We all get them - those little quizzes in our email that are designed to give us a chance to show how well we know each other - or don't, whichever the case may be. I rather enjoy these little quizzes not necessarily to see how well someone does or doesn't know me but because I like to see what memories stand out the most to them. It matters not if they can remember the names of my siblings, the color of my eyes, my middle name, or the place of my birth. Those things are pretty inconsequential as far as I'm concerned.
I sent one such quiz to my friend Cyndi awhile back and in her usual it-takes-forever-for-me-to-get-to-it style she recently sent it back. In reading some of her answers, though, I have to say that it was well worth the wait - well, I wasn't really waiting as I had forgotten I sent it to her but you know what I mean! As always, her answers brought back some pretty great memories of times gone by and I thought perhaps I would share a few of her answers here as a way to let my readers know me just a little better ... well, sort of ... at least from Cyndi's perspective!
What is the best feature about me?: Your genuine humanity, followed closely by your incredible sense of humor. I also appreciate your understanding and tolerance of my eternal procrastination.
Am I a rebel or do I follow the rules?: You follow the rules. Exhaustively. You would follow the rules down I-95 clear to Key West on a 100 degree summer day, even if the rules were riding a Greyhound with a malfunctioning carburetor spewing fumes everywhere and you were driving the car behind sucking all that in through the air conditioning. You are the Obi Wan of Rule Following. You have only one ongoing and completely laudable exception: You have the ability to chuck the rulebook and make everything up on the fly when a critical situation can't be resolved within existing rules. God knows a dispatcher must be able to do that or they can't hack the job. Clearly you do fine in that area. The ability to do this is the only thing that holds you back from making Yoda in this area (Jeff gets that, although he is getting better as he gets older). I only know of six times you have broken rules outside the dispatcher's exemption, which makes you a great deal better behaved than most people. Details on request.
Any special talents?: You are the world's greatest natural dispatcher & you make killer cheesecake. You also write better than I do -- Curse the Irish Storyteller in me that keeps me from 1. going straight to the point & 2. taking the time to spell check stuff -- Heaven knows I spell well but me fat fingers tend to create some pretty unbelievable typos.
What's your favorite memory of me?: Halloween night 1986 on the desk. Wow, did we kick ass or what? Five shootings, three of which were fatal, four armed robberies, any number of strong-arm robberies, Multiple TA's including two fatalities, a two-alarm fire requiring crowd/traffic control, and a swat call-out for some darned thing that currently escapes my memory. All added to the usual fun & frolic in Tuleburg. I think we switched back and forth between working critical incidents on one side and holding down the entire city on the other so often that we wore out the 900 beeper. We had so much fun ... and so did our officers -- amazing. That runs a close second to the fact that you attended my son's wedding and even tolerated my brother's somewhat cynical chatter despite nursing a severely broken heart.
In addition to the above, Cyndi also managed to get all of my names right (married - divorced - married again, etc!), was able to name all three of my brothers, knows what types of music I listen to, and knows that I enjoy reading intriguing books and watching sappy chick flicks. She doesn't, however, remember my eye color but that can be forgiven as I don't remember hers either! And there was one more rather critical thing she missed - she said we met in 1985 but that's not true, I have known this incredible woman since October of 1984 and meeting her was one of the greatest blessings of my life. She has been a true friend in both good times and bad times and even though we haven't seen each other in over three years and are separated by over 3,000 miles our friendship remains solid and strong.
Now if I could just talk her husband into letting her come out for a visit so we could take Paula up on her offer to buy margaritas while we exhange dispatch "war stories" and add to our collection of memories. Come on, Jeff, please? Pretty please??