Friday, April 29, 2011


Somehow I have gotten into the habit of contributing to various law enforcement associations. I have a bit of a soft spot for law enforcement, especially because in two of the five "real" jobs I've had since college, I worked with a lot of cops. I think I could be a good police officer, if my department could overlook the fact that I am not a lesbian. (That is a joke. Please do not come and arrest me.)

I also worked with a lot of social workers at my previous jobs, and I know there was no way I would ever make a good social worker. First off, the social worker approach to addressing any problems is to sit in a circle and talk at the issue until it has a seizure, quivers a few remaining times, then lies still forever. Not enough information to make an informed decision? Not a problem! Just keep talking! This is called strength-based collaboration evaluation assessment intervention. (I think. I admit I sometimes turned my hearing aid off during these conversations.)

The other reason I could never be a social worker is that they actually help people. With their problems. And sometimes they don't even use a spreadsheet to do that. At my old job, I'd occasionally answer the phone if the receptionist was busy elsewhere, and invariably the person on the other end would be an upset mother who needed to talk to our social worker, and somehow it always seemed that the social worker was out of the office that particular day. So I'd be trying to take a message from a crying mom who had serious concerns about her child's victimization, and the even though she knew I was just taking down a message, she was still asking me questions and trying to get guidance from me, which made me me very uncomfortable so I would start holding the phone further and further from my ear until it was so far away that my elbow was basically fully extended. Then after she'd hang up I'd go work on a spreadsheet.

Anyway, I get a lot of fundraising phone calls from law enforcement-related charities, the kind that funds cops going back-to-school-shopping with kids or similar activities. I think this is because I gave to one -- ONE -- local law enforcement agency and they sold my information all over the state. Have you ever seen a group of seagulls and faked like you were throwing them some bread, and they got taken in by your action for about a billionth of a second but then realized you were pulling their legs and, after vowing to poop on your car, went back to ignoring you? And then you actually DID throw a crumb, one tiny measly crumb, to the seagulls and three seconds later the skies darkened with millions of birds descending to get their share? These law enforcement associations remind me of those birds. I tossed out a speck of bread and now it's like a scene out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

It's taken me 500 words to get to my point, but by golly I do have one, which is that when these law enforcement associations call me asking for money, I have started asking about endorsements in the last gubernatorial election. In theory, this would be a great tool for making sure that my dollars go to like-minded organizations, but in practice, none of the people actually doing the calling (who I suspect are felons in Indian gulags, earning $0.12 an hour) know who the association endorsed, so then I wind up having to google it myself and do their job for them. It winds up being more work than I really want to do, so instead I just take my hearing aid out.

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