When Demanding is Inappropriate

The following story brings me a useful reminder that I should be more aware of my context, particulary when it involves those who must deal with very difficult things. The events take place in the UK, but apply everywhere:

I stood there for an hour or so. The closed road cuts off a corner between two larger roads and is a bit of a rat run. As a result, car after car stopped to ask if they could go down it. Even once I had procured some cones and a Road Closed sign, they still continued to ask. I didn’t mind at first as it kept me occupied. I didn’t want time to think.

I did, however, become a little less tolerant towards those that demanded access, regardless of the situation. You always get them…ask any serving officer who has ever closed a road. The inconsiderate and those full of their own self-importance who believe that access is their right…and that my sole intention in closing the road was to provide an inconvenience in their lives.j

These people seem to think that telling me that “I pay your wages” will suddenly part the cones and allow them to drive their cars unimpeded through the scene of the accident. One of them actually called me a fascist, and threatened to have my job if I didn’t let them through. They have no comprehension that roads only get closed for a very good reason. A short diversion does not justify this kind of abuse from every member of the public that cannot bear the prospect of being five minutes late for their evening’s plans.

Many have little, if any, concept of real life, and the tragedies that occur outside their own little bubble and some see the Police as no more than a necessary evil that should only become involved in their lives when asked to do so.

The entire story is worth reading, but be warned that it contains some brutal imagery which may stay with you long after you’ve forgotten what I say here.