Monthly Archives: April 2017

What It’s Like to Be a Police Officer

I started watching Officer401’s YouTube channel a couple of weeks ago.  I don’t remember how I came across it (probably as a related video to those I was watching about encounters between motorcyclists and cops).  This video provides a glimpse into the intangible aspects of enforcing the law.

The true crime, forensic science, and mortuary science books that I’ve read discuss death and decay due to violence or natural causes in great detail, but to hear some of what it’s like to “see” death through the eyes of a law enforcement agent transcends the written word.  Even when I can’t see his face or its shape, it’s just his great narrator’s voice and a hand or two for elaboration, I feel privy to something profound.  I am also reminded that while I can imagine what it would be like to come across a dog hovering around the body of its dead owner or a household of severely malnourished children, I can’t know what it’s like.

I wonder how long it takes to habituate to smells, sights, and textures that one cannot un-smell, un-see, un-touch?  Do people with lousy sensory perception acclimate faster?  I’m sure there are Reddit threads about it.  I found this thread about the stupidest call an officer has ever taken (good read).

beauchamphueylewis

Gotta Do It Right Now

I had lunch at Fuego Mundo today; I ordered the yucca fries and chicken with Spanish rice and cucumber salad.

yuccafries2017

coq2017

It was a busy lunch for the two waitresses bringing out orders and the woman clearing tables.  As I was enjoying the delicious yucca, chicken, and rice, I observed the waitress who was ostensibly single-handedly taking orders, giving checks to respective diners, and distributing dine-in and take-out food.  She moved with the smoothness and briskness of a summer breeze.  I wonder how many miles she walks just between the dining area, the beverage counter, the registers, and the kitchen counter (which is visible to the customers).

As far as I could discern, the other diners were patient in their requests for checks, waters, being seated, and readying to give their orders.  In the last ten minutes I was there, waiting for a to-go box, a bag and the check, I watched this woman handle the momentous demands of things that have to happen now.

In my line of work, even when I have ten emails I need to prioritize to read and answer whilst figuring out why an image isn’t appearing correctly on a web page and app as well as looking for a better image to upload for a different web site and app, the sense of urgency to complete these tasks isn’t so heavy that I can’t focus on what really needs to get done “now” vs. within thirty minutes or before the end of business hours.

This woman’s list of “do now” truly means do now.  If that “now” becomes “in a couple of minutes,” most customers would probably understand.  There’s probably a best practice of order of operations.  For instance, seat new diners, get their drinks out, then check with diners who appear to be finished if they want desert or a box or just the check.  Bring out drinks before orders that are ready?  Deliver additional napkins, silverware, straws, or dipping sauces before you take the food orders of the table you know have been ready for the time it took you to seat another party and take their drink orders?

What other jobs or industries consist of a similar air of do now?  Combat soldiers, paramedics, firefighters, airplane pilots, surgeons, school principals, receptionists, bank tellers, plumbers, electricians, hosts of live TV shows, what else?

What’s the worst that would happen in your profession if you didn’t do something “now” or you focused on the “wrong” sequence of things?

Would an athlete participating in a televised game feel any differently than an athlete in a non-televised competition in the matter of “do it now?”  Or, do the rules of the game mitigate legitimate, adrenaline-inducing urges to score already.

Reluctantly competitive Parkour

A couple of weeks ago I came across a YouTube channel called StorrorBlog that features a group of guys* and their parkour goings-on across the world.

This combination of gymnastic techniques, balletic balance, and martial-artistic strength may not have competitive presence like traditional sports (all the team sports involving a ball or a puck) or extreme sports (surfing, skate-boarding, snowboarding), but there are organizations devoted to the cultivation of parkour skill and artistry.    See USA Parkour and World Freerunning Parkour Federation.

NPR did a story a few years ago about how parkour could find itself as part of the Olympics and be modeled after the way snowboarding became included.  What category would be under, though?  Would it be considered outdoor gymnastics?  Obstacle-course track and field?

I’m in awe; I can also see why authoritative figures aren’t so keen on it.  Issues of trespassing notwithstanding, accidental death (with or without dismemberment), property damage, and unsolicited attention (to specific locations) must be considered.

And yet, why not proceed with the understanding that one’s very act of participating in parkour means that they are responsible for whatever may come to pass?

fiona2LJicon

* There may be gals too but I haven’t seen enough videos to be sure.