Thursday, October 13, 2011

Do it ....or else.

Or elase what?

WHen someone (and I do not care who it is) says to do something 'or else' the first words to come out of my mouth instantly are, "Or else what?"

I do not care who,what,when,where, why or how you are. If you tell me to do something or else I am instantly going to ask 'Or else what?"

I do not know why this is and to be honest I am surprised that this hasn't landed me in prison. I am not talking county cooler or overnight local slam here. I mean prison.

For a policeman to use 'or else' to me is pretty unprofessional. It make him sound like a mall cop like the one I got into with a few years back at the local mall.

I was waiting for my SO and the mall cop saw me standing there. I admit I looked pretty scruffy but he came up to me and told me I had better move 'or else'.

"Or else what?" I shot back. "Or else you're going to have to walk away and pretend you didn't see me? I'm waiting for my wife. She expects me to meet her here. Now beat it!"

I'll admit I looked scruffy and he probably figured I couldn't articulate a single sentence and I caught him off guard so he shuffled away.

WHen a policeman says 'or else' it makes him sound like Barney Fife.

I had a Philly officer once tell me to move my pickup'or else' and in true Pavlonian behavior I asked him, "or else what?"

He snapped at me "Or else you'll spent the weekend in the can!"

At least I now knew what I was up against and I replied, "I'm outta here!" and took off. The man had instantly transformed himself from Barney Fife to a bona fide police officer simply by specifying what the consequences of my actions would be instead of some vague mushfaced third-rate hokus pocus.

I was surprised he let that one slide and I swear it was Pavlovian. I simply reacted to it instinctively.

The germ for todays post came from a thread I read yesterday about some poor bastard that didn't want to join a Homeowners Association. I guess the big shot trying to organize it had a 'join...or else' attitude.

I had something similar happen to me years ago and the feud still runs. SOme jerk down the street tried to get our end to join the HOA and told me I was going to join 'or else'.

It has been about a decade and he will not walk his dog past my yard because every time I see him I keep asking him, "Or else what?"

He could stop this simply by telling me what the consequences I will face(or would have faced) are (or were)and I'll stop asking him but he has simply chosen to avoid me which I guess is OK. I have him on the shag and I'm going to keep him there. He's a pest.

"Or else" is the threat of the weak in my eyes. It means there is nothing the person can do and they are trying to pull one over on you. They want you to fear some horrible consequences or just generally intimidate you.

Smart authority figures, police officers, NCOs, or other officials know this and generally specify what the 'or else' is to avoid looking like they are trying to pull one over on someone.

They generally specify what the 'or else' is. "Get that pickup out of the way or I'll run you in!" is not a problem. Invariably I'll move it." I had a platoon sergeant tell me to get my people up the hill or he'd have my ass. I moved my people instantly. At least I knew the threat wasn't an empty threat.

I had a young lieutenant out of West Point once that made me an 'or else' threat and of course, I asked him what the 'or else' was and he told me that I would probably wind up with an Article 15 non-judicial punishment. Of course I instantly obeyed the order. Because I liked the guy, a couple of hours later I bought him a Coke and told him that 'or else' made him sound about as effective as Gomer Pyle.

I never heard of him doing that to anyone again except me and that was a little buzzword the pair of us shared. He did it to me sometimes to tease me a little and grinned when I'd answer 'Or else what?'.

If you are going to make a threat or advise someone that they will face negative actions at least tell them what they are up against.

I know I may come across as a somewhat belligerent old man but I am not. I am one of those souls that if I got a call from the police department telling me that there was a warrant out for me accusing me of murdering 37 people and asking me to turn myself in I would probably reply with, "I'll be down in a few minutes" and hop in my truck and head straight to the station.

I am that kind of guy. I just hate vague threats, that's all.

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