Friday, September 28, 2012

Status quo?

Shortly after the time of dinosaurs roaming the earth, I worked at Baltimore County 911, and one of the things that the calltakers - the amazing people who answer the 911 phones and find out what people need and enter information into the computer - always had to remember was that they usually knew more about what was going to happen than the caller did.

For example, let's say a man calls, and says that a) someone is breaking into his house and b) this has upset his wife to the extent that she, at 38 weeks, is going into labor and both of them notice that c) the kitchen is on fire because the burglar knocked over a patchouli candle burning on the window sill as he clambered in through the window.

And this scenario unfolds more often than you might think, and IN YOUR OWN NEIGHBORHOOD, for crying out loud!  Be vigilant!

But the calltaker remains cool and on point all through this.  He or she will get all the information into the computer, indicate that the police, fire, and EMS forces need to respond, and gives those responders all the info they will need.  And, just as important, the operator will tell the person what to do until the help arrives and makes sure they know that help is on the way.  That sort of communication is vital.

All of this leads me to a minor, teeny, little bitty request that I am asking of the 835,525,280 Facebook subscribers worldwide, and that would be this, if I might humbly ask...

Please don't write Facebook updates that scare and upset the people who care about you by giving only a little bit of information.  Such as...

"Sitting here in the ER waiting to be seen...doesn't look good..."

"I really don't know if I can go on dragging this broken heart around any longer.  I never knew anything could hurt me this bad."

"Fred called and said it looks like the transplant might take...thanks for your prayers!"

And so forth like that.  And meanwhile, those of us who care about the person who writes these things are frantically back-pedaling through their previous statuses, but there is nothing to even mention possible illness, heartache or organ transplant.

So remember, at those moments when you really need a friend, let a friend know what you've got going on, please!

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