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Call the Police Anyway

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.
This AAA service call occured the same night I was making calltaker Brenda's life miserable by showing her how missing information off a call order can be harmful to a AAA member's pocketbook.

At 11 pm one dispatcher and one calltaker are left until midnight to operate the call center and then phones transfer to AAA Headquarters in Florida until 6 am when the madness reverts back to Ohio for another round of fun and games and public service.

Bob had taken a call involving a lady who had backed her car into a telephone pole. The police had been called and weren't doing a report because it was private property. I was getting a little sleepy by then and I had had my one shot of harassing members/calltakers that night and really just wanted to go home so the RED flag buried in the ticket didn't set off the alarm in the brain cells. I suspect I have been dispatching TOO long but too old to career start again.

Someone would be paying for that lack of attention very soon.

Now since the police weren't coming a tow station doesn't get paid an ACCIDENT rate and the ticket reflected this. Bob changes it to an accident rate (because of the pole) and leaves for the night advising me driver Wayne will call when on way. I leave the change alone pretty sure the money people at AAA will change it back and not pay up. I'm off the hook because Bob's name is on the order and unlikely I'll be questioned about NOT fixing it properly with the information we KNEW about at the time. Minor office politics nothing to get excited over and 50 minutes until I can leave and go home and annoy the Long Suffering Spouse.

Someone's life will be changing very soon now.

Driver Wayne calls in and that someone's life is 20 minutes from undergoing a shift in lifestyle. They just don't know it yet.

Wayne asks me if the police have been called about the telephone pole.

One brain cell comes back to life.

I reread the ticket. Must have they are not coming--private property, etc.

Then the first of two questions that brought me back to Mr. Professional Dispatcher At Work status.

"How do you know the police were called? Could you check?"

Busted. Numerous episodes of House MD declaring that people lie--all the time-- and I'm behaving like a rookie just because I'm sleepy and bored.

Like any good son of Adam I begin with blaming the other person. I really don't want to call the police. They can be a bit offputting to be kind about things. Especially when I tell them the tow truck is already on the way.

I fall back to a safe strategy position. Have Wayne check it out then call police if needed. Probably just a sliver of wood and a bent fender. Unlikely if she (yes the member was a she) needs a tow.

Wayne, generally the soul of discretion and can-do thank you dispatcher man is being uncharacteristically uncooperate in removing the fish hook I find myself on. Seems he had accidently hit a mailbox a week ago during a tow and the Urbana Ohio Sherriff had a conversation with him over it.

Reluctantly I agree to make the call and advise him further just keep going.

Before the call is made the location was a small plaza at a place call Singers. Neither I nor Wayne (who should have known) knew what kind of place Singers was and in one minute I'm about to be unpleasantly informed.

Turns out the Urbana pollice were NOT called about a telephone pole being chewed on by something larger then a woodpecker. Plus Singers is a bar.

Let's see, bar, young lady, alcohol, accident, no police call, the classics symthoms of an overnight jail occupancy. The Drama Queen chortles and I come to life at last. Police are on the way. I begin to preen in my self admitted annoying manner and tell them I'll have our driver wait for them.

I call Wayne and congratulate him on his instincts feeling hypocritical and carefully not mentioning my lapse of duty. He'll be on location in a few minutes.

I piously call the member who indeed sounds young and advise help is on the way. Just failed to mention help in two different manifestations were on the way. Gee she sounded sweet. I fully intend to blame my driver when I'm called a Judas goat in a few minutes--if she's not in handcuffs that is.

Oldtime readers will always remember my disclaimers about being shallow and venal at heart.

The tow truck and police arrive and there are several surprises proving that the truth is so much more interesting then cliches.

1. No alcohol was involved in the accident.

2. Therefore no arrest or impounding the vehicle.

3. The reason police not called was because her companion said she works for the police and wasn't necessary. Ah young lambs to the slaughter listening to the barracks lawyer.

4. However the member was cited for DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE.

Which means her license is automatically revoked for a year.

Good news she's a college girl (Wittenberg University, Springfield OH) who shouldn't have a problem getting rides to places - at least while school's in session. But these days what do I really know about college girls?

Updated 11-09-2008 at 08:24 PM by mtpspur



  1. kiz_paws's Avatar
    Well told as always, Rich.
    One thing that was very surprizing, though, was the fact that the person was driving without insurance. Now that is just plumb dumb, as they say!
    She is lucky that a pole is the only thing that she hit. Poles don't go for the jugular in lawsuits!
  2. Virgil's Avatar
    I love your little comments as you tell the story Rich. Like "Ah young lambs to the slaughter listening to the barracks lawyer." You really do tell great stories.
  3. sprinks's Avatar
    When I read that I honestly thought alcohol was involved in the accident!! I'll be getting my licence soon and all the responsibilities that go with it scare me! But I'll be sure to always drive with insurance
  4. applepie's Avatar
    The AAA drama continues:lol: I hope all is well my friend and I'm working on getting back to you. Time just slips away from me these days. You would think I was 64 instead of 24:D Much Love, Meg
  5. 1n50mn14's Avatar
    I love how all of your blog entries are like a short story in themselves. You should publish a book, 'Fast Times at AAA'... or something. Well told.