Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Maverick Paperwork

You know, as I grow older I find myself having more and more sympathy the various SFPD Lieutenants and Captains who had to supervise Dirty Harry back in the seventies and eighties.  Not just them, but the supervisors of any of those 'maverick' cops who filled our cinema and TV screens back then.  Of course, when i was younger, I liked to identify with the 'mavericks'.  Granted, being a 'maverick' junior civil servant wasn't easy, but I gave it a go: flaunting the authority of conventional filing systems and striking a blow for the liberation of paper clips.  I mainly succeeded in simply being a pain in the arse.  (In my defence, when I started in public service, there were a lot of arseholes in middle management who treated their staff abominably, with xasual sexism and racism still rife.  Sadly, in recent years a whole new brand of arsehole has colonised civil service management, setting back all the progress I thought that we'd made).  But my 'achievements' were minor compared to the antics of those 'maverick' cops - destruction of property, infringement of civil liberties, reckless endangerment of the public are just some of the things their supervisors were left having to contend with.

Those films and TV series were highly misleading, setting a poor example for easily impressed young idiots like me, mainly in that they clearly implied that, beyond being shouted at by your boss and, possibly, his boss, there were never any lasting consequences to, for example, escalating a simple hostage situation into a war zone.  Yet, in reality, 'mavericks' in any field of employment risk suspension, disciplinary action, probable dismissal and possible criminal prosecution.  The rule of thumb being that the more junior the 'maverick', the worse the consequences.  Yet none of this ever happens to those 'maverick' cops.  Sure, Dirty Harry sometimes gets suspended, but only until his bosses realise the error their ways and that the only way they can regain control of the streets is to let him fill them with blood again via his usual campaigns of brutal beatings and shootings.  Of course, the main reason the bosses have such a downer on these 'mavericks' is the paperwork.  I now appreciate from my own experiences of having to try and clear up after other's 'maverick' actions is that they generate huge quantities of paper work.  And phone calls.  Irate phone calls from the public which have to be dealt with.  It's all a nightmare.  Worse than that, it's a time consuming nightmare.  So. let's hear it for those poor bastards who had clean up after the likes of Dirty Harry, their only reward being called 'pencil pushers' and 'jobsworths'.



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