Stood at the ambulance back doors, chatting to a group of cops as the crew prepare take over care of the patient.
One cop pokes me in the ribs.
“How come you were doing all your talking to her?”
I gesture to their respective collar numbers.
“Because she has more service than you.”
A cop’s collar number is sequential with all their colleagues, not just an ID, but a quick and easy way to see who’s been in longer. This one’s easy – one cop has 4 digits, the other 5.
“That doesn’t mean she’s in charge.”
“No, but it means she’s been in longer and is probably more cynical, so I might as well defer to her in the interests of not pissing her off.”
The older cop slaps me.
“Cheeky shit. Paramedics are just as cynical as us.”
“Aye…but you can’t look at my uniform and work out how long I’ve been on the job.”
She laughs back at me.
“I don’t need your service. You’re in a car, working alone. Which means you’ve either been in for long enough that you know what you’re doing…or else you’ve been in for so long that everyone’s sick of you and no cunt can bear to be in the cab with you.”
“I thought so…call it even?”
We shake on it and head off in our respective vehicles.