Flavor Flav I am not.

I’ll start by welcoming the one Public Enemy fan who googled “Flavor Flav” and decided to click through to a cop’s blog.  You will not find studio remixes of Chuck D spitting mad lyrics on Fuck the Police here.  Read on, if you dare.

I have mentioned (read: whined) before about the public’s misconception about the terminology we coppers use surrounding the use of radar and lidar.  I have lambasted them for their common confusion between the two.  This post is not for them.  This post is for you, my fine fellow LEO.  I don’t often put my literary crosshairs on my brothers/sisters, but enough is enough.

I understand how John and Judy Citizen fail to grasp the not-so-subtle differences between a radar unit and lidar unit.  They’re not trained and as I have repeatedly mentioned, they watch too much TV.  I can no longer solely blame popular culture and Hollywood.  It’s us.  And by us, I mean you.  Because I don’t say silly shit like:

1. I calibrated the device prior to my shift.  Oh, so now you’re an engineer?  Did you fall asleep in the 24 hr course and subsequent eight-hour follow-up for the lidar?  (I’d understand by the way…wicked boring).  Well, allow me to remind you.  You don’t calibrate it.  People that are smarter than us do.  Now, pay attention, because I’m going to give the citizenry some ammo here which I’m hoping will improve your testimony.

Citizens: If you hear an officer testify that he/she calibrated the device, that is your opening for your defense.  What, you expect me to write the rest of your defense?  What are you, new?

Back to my LEOs.  What you did was perform an “internal calibration check”.  This allows the machine to check on itself.  If anything unusual occurs, an error message will more than likely appear and you need to get the unit repaired.

2. I clocked the vehicle.  Enter the Flavor Flav reference.  This isn’t 1953.  We aren’t using clocks.  We are using sophisticated machinery to confirm our visual estimations of a vehicle’s speed.  The term “clocking” refers to the equation in which speed = distance/time.  If you are trying to calculate the speed of a vehicle, you get a known distance and use a stopwatch to time (read: clock) how long it takes the vehicle to travel that distance.

So, when I hear an officer in court testifying that he/she “clocked” the vehicle at XX mph, I die a little inside.  I get why the public uses the term.  They don’t know any better.  We should.

3.  It’s a marvelous night for a Moondance.  This one has nothing to do with speeding vehicles, but a list is useless with only two points.  Plus, Van Morrison kills in that song.  Classic.

Do your old buddy, MC, a favor, fellow LEOs.  I know it may very well be habit now, but do all of us a favor and work those inaccuracies out of your testimony.  Why must we perpetuate such outdated verbiage?

So, there you go, Citizens.  There’s something to be on the lookout for if you find yourself in traffic court.  Oh, and if you find yourself in traffic court, it’s because you got stopped.  And you know what that means….

Wait for it…

You deserved it.

What drives you closer to the nuthouse about others in your profession?

Photo Credit: Flickr and mattbooy

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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8 thoughts on “Flavor Flav I am not.

  1. What?! no takers on that question?! I guess no one wants their employer to track them down and get them fired. Oh well, I really could not care any less at this point. So I’ll have at it.

    School administrators – principals, vice-principals, assistant principals, guidance staff, etc. versus teachers

    Dear school administrators,

    Please do not lecture us about communicating with ANYONE: yourselves, colleagues, parents, students, etc. when YOU (yes, that means YOU) do not do the same yourself. When kids/parents come into your office and complain about a teacher, WHY, oh WHYYYYY, oh WWWHHYYYY do you automatically assume that stuff you hear that we like to call gossip, hearsay, talking shit, etc is the God-given truth? Then, you never bring it up to the teacher for months, even years on end in order to get the other side of the story. Uh-huh. Let’s just assume it is true.

    The most reliable source for information in any community IS in fact a youth between the ages of 13-18. You heard the same thing from 8 others?? Well, there you go! They NEVER lie, nor do they get together and plan things out. OF COURSE, the twelve or so Spanish 3 students were telling the truth when they said they never learned the past tense in Spanish 2, even though the verb conjugations were on that teacher’s board for 5 straight weeks. (Yes, that actually happened.) The students never do anything in Calculus class and she doesn’t know how to teach? Yes, well, don’t bother with the details, admin! (And again, forget asking for the teacher’s version of reality because we all know that if it is 1 adult versus 10 children, you do NOT need to hear what the adult has to say.) That is all you need for that next evaluation.

    Thanks sooooooo very much, admin, for setting such a good example on effective communication in the workplace and showing just how much (actually none at all) you value our opinions. So, when do we get to do an evaluation for you? oh yeah, never!

    • What drives you closer to the nuthouse about others in your profession?

      I work in the IS department and I write code for a living. The three most dangerous things in my world are: A programmer with a soldering iron, A hardware type with a program patch and A user with an idea.

      Things that get on my very last nerve in no particular order:

      Managers who can’t manage. Typically some programmer/analyst gets promoted to Lead or (Heaven help us all) Project Manager, and it becomes evident to everyone except the newly minted manager that he is incompetent, and worse he doesn’t know that he’s incompetent. Worse yet, he might be a she, in which case all the men should jump ship while they can – men never get a fair shake from a woman boss.

      Users who are ignorant. Each user is provided with $4000 worth of software and none of them bothers to learn to use it. Instead they call the help desk repeatedly, asking the same questions over and over again. How the hell did these idiots ever get through high school?

      Users who are stupid. Upon receiving a rather brusque answer to her dumb question, Ms. Featherhead retorted that she would like the Programmer to be a little nicer, to which the programmer responded: I’ll make you a deal. I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter.

      Poorly written code and the morons who lie about it. Consider the bright boy working next to me who spends six weeks producing the biggest snarl of spaghetti code I’ve ever seen. Beta testing on one station produces a spike in demand on the server that attracts the attention of the irascible SysAdmin. When asked to find the bottleneck, I take a look at it and call for a major rewrite on grounds of sanity. My screams of frustration fall on deaf ears when the coder denies that there is anything wrong and the manager refuses to manage. I rewrite a large portion of his pristine code and cut server overhead by a factor of 5 or 6. No, I’m not kidding. My question is: Why is this idiot still working in IS?

      Poorly designed software. Software should have a vending machine interface, and it doesn’t. Think: Vending machines have to be simple enough for the average Neanderthal to decipher in a very short amount of time as well as being tough enough to withstand the unwanted attentions of the Black Plague. Vending machines work. Micro$oft Word, by contrast, is complex enough to require that an entire shelf of the local bookstore be devoted to three inch think ‘How-To’ books on an application that, in essence, replaces a manual typewriter. Word is only one example.

      People who bring their kids to work. Yeah, your kid is cute. I’m sure he or she is real bright. No, I don’t want to hear about school, sports or any other family fun. You want to make life a little easier for me? Leave the little disease carrying, destructive snot nose at home. Bring the dog instead. Dogs are good for what ails you – better than bourbon, even.

      I think I’ll go take Excellent Rachmaninoff for a dog walk.

  2. What drives you closer to the nuthouse about others in your profession?

    Writers who give their work away for free.

    I’m not talking about blogs and personal websites. That’s speculative work based on maybe getting paid someday. But if you write work and somebody else wants to publish that work, they should pay you for the privilege. Sites and magazines trade on the “mystique” of publication to bamboozle amateurs into giving work away.

    For the love of all that’s holy, stop letting them. It makes it harder for you to make a living as a writer, and reduces my paycheck. You worked on your story/article/script. You wouldn’t let your boss ask you to work for free…