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Breaking the news...have your facts straight

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  • Breaking the news...have your facts straight

    In the aftermath of a tragedy, it helps to know exactly who you're talking about!

    I finally figured out a way to share this story, almost ten years later. For six of my 30 years at my old department, I helped to handle the aftermath of employee deaths. I also counseled employees with substance abuse problems. One day, the two came together...

    Officer Susan Easton-Berry (not her real name) had taken her life, during a split up with her same-sex domestic partner. Easton-Berry's sexual orientation was lesbian...plain and simple. No joke, no judgement, I think she emerged from the womb that way...comfy shoes and all. We treated her off-duty death the way we'd handle any employee's, with dignity and offering all our services to her surviving family and friends.

    While we're preparing for her services, one of my recovering alcoholic employees, Manny, calls me..."Sarge, (sniff, sniff) I just heard about Susan. I'm just devastated (sniff, sniff, moan), we used to date!" By this time, I'm staring at the phone, saying to myself, "This ain't happening!" Manny (not his real name) is a real hard-drinking "drama queen" (it's an AA term for dramatic drunks of any gender). Manny continues, "Yeah, we used to work together...we got real close, you know. We were lovers for some time. I always hoped we'd get back together (sniff, sniff), once I get the alcohol problem fixed."

    By now I'm getting pi55ed. This isn't funny. I'm feeling the blood throbbing in my temples. This girl had never, ever, dated a man - I was sure of it. Sleeping with one? No way. And I had seen her personnel file. I wasn't aware she'd ever crossed paths with Manny.

    Me: "Manny, wait, you're talking about Susan Easton-Berry, right?"

    Him: "Yeah, Susan, why do you ask?"

    Me: "Manny, Susan Easton-Berry and you were lovers, is that what you're telling me?" (My voice indicating my anger rising)

    Him: "Yeah, what of it?" (He's getting upset, I can tell)

    Me: "Susan Easton-Berry"

    Him: "Yeah, Susan E Stan Berry!"

    Me: "Manny, you're talking about Susan Easton hyphen Berry?"

    Him: "Easton hyphen Berry? No, I'm talking about Susan E. Stanbury (not her real name)! Are you telling me, it ain't my ex-girlfriend?"

    Me: (Very much relieved) "Yeah, Manny, that's what I'm telling you. We both got the wrong girl."

    Him: "Okay, thanks, Sarge!"
    Last edited by Kieth M.; 09-13-2009, 04:39 PM.
    "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

    Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

  • #2
    I NEVER look in this forum, but for some reason today I did and was richly rewarded. Thanks, Keith!
    If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

    ---Jack Handey

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    • #3
      Oh Keith! Behind even the darkest cloud, you find a silver lining.
      "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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      • #4
        Wow Kieth! Coincidence?

        Seen similar things like your story but not of such magnitude
        "a band is blowing Dixie double four time You feel alright when you hear the music ring"


        The real deal

        Outshined Pujulesfan Bearcat Chitowndet Sgt Slaughter jthorpe M-11 Lt Borelli L-1Sgt CHP Nikk Smurf Presence1 IcecoldblueyesKimble LADEP ateamer ChiCity R.A.B. Jenners IrishMetal GoldBadge willowdared Monkeybomb PhilipCal pullicords Chit2001 Garbageman Narco CruiserClass Fuzz 10-42Trooper Tex4720 irishlad2nv bajakirch OnThe gurmpyirishmanNYIlliniSgtScott31 CityCopDCcgh6366 FJDave

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        • #5
          Good job you straightened that out before Manny showed up at the funeral.

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          • #6
            ................
            Last edited by SBSO_DISPATCHER; 12-05-2009, 05:58 AM.
            Gotta catch em allll.........

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