me he hadn't been born a seventeen stone Custody Sergeant.