Sometimes you just can’t tell who will be able to convey information to you and who will not. Disregarding folks who are new to an area, or just visiting, there’s still a huge number of people, or so it seems sometimes, who simply don’t know the basics about where they are, and which way is up.
Well, I suppose they can figure out which way is up, but trying to get north, east, south, or west out of them is like pulling those proverbial teeth out of those proverbial hens. Some folks just have no clue.
Now, they’ll tell us it’s “to the left”, but, really…. that doesn’t help. Turn around and your “left” is now the opposite direction! And telling me that it’s now to your right won’t improve the situation!
You guessed it… another 9-1-1 caller without a clue, calling in on a cell phone. No idea of the address of the house they live in, no idea which way east is, and unclear on what “get a piece of mail and read me the address” means.
It’s most annoying when they get mad at US for not knowing where THEY are! I want to reach through that phone and slap them silly. That’s probably why that particular feature is not activated on our systems. Part of our job is protecting the public. Even from us! 😉 Kidding! (sort of)
Last night we had a 19 year old who didn’t know the address of his mother’s house. Where he lived. Couldn’t accurately read the name of the business across the street. Didn’t know his directions, and kept hanging up the cell phone. He wasn’t drunk. He wasn’t medicated. He wasn’t high. He was just… not real bright.
Then you run across ten year olds who have everything down perfectly. They know their own names, they know their parent’s names, they know their phone number, they know their address, they know and describe exactly what’s happening, and they are remarkably cool headed about it all.
We finally tracked down the 19 year old, who was calling because he thought there was a prowler in the back yard. One good thing about working somewhere for a long time (18+ years for me) is that you have a lot of local knowledge available to draw on. You can figure out pretty quick that “Yellow” is really “Willow” in the business name, and recognize where someone is just from something like that. Address determined, help sent, yard searched, nothing found. All in a night’s work.
Good job, 9-1-1.