Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Weather Outside Is Frightful

This is what you want, this is what you get

Last month, and I mean ALL four weeks of last month, it was sub-zero every day. It was bitter cold and I was just plain bitter. I longed for a couple of warmer days.

Today: 30-40 degrees all day. Snowing plus raining plus more snowing plus more raining. Blech!

It was nasty outside but Saturdays are always fun because of my crew at work so I had a good time. Not out of control crazy, just relaxed.

I was the acting dispatch supervisor and therefore the default media contact for routine events. When the news guy called and asked "what's going on?" I told him "well, there's weather outside and it's causing your usual weather problems: lots of accidents and vehicles in ditches. The nice thing is that there are not a lot of actual crimes going on, y'know it's bad when your getaway car gets stuck in a ditch, ha!"

Then… he repeats my words back to me verbatim. Oh crap, I'm talking to a reporter for fox's sake!

"Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa," I manage to backpedal, "perhaps if you are going to quote me you should say something like 'on a bad weather day everyone stays home - even the criminals.'"

Let's hope he bought it. I'd really hate to be quoted in the newspaper saying something asinine. Again.

Once many moons ago when I was greener and, in stark contrast, watched my words too carefully, I had a short disagreement with a reporter. We were having high winds (60-80mph gusts) and when she called for the police scoop I told her that the wind made things pretty busy because of all the alarm calls. She didn’t understand until I explained that people with motion sensor alarms who left windows partly open or had big vents would inevitably have false alarms when the winds were whipping.

She thought this was interesting and wanted to quote me. I unreasonably freaked a little, not wanting to overstep and become some sort of department spokesman, so I told her I didn't want her to quote me. She then said she could page the actual department spokesman on his day off and get him to verify what I had to say and then probably end up quoting me anyway, it was all up to me. Great.

I caved. It seemed a silly thing to argue about but I also thought it was a silly thing for her to turn the screws on me about, so I was a little bitter. I expected her to suggest that I claimed to be some sort of police alarm expert.

Sure enough, the next day's paper quoted me by name.

Yet what it quoted was (paraphrasing slightly) "Dispatch Supervisor Eric said it was windy."

Wonderful. Might as well have promoted me to Commander Obvious.

4 comments:

Jas said...

I'm going to continue to call you Cap'n Cook. :)

Lindsey said...

I always hated talking to the news people...they scared me lol

rockyjay said...

RED or BLUE pill?

PJ said...

Uh, Eric...it's Alaska, not Bermuda.