A simple gesture that meant a lot

This isn’t anything great, pretty mundane event for a Garda but its one that I still remember.

Nothing special about this day, I was on an early shift but in court for a hearing at 2pm which meant instead of going home which I wanted (I was tired) I had to jump on the Luas and head up to the courts. Yes I could walk and yes I could drive but they come with their own hassles so Luas it was.

Anyway, I jump on in plenty of time, sit down and start reading my book. I learnt a long time ago that if its a simple case and you are prepared, bring a book. We get as far as Upper Abbey Street and 3 yokes get on. Everyone knows the type, drunk, talking too loud and ‘Fuck’ is inserted at least 5 times in every sentence. They smell too I assumed but didn’t know.

So I watched them from my seat over my book, now people will read that and think “Oh yeah, usual lazy Guard” but lets look at this situation for a minute; I’m en-route to a case and if I arrest someone, I lose the case. A couple of idiots drinking V a case involving a real criminal that’s already been processed or put in simpler terms, a situation I wont get thanked for stopping V a case that if I miss, I will be disciplined over.

So anyway, I bit my tongue for the moment but then I notice this little blond sitting on the flip seats, the ones that go up when empty. Scared and nervous of the people and being caught in the middle but afraid to move in case that in someway offends them. Been there, felt that when I was a teenager too.

So I get up, stroll over, out comes the tatty old badge all while I’m hoping they don’t make an issue because as I said, I have a case to prosecute but also; no cuffs, no spray and no radio. I’m no Superman, I can and have been put on my ass more than once. So we have words, I tell them they are annoying people, they demand to know who and of course I then have to claim they are annoying me which really doesn’t make a huge amount of sense but that’s what i did. They  then complain and threaten, I threaten back and eventually a compromise is reached. The booze vanishes and they get off the tram at the next stop and I don’t arrest anyone or worse still, take the booze. Naturally the tram takes ages as it does in these scenarios which means an uneasy eyeball staring contest with these three but then they get off and of course, I’m all sorts of scumbag once the doors are closing but at this stage, water off the ducks back.

So we continue on and its my stop, I walk to the door and just as its opening I get a small tap on my hand, I look down and its the little blond, looking as timid as ever not that I mean that as an insult, just a reflection of her size and age. She manages to get out a simple “Thank you” as I’m getting off and I just nod and reply, “my pleasure”.

Its a simple gesture on her part and it was a simple and minor incident for me but as you can see, those two little words made my day. In fact I still think about it from time to time and remind myself thats who we are doing this job for.

So little Blond girl, thank you.