Saturday, February 24, 2007


During the in-season here on Hilton Head I get alot of people, tourists mostly, asking for directions to restaurants, the ocean (You're on an island, ma'am, any direction you go will take you to the ocean...), and very often the hotel they are staying at. Takes about 5 minutes of my time. Necessary function too at night, as there are few lights on 'The Head' and business signs are restricted to ground level. At times, if I don't think they are understanding my directions or the place they are going is in an off the beaten path location, I'll just lead them over there myself.
Alot of the younger kids (I'm 42) and rookies think this is not proper law enforcement duties, or at least a low priority. They mention me having to play tour guide to terrori....oops they mean tourists. Til I check their swing. Make them think about it.
I'll point in the direction the tourists have gone and tell the rookie to think about them. They have just spent a half hour driving in circles lost. Over those thirty minutes they have been stressing because they either have a set time schedule or they are hungry. Maybe they have kids screaming they are hungry. Maybe this is the one restaurant Mom looked forward to eating at during this vacation and this is her one chance to eat there. Before finding me at the convenience store, Mom was probably giving up hope, getting ready to stop at McDonalds because the 7 year old is screaming.
They are happy now. It took five minutes for me to take their worry away and make them happy, and a bit excited now that they know they are on their way to where they want to go. I emphasize it. 'I MADE THEM HAPPY' and it only took me 5 minutes of my life. I tell them that in those five minutes I served the public, made people happy, and I didn't have to hurt anybody. I did not have to defend myself against somebody trying to hurt me. I tell them that in my view, this is the best thing that will happen to me today.

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