911 for Dummies

We’ve heard the stories.

The distraught woman who dialed 911 because a restaurant (I won’t say which one), ran out of Chicken McNuggets.

The man who mistook the moon for a UFO.

Or the wife who called because her husband wouldn’t stop watching porn.

And there are others.

While the majority of civilized society grasps the concept of ‘emergency’ – a medical crises, crime in progress, accident, fire – some lack the faculties to differentiate need from nonsense.  Or the desire to.  Undeniably, in times of tremendous stress or (perceived) danger, questionable 911 calls do occur, but most are well–intentioned, if not slightly misguided.

But occasionally, like the chicken nugget lady, calls come in from dullards, self-absorbed narcissistic lug nuts who think the world around them exists for their benefit.  In their eyes, civil servants, among others, are merely personal assistants.

From an early age, children in North America are taught 911 (999 in the UK), the concept ingrained in their survival skill set.  Kids get it.  Heartwarming stories abound of heroic tykes, some as young as 4, who, when sudden illness struck a caregiver, had the wherewithal to dial 911, saving the day.  Inspiring.

But somewhere along the path to adulthood, for those few, a cerebral disconnect occurred. Lessons learned in childhood dissolved and morphed into an aura of self-absorption, replaced by the inability to think, rationalize, or act reasonably.  Their brain’s circuitry, overridden by selfishness and sheer dimwittedness, dispensed with logic in favor of an ever looping personal mantra of; “my trivial inconsequence trumps your legitimate emergency”.

These are people who cannot exist without 24/7 support, intervention, and 911 on their speed dial. Yes, on their speed dial.

“Police, fire, ambulance, how may I direct your call?”

Making matters worse, once the outraged half-wit realizes an emergency response is not forthcoming, a cataclysmic tirade of foul-mouthed banter usually ensues.  Clever nuggets of critical disdain resembling; “I’m a tax payer, I pay your wages”, or “I want to speak to your f&c*ing Supervisor”, spew forth in unmetered, barbaric eloquence.

“911, what is your emergency?”

Unwarranted 911 calls place a burden on an already strained essential service, consuming critical resources and causing delays and increased response time for true emergencies.  Add to this the cumulative stress placed on call takers who have to deal with these indiscriminate morons, and the negative impact is compounded.

And yet the calls still come.

Occasionally, abusers of the 911 system are held accountable, but not always.  Many ignore the warnings, meandering off, blissfully unaware, not caring, not interested.  All they take away from the experience is reaffirmation that cops are pricks (police bare the lion’s share of complaints), and that their tax dollars are a joke.

They learn nothing.

While some remain beyond redemption, destined to repeat behaviour, salvation awaits the open-minded.  For those still confused, baffled, or indifferent, the answer is not complicated.  The difference between a justified call to 911 and a call better handled by mom, a therapist, or your AA sponsor, lies simply in the definition of ‘emergency’.

“An unexpected and usually dangerous situation that calls for immediate action”.

In other words,

911 is not a civil dispute resolution service.

911 is not an impromptu counselling session.

911 is not a sounding board for inebriated jackasses.

911 is not how you report being shortchanged by a vending machine.

Until next time,

“Thank you for calling, and have a wonderful day… as*hole.”

15 thoughts on “911 for Dummies

  1. I’m not sure what prompted your 911 spiel, and though it is no laughing matter, that was funny! As always your wit reigns 🙂 See our communities need to advertise these better, perhaps they just dont want all the crazies either? For Ontario at least we have (check your local listings to find your help lines)
    What is 211?

    211 is an award winning information and referral helpline and online directory to find community, social and health services in Ontario. Highly trained specialists answer the 211 helpline and update the database.

    Call 2-1-1 for:
    Non-emergency police number
    Food banks
    Walk in clinics
    Alzheimer support
    Mental health help
    Meals on Wheels
    Emergency shelters for homeless
    Services for domestic violence victims
    Public health
    Telehealth Ontario
    Crisis services
    Provincial and local helpline phone numbers
    Settlement help for newcomers
    Housing help centres
    Youth drop in programs
    Child, youth and family counselling
    Emergency utility assistance
    Understanding which government service might help or assistance
    Disability support programs
    Parenting programs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No prompting, no bone to pick, no venting, the topic just popped into my head at the 11th hour. That’s an excellent resource you mentioned, and you’re right, what gets publicized to death is usually useless politically motivated, and the down-to-earth useful information falls through the cracks. More people need to be aware of the 211 benefits. But then again, they’ll probably just call 911 and ask to be transferred. Thanks for reading, and commenting, as always Theresa!


  2. So true. It’s the same thing in U.K. as well. Kids grow up to think the world cannot function without them. And from here to the stupid 999/911 calls it’s only a step. As an exercise, go into a shopping centre and stay with the customer service people one day. You will go home exhausted thinking what the hell is wrong with the world and why common sense things seem so difficult for them.
    Every day I think there is nothing out there to amaze me and just when I say it, there it is. Another waste of space creature shows up with yet another dumb “emergency”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Despite different continents, the essential behaviours are the same. Glad to know it’s not just us across the pond. Funny that you should mention the shopping centre, not a week ago I stumbled upon a Sky TV series ‘Trollied’. I love British programming and I was instantly hooked, I’m already heading into Season 3. I realize this is a comedy and played up for laughs, but I’m sure there’s much truth in the day to day activity that goes on.
      Thanks so much for commenting, always appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So many Snowflakes not only insist on being the center of their own universe but, also feel they should be the center of everyone else’s universe, Too many participation trophies have made them feel “special” and they are really not. They are headed for a terrible reality check and spectacular failure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone’s unique, everyone’s special, but at the end of the day, shit has to get done. You are absolutely right, a day of reckoning is coming. I just read a post earlier that said the snowflake generation is becoming pissed off the constant referencing to ‘participation trophy’. Maybe that’s step one in the process? Thanks again for commenting, much appreciated!


  4. Mike- your post had me in stitches! My favorite portion of an old Tru Tv show, “America’s Dumbest” dealt with the best and the brightest calling 911 for dating advice, a robber taking a shower, a cow in their front yard, well, you get the picture. What I enjoyed was your subtle comment on how self absorbed our society has become when our trivial inconveniences are suddenly elevated to triage status! My husband works for a large banking conglomerate. Every day he has to deal with nasty calls from idiots who cannot balance their checkbooks. So as you can see, the behavior extends to beyond the harried dispatchers realm. Terrific post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Susan! You’re absolutely right, society is being overrun by the uber needy. I can live with needy, but when you throw in ‘rude’ ‘obnoxious’ and ‘demanding’, now we have a problem. I can imagine your husband has fielded more than a few vibrant discussions with dissatisfied clients. They’re everywhere!
      As always, thanks so much for the kind words Susan!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ok When I was in the United State, A woman called 911 because there were a noise in her dressing drawer. They responded to the call to find out that (here it come) she left her dildo on. This was actually on the news. First if you hear a noise in the dressing draw I would open it to see what it is. Not call 911. So your post does not surprise me. People call 911 for stupid reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, ha, that’s one for the books. What could it have been in her mind, a mouse? That’s an emergency? I’m sure there’s a similar story at every corner of the world.
      Cheers, thanks for stopping by and commenting!


  6. I know a few 999 call handlers and some of the stories they tell are beyond belief. The strain on services has recently become more severe as austerity cuts mean other services have all but disappeared so now those “service users” simply call the emergency services as a fall back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Similar in Canada, Policing becomes the ‘catch all’ net as a means to solve every problem for some people, big or small. I also know a few call-takers, and you’re right, they all have some stories to tell! Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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