The 20-second “emergency”

I’m at the DMV taking a written test. A staff member notices a young man talking on his phone despite about a thousand neon-colored signs that, among other admonitions, read, “No cell phones.”

“Hey, no phones in this testing area!”

“But it’s my mom.”

“Doesn’t matter.”

“I’m talking to my mom.”

“No phones here. Is it an emergency?”


I roll my eyes. An emergency? Yeah, right.

“Give me your test. Go outside and use the phone.”

From TheFreeDictionary,

e·mer·gen·cy  (-mûrjn-s)
n. pl. e·mer·gen·cies
1. A serious situation or occurrence that happens unexpectedly and demands immediate action.
2. A condition of urgent need for action or assistance: a state of emergency.

I’m not going to be presumptuous and say he doesn’t have an emergency, but any halfwit can figure out that he doesn’t have an emergency. In any case, the kid comes back to get his test 20 seconds later. It’s plainly obvious on his face that he has no idea why he was told to go outside with his phone call.

And that – routinely exaggerating and calling non-emergencies emergencies – is how people start down the path of calling us for incredibly stupid reasons. That, and a poor grasp of basic English vocabulary.

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