Print Story Hello, officer.
Working life
By BadDoggie (Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 03:34:47 PM EST) drunks, idiots, fuckwits, assmonkeys (all tags)
Running a bistro like the one I do is supposed to be fairly easy. The shittiest of customers are generally the drunk Italian kids during Oktoberfest and they're easy enough to send away.

I wasn't working alone tonight and while I was in back, my server sold a beer to some schmuck that she shouldn't have. I ended up having to call the cops. This is a very Not Good Thing on many levels.

Blame poll inside.

I came out from the back to see a clearly drunk guy with a glass of beer in front of him standing at the bar. The idiot girl should never have served him. He tried to say a few words but they sounded Russian or maybe Polish. They were, in any case, heavily slurred. I nodded and planned to make sure this was his last beer.

Came the time to pay he didn't want to. Then he decided he was going to pay €2 instead of €3. The dirtball spoke almost no German, and as I found out when I tried to ask, no Russian or Polish, either. I guessed Serbo-Croatian and I don't speak a word of that. Things were going downhill and though he wouldn't have had a chance to even try hurting me without hurting himself worse (before I could do it for him), we're not that kind of place. Half the customers were regulars. He tried emptying his posckets for a coin or two, to no avail. Once he started making vague treats and calling me an asshole I called the cops, having warned him at least five times I would do so. He never made a break for the door.

I had to keep up the verbal parrying waiting for the Polizei to arrive. As two cops finally walked in the door, another car pulled up outside with two more. They came over and immediately saw where the problem was before I could even nod in dickhead's direction. Luckily it never got too loud to be a problem for other customers but again, this is not something that happens in our bistro. Ever. The last time the cops were called was before my time, more than four years ago.

Apparently it's been a very slow night in town. Two more arrived and I was wondering if I shouldn't offer them all a cup of coffee. "Nein, danke." There were almost as many cops as customers. They realised it would be slow going in dealing with this mook but German cops are rather patient. From experience I know that American cops would've had this guy cuffed and been dragging him out in less time than it took this idiot to register they weren't joking when they wanted to see his ID. No point in using any pain holds; he never would've noticed.

There was some suspicion as he claimed to be a Croat but had a Bosnian ID card, and still he wasn't arrested. Officer-in-Charge asked me why the hell I'd served the guy. "I didn't. I was in back." And I immediately realised that I'd just set my server girl up for some shit so I quickly added that when I'd first come out, the guy seemed OK. It was only a couple minutes later that he then appeared under the influence. It happens with some people and I should know since I'm one of them. I'll drink a bottle of booze and be fine, then maybe have a beer or three. At some point, I have that one sip too many and I go from normal, able-to-function-and-focus-my-eyes, non-wavering guy to so-ratted-he'll-probably-need-help-to-crawl-home. It was at least plausible. Lead cop went to talk to idiot girl.

Four of the cops took the drunk Serb/Croat outside and I figured he was headed for the drunk tank. No, we've never seen him before. No, we're not filing criminal charges over the €3 beer. No, we're not filing criminal or civil charges because we "felt threatened" even though that was precisely the reason for calling the cops to begin with. Yes, he has a permanent Hausverbot (banned), not that he'll remember this in the morning.

And then the inevitable happened. Lead Cop wanted my information. I'm here legally and have lifelong residence and work permits, but my work at the bistro is, shall we say, rather informal and unofficial. BG was sitting at the employee's table having a beer and I had to send her home for my passport because, as usual, the cop didn't believe my name was what it is. Name, address, phone, citizenship, etc., he wrote it all down. BG returned a couple minutes later with my passport and we got back into a discussion over my name and how the hell it came to be. Fair enough. Was I sure I didn't want to press charges? Not really, but what's the fucking point?

They didn't take him to the drunk tank but instead let him walk home. Before the first of the three cop cars could leave, drunk fuck headed back for our door. All three cars stopped, all six cops got back out of their cars and quickly guided him past our door. While I'm more or less OK with the idea that they'd let him stumble home1, I have no idea why the hell they didn't take him to the drunk tank after he tried to come back in. Paperwork, probably.

