We were extraordinarily shorthanded yesterday. I was working the front desk, and we had four detectives handling cases. Three were on vacation, one was detailed out to a different division, and another was attending a jury trial.
Naturally, we were busy, starting our day with a homicide and a theft arrest which required three search warrants. In the eight hours which followed, we received thirty-one jobs; many of which had victims who needed to be interviewed.
Jobs are given out in a set order, but I try to accommodate a busy detective. For example, the detective serving the three search warrants would not be assigned a job requiring an immediate interview. Of course, if you are not a busy detective, you have to expect a live job with an interview to eventually come your way. In our division, publicly bitching about receiving an assignment is considered bad form.
An aggravated assault case came into the division around 1pm, and the victim needed to be interviewed. A male detective who whines over every job – let’s call him Baldilocks – was up for the assignment. This would be only his second job in six hours, and when I walked past his desk a half hour prior, he was staring at his computer screen. I assigned the job and the officers went to Baldilocks with the report.
I continued entering jobs into the computer when I see Baldilocks approach me. He has the police report is his hand so I knew what was coming.
“Hey man, you’re gonna have to give this to someone else. I’m busy.”
I asked him what was keeping him busy, since I have not assigned him a case in six hours, and he replied he was interviewing someone at his desk. There was a woman at his desk, but it was from a job he received weeks ago. I replied, “She’s not from a current job, and we have two detectives in the building. Who do you suggest I give this to, Baldiocks?”
Baldilocks ignored my question and walked away, leaving the report on my desk.
Now I was already stressed out because we were shorthanded and the jobs kept flowing in at an alarming rate, so the last thing I needed was this ass spelunker telling me how to do my job. While I wanted to grab my gun and pistol-whip this prick, I went to my sergeant instead. After
screaming calmly talking to the boss, he said, “Have someone interview the victim, but make sure he is assigned the case.”
That was marginally acceptable, plus, he’s the boss. Baldilocks has not talked to me today, so this part of the story had a happy ending.
About a half hour later, Rosie Perez was up for an arrest. It was a robbery case, one person was arrested, and the victim was in the hallway. At worst, this entire case should take an hour to handle. I gave the job to Rosie at 1:45pm, and her tour finishes at 3pm. Immediately afterward, she struts to my desk.
(Insert grating Rosie Perez voice) “Hey honey, you do know it’s 1:45, right? I can’t handle this job unless the sergeant clears me for overtime.”
After beating her to death with my Swingline stapler, I again bothered the sergeant with this nonsense. He was not amused. “There is no reason this should take longer than an hour to process, but tell Rosie if it does, I’ll give her the overtime. Whatever it takes for these morons to leave me alone.”
A good sergeant is hard to find, but when you earn one, you hold on to him like grim death.