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Hello, 911, Please Hold...indefinitely!

by D. E. Carson (writer), , July 02, 2008

Credit:

If you’re on the highway and call 911, God help you because the CHP won’t.

You’ve probably seen the newly posted signs along the freeways: “Report Drunk Drivers Call 911”. Well, as I was driving home today on one of the many Los Angeles County Freeways, I noticed someone driving in a manner that suggested he was partaking of a beverage that should not be consumed while careening down the highway at 70+ miles per hour – and yes, driver, if you’re reading this, I did take note of the license plate number of your gray Toyota Celica.

I have my obligatory headset as required by California’s stupid new hands-free phone law and I dialed 911 to report this driver. The conversation went something like this:

911 Operator: “Hello, 911, what are you reporting?”

Me: “I am reporting some driving in a manner resembling intoxication.”

911O: “Where are you right now?”

Me: [location details given].

911O: “What kind of car is it?”

Me: “It is a gray Toyota Celica, license plate number [withheld].”

911O: “Okay, let me transfer you to the CHP.”

Transfer me? You mean I’ve reached a 911 call center? Am I talking to someone in fricking India?

New 911 Operator: “Hello, this is the California Highway Patrol. How can I help you?”

Me: “I’m calling to report a driver who appears to be driving under some kind if influence.”

New 911O: “Okay, let me transfer you to dispatch.”

Wait, ANOTHER transfer? I’ve driven three miles already and this guy could be about to cause one helluva pileup out here and I’m being passed around the CHP call center in Bhopal like a doobie in a frat house?

[Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring] “Gracias por llamar CHP. Para continuar esta llamada en español, presionar por favor 2. Si no sostenerte por favor y el operador disponible siguiente te asistirá.” [Silence].

Aw, HELL no! Now I know this illegal alien crap has gone too far!

[Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring] “All operators are busy. Please hold and next available operator will be with you shortly.” [Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring] “All operators are busy. Please hold and next available operator will be with you shortly.” [Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring] “All operators are busy. Please hold and next available operator will be with you shortly.” [Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring] “All operators are busy. Please hold and next available operator will be with you shortly.” [Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring] “All operators are busy. Please hold and next available operator will be with you shortly.” [Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring] “All operators are busy. Please hold and next available operator will be with you shortly.”…

This sequence went on ad infinitum for the next 20 minutes! This not only gave the offending driver time to get out of my sight, but it also gave me time to get to my exit and get home to being writing this!

I suddenly realized that there is no hope for our society. I can get a pizza delivered to my house in less than 30 minutes, but it took almost five (yes FIVE) years for the local sheriff’s station to figure out exactly where my house is even though the Thompson Guide had the place on its maps the next year. I see signs posted by law enforcement wanting my help reporting drunk drivers or finding a kidnapped child, but when it actually comes time for me to be a good citizen and offer my assistance to law enforcement, I am met with indifference and “thank you for calling. All operators are busy now, please hold and someone will assist you as soon as possible.”

The whole time I was listening to “All operators are busy” I kept thinking to myself, My God, what if someone were lying on the side of the road bleeding to death? Law enforcement always comes on TV and says they are asking for the public’s help when someone is brutally murdered or if a child is abducted, but I guess when it comes to drunk drivers, that’s not a high priority crime until someone actually gets killed, then it leaps like a gazelle over presidential assassination into the number one highest priority slot on the blotter. “The president’s been shot! WAIT! There’s been an accident involving a drunk driver? The president can wait we need to arrest everyone and his mother for the drunk driving offense!”

I swear, the police are becoming more and more like the Keystone Kops. There was a time when the moniker “L.A.’s Finest” meant something. Now it’s a very tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic put down. There was also a time when the California Highway Patrol was regarded around the whole nation with the same level of respect as Texas Rangers. Now people fear the CHP much the same way Jews feared the Gestapo and that ain’t healthy.

Maybe law enforcement is over-worked. From where I sit, it looks more like they don’t work. I keep seeing invitations to join the LA County Sheriff’s department, the LAPD and even the CHP. I guess this means they either 1) can’t keep enough people in their ranks due to attrition or 2) people leave realizing the pay isn’t worth getting your ass shot off.

It doesn’t really matter, but right now I need to go back to [Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring…Ring] “All operators are busy. Please hold and next available operator will be with you shortly…”

C’mon would ya!? I’ve been here for an hour!



About the Writer

D. E. Carson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Hello, 911, Please Hold...indefinitely!

Log In To Vote   Score: 0
By D. E. Carson on July 03, 2008 at 09:27 pm

Just so you know, I'm still waiting for someone to answer the damn phone...

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