In summary, I had to call the police into a place where police never have to visit. A number of our regulars witnessed the events. This comes on the heels of some bullshit with a "customer" last month that cost me more than a few brownie points (long story, not worth it). In eight hours I'll be on the phone with the owner to explain exactly what happened and to get our stories straight: we've known each other since I lived in Regensburg 13 years ago, he wasn't feeling well, he couldn't get anyone else to come in, and he asked if I could help him out of his jam.

All of this stone cold sober.

1 No, I'm not. I'm used to the mentality, but I'm not OK with it.

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Hello, officer. | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)
It depends. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Feb 19, 2007 at 04:45:37 PM EST
Maybe he was a scumbag. Maybe he had a really bad day.

Maybe the cops were letting him walk down the road to hell, or maybe all he needed was another chance.

Always vote on the side of hope.

It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

Hrm by Dr Thrustgood (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 04:04:13 AM EST
I know I'm an arsehole at the best of times, but was all of that really worth it for the sake of a single Euro?

It was three euros and this is Germany. by BadDoggie (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 06:22:26 AM EST
It's the mindset, really. It's called something-something-lässige something-or-other-ung and it's Not Done.


OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
I've been the manager of a bar before . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 04:55:23 AM EST
. . . one far less reputable than the bistro you describe here. I can't for the life of me imagine why you called the cops - especially since as you said you could've taken care of him physically.

The girl could've eaten the loss in money (basically her fault) and you would have solved the problem (partly your fault for letting it happen). Then, you get to share stories with the regulars about kicking out a guy, and you look like a hero.

If Germany is anything like Canada, the cops now have your bistro on a list of places that cause trouble (especially with the ridiculous crowd you had going there!). You may be visited again, now . . .

Well... well there then now... by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 06:31:41 AM EST
See my answer to Thrusty.

We ate the loss and frankly I was at the point where I just wanted him the fuck out. It was at THAT point he decided to become someone belligerent and that's where the line is drawn here. Furthermore, I turned out to be right about him being a former Yugoslavian. Our problem with weapons is growing here in Yerp. Only after the cops patted him down completely did I know he wasn't armed.

Technically I could have probably used force but even touching someone -- pushing him away from you, for example -- can be grounds for a criminal charge against you for battery. We are not the kind of place that wants to be known for those sort of people even coming in, much less having any sort of need to deal with problems physically.

If we had regular occurrences of this sort of problem that'd be one thing but this was a one-off. Hasn't happened for years, prolly won't again for years. The cops aren't paying any attention to us.

I'm now off to tell the boss everything that happened face-to-face (couldn't call before) and offer my resignation if he wants it with no ill-will. He's got a business to run and this is the second load of bullshit in as many months, though totally unrelated. If he feels I'm bad for his business then it's a simple decision: Bye-bye, BD, and I might well do the same thing in his shoes.

Son of a bitch.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
So if in Germany it's a social no-no . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 08:36:52 AM EST
. . . to have let him go without paying the full amount, did he actually end up paying? I thought you said he didn't have enough money anyways . . .

Fair enough if you thought he had a weapon - but not having mentioned it in your story, I'm not so sure it was an actual concern? Maybe I'm just being picky . . . in any case, do you know the tresspassing laws of Germany well? The general public usually doesn't; but here in Ontario (it's actually a provincial law), once a person has been told to vacate the premises and refuses to do so, under reasonable grounds and using a reasonable amount of force, it is legal to physically make them leave. Most western countries should have some similarities to this provision . . .

Good luck keeping your job.

[ Parent ]
The loss by Dr Thrustgood (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 08:34:03 AM EST
Not to mention how little was lost due to lack of drinking whilst the cops were in action. That's why I would've let it drop.

</evil capitalism>

[ Parent ]
Hello, officer. | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)