The other night Alex and I watched "Vera" a TV program about a female Detective Inspector. It was well done and entertaining. Anyway it reminded me of the time I was first attached to CID. This would be about 40 years ago in Birmingham. Things were very different then. Not too different from the portrayal in "Life on Mars".
An attachment to CID sounds exciting and glamorous but the most exciting thing I was allowed to do was walk up the road to post a letter. No-one spoke to you and you were obviously just a nuisance. You may have gathered there was some antipathy between CID and uniform officers. Now I don't have an axe to grind I spent a long time in CID myself and was a Detective Inspector for some time. I digress, going back to my CID attachment. Discipline was quite rigid in the police at that. You stood to attention when you paraded for the start of a shift, stood up if a senior officer came in the room, reported to the Station Sergeant when entering the police station saying,"All correct Sergeant" as a mark of respect, you saluted senior officers outside, and you called senior officers,"Sir".
Now in the CID at that time was a rarity, a Female Detective Inspector. So when I first met her I was flummoxed. What did I call her.
I started with, "Good morning Sir." Realised that was wrong and changed it to,"Err Madam" Thought that could be taken badly and added,"Maam."
She laughed and I still recall her words after 40 years," You can call me what you like. You can call me Mom if you want but don't expect me to do your dirty washing."
Those were the only friendly words I ever experienced in that particular CID office. I never had that problem in Wales.
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