I found this video on YouTube which questions why police officers don't smile much today. As a well known miserable git I possibly fall into this category. My sense of humour failings seem to be kept for drunken idiots who are just not very funny, and feel the need to approach and often abuse me. I'm sorry but I find it hard to even raise a sarcastic smile. I've taken to just turning my back on them and looking the other way in silence.
Let me recite a sorry tale of when I tutored a young constable a few years back. We were walking along the road when coming towards us was a black fella and his girlfriend. It was Spring and even Stressedoutcop was full of goodwill, so as we passed I smiled and said Good Morning. I carried on walking only to hear "Who the f@%king hell are you talking to?". We turned and the bloke was in my face offering to fight me. Didn't know him and never seen him before, but my friendly smile and greeting had somehow offended him. He didn't calm down and eventually got himself nicked.
This went to court and you would think was a no brainer. Wrong - the magistrate kicks it out at half-time and lectures me about greeting others who might not appreciate it from police officers due to years of oppression. At least she mentioned my friendly greeting was well intentioned.
Of course having a laugh at work is almost outlawed as there is always somebody who might be offended in some way. Oh how we laughed at training school when we moved Spike's entire room into the boy's toilet and hours were spent arranging everything until it was perfect, bed made, books lined up and slippers neatly by the urinal. He dished it out and it was only fair he took some back. It bonded us into a team and yes it was inappropriate by today's standards.
The after work drink is a thing of the past, especially for supervisors who are in the firing line should any staff say or do anything naughty. It's a discipline offence not to challenge improper conduct, obviously drawn up as a catch all. Be careful what you say or you go the same way as Carol Thatcher. Is it just me or did the Thatcher name seem too much of a temptation for those at the BBC?, and we don't even know what was said.
No such recriminations or career harm though to Supt Rickett at Limehouse in the Met for displaying the Rainbow flag in place of the Union standard. It is indeed a Mad World.