When new author interviews are posted at CL, I usually wallow happily in their stories for awhile. I was at Rebel's site and again read her hysterical tale called, "Who Am I?". The premise is that Jim and Blair are slated to attend one of those hated departmental trainings in media and community relations, and must send in an email survey about themselves before attending. Their not so passive resistance to that typical questionnaire flummoxed the hapless workshop leader. The story is here:
Simon was highly amused by the results but I wondered how amused he would be if the workshop leader refused to let the disruptive duo actually attend her workshop. The result was the survey that Simon might fill out if he was the one who had to go in their place. Thank you Rebel for letting me in on the fun and encouraging me to post this 'spin-off'. My gen sequel is under the cut (no warnings needed)
Let Me Tell You Who I Am!
"Chief Warren? I was told you wanted me to contact you."
"Yes, Captain Banks. Oh the hell with it. Simon, Heidi Schlesser down in media relations is all over my ass because of the surveys taken by your top team. If they weren't so good, I'd tell you to kick their wise-asses all over the precinct for making this my problem."
Simon coughed to cover an incipient chuckle. Warren didn't seem particularly incensed about this but the continuing education courses were state mandated and not to be trifled with as far as PD policy went. "I hear that, uh, I mean I really understand your point, Chief." I have got to tell Blair to keep his mother out of my office.
"Well, she's cutting your men free from attending the conference because she feels they may be a disruptive influence."
"That's hardly necessary, Sir. My men are very disciplined and may have blown off some steam with those surveys but they fully understand how important media relations are to the PD. I can assure you, they'll behave themselves."
"Sorry, Simon, but I can't waste more time on this. You fill out a survey and go yourself. Next time, make sure your guys' stand-up routines remain in your bullpen instead of leaching into my own territory. Have fun."
Simon stared at the now silent telephone receiver still in his hand and threw back his head. "ELLISON AND SANDBURG! MY OFFICE NOW!"
The bullpen was remarkably quiet after the highly audible reaming-out of his two comedian detectives. Rhonda knocked and entered, extending two envelopes to her boss.
"Ah, you were able to get hold of her personnel file?"
"Not quite, Sir, but the Media Relations office has a PR packet with a bio on Heidi Schlesser, the officer holding this shindig. The other envelope is the workshop survey you were expecting."
"Thank you, Rhonda. This may come in very handy indeed." Simon began reviewing the data and making his plans.
WHO AM I?
NAME – Simon Banks
RANK - Captain, Division of Major Crime
NICKNAME – People do not refer to Captains by nicknames. The rank means the bearer has earned the respect of his peers and subordinates as well as a degree of deference. Media relations people should be aware of this. I had better not see any press releases in which a Captain is described as Robert (Be-Bop) Blakely because he happens to play the drums. Familiarity is not an asset in maintaining departmental discipline and the confidence of the public. See that this concept is incorporated into your workshop.
MY MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT – Learning that the media relations department of the Cascade PD is afraid of two highly qualified detectives attending their workshop. If you can't handle them, what the hell are you doing teaching courses in community relations? It may be a good thing that I'll be attending.
A SKILL I HAVE THAT IS NOT GENERALLY KNOWN – The PD examines all their employees exhaustively from a physical, educational and mental health standpoint. Inquiries are made into marital status, hobbies and personal habits. If you find anything among the conference attendees which is 'not generally known', it is an obvious omission in their records which I want corrected at once. Is that clear Schlesser?
THE MOST INTERESTING NEW YEAR'S EVE I EVER HAD WAS – My life before the PD is none of your business. Since that time, my New Years have been spent 'on call' for the many serious crimes which take place on the holidays and the more interesting moments have been in getting to know my men who also spend the holiday on call.
MY PET PEEVE IS – Insecure members of the PD who require hand-holding beyond their first 90 days. I checked and you've been with the PD for three years now and hold the rank of Sergeant. What's your problem?
MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT MY BEST FRIEND IS – How many officers of advanced rank are you expecting? We don't distinguish between 'best' OR 'friends' among the force and there are no civilians attending. I may as well tell you right now that I never learned the lyrics to 'Kumbaya' and dogs howl when I sing.
I'M BETTER THAN ANYONE WHEN IT COMES TO – Do you intend to teach members of the PD that their skills are relative to what those around them can accomplish? Sergeant Schlesser, competency is not assessed through comparisons. It exists or it does not exist. I am competent (rated excellent according to departmental reviews) and that has nothing to do with the price of coffee in China. Come to think of it, my pet peeve (to be added above) is tea drinkers. What's in the mug you are most likely holding while reading this missive?
MY FAVORITE FORM OF EXERCISE – Weights, stationary cycle. How does that assist you precisely? Are you planning to wrestle with me?
AN ADJECTIVE THAT DESCRIBES YOU THAT BEGINS WITH ONE OF YOUR INITIALS – My middle name is not generally known (too bad that isn't a skill) and is Orwell, my mother's maiden name. This means my initials are SOB. And you'd better believe that describes me!
AFTER REVIEWING THE ABOVE INFORMATION, WHO ARE YOU (IN 25 WORDS OR LESS) - Captain Simon Banks, your conference attendee from Major Crimes since you appear unable to handle the challenge of diverse personality types in your classes. Are you sure you're not new at Community Relations? And you can count the words yourself because real communication takes as many words as it takes.
Simon gave his survey to Rhonda for duplication and submission, knowing copies would be disseminated among the smirking members of the bull pen. He gave the 'hairy eyeball' to the single departmental member still new enough to be abashed by his grim look and returned, satisfied, to his office.
"Captain, I have a message for you from Chief Warren."
"He didn't want to talk to me, personally?"
"His administrative assistant called me. It seems the Chief was in a hurry but was reported as laughing the entire time he was dictating his message."
"That's unusual. Well, what is it?"
"It appears you are no longer required to attend the media and community relations conference. Ms. Schlesser requested Ellison and Sandburg be put back on the roster instead."
"Well, that's certainly good news! Any particular reason, as if we didn't know?"
"Yes, Sir. She said, and I quote, "At least I outrank the detectives so they'll have to follow orders."
"Gotta love the PD ranking system. Why don't you deliver the good news in person, Rhonda."
"Right away, Sir."
Her chuckle ended abruptly as she switched off the intercom system. A few moments later, an anguished roar was heard from the vicinity of Ellison's corner of the bullpen.
Comments, criticism, suggestions? Please e-mail Roslyn.
Back to Roslyn's page.