Wednesday, May 11, 2011
SAN DIEGO The headline isn’t the opening line of a joke. It’s something that really happened this morning, involving my family, and it shed some light on the budget battles in the San Diego City Hall.
My wife was driving our kids to school when she saw a policeman, next to his patrol car, who gestured at her. She thought he was telling her to drive around his car, which she did. But then the cop jumped into his cruiser, started following her and flashing his lights.
My wife stopped and the officer walked up to her car, which had two little kids wearing Catholic school uniforms in the back.
“Why were you fleeing the police?” he said.
My wife explained she wasn’t fleeing. The officer said he stopped her because she rolled through a stop sign. The cop then saw a dent on her car, asked about it and she explained that someone sideswiped the car in the parking lot of the public library where she worked.
“So you’re a city employee?” he asked.
She answered yes and he said, “I’m sorry.”
“Because everyone hates us,” said the cop.
The happy end of this story is my wife did not get a ticket. The sad part is the deterioration of morale in the public workforce. It’s the result of continuing budget cuts and the endless accusations that public employees are paid too much and are wasting taxpayer money.
The answers to the financial problems in the pubic sector are elusive and subject to debate. But here’s a non-controversial suggestion: The next time a San Diego cop or a librarian or anyone else provides you with some good service say thanks and let them know you appreciate it. You'll make someone feel a little bit better.