A Look Back: 10-4, whats your 20? Part II

Lieutenant Diezt…

She was our shift commander on the 2-10pm shift and one of the best leaders I have had the pleasure of knowing. She was all of 4-11, maybe 5-0 when she used the extra firm gel to spike her hair. But despite being short, she was pure bad ass. A tough as nails woman, who always wore plaid button down shirts starched to a rigid firmness, wicked scars on both her forearms that looked to be from some sort of knife fight or a wrestling match with a bear, and the kicker… a glass eye. You could not look her dead int he face, because this eye and its glassy reflections, would pierce your soul  If there was ever a “salty sea dog” of law enforcement, it was Lt. Diezt.  If you took “The Nazi” from Grey’s Anatomy and bred her with Cool Hand Luke, you might start to get an idea of her personality.

She was tough, with the bad people, and also with us. While the morning shift liked to sit around and drink coffee, and the midnight shift liked to cause as much trouble as they took care of, the afternoon shift ran as tight as drum. We got shit done, didn’t take grief, and did it in a professional and dedicated sort of way.  Dietz wouldn’t let us get away with slacking off even for a minute. If our uniforms looked sloppy, she’d make us change before allowing us out on shift. Forget something in your report? You weren’t leaving until you got it right. But we did it, we worked hard without complaining (at least not too much). The reason why it was okay for her to grind on us, was because A) she held herself to the same standards B) She ALWAYS had our back, no matter what. If there was any sort of dispute, any claims of wrong doing on our part, she would step up to bat for us each and every time. She’d always be at the scene of a tough call and would quickly take control of any situation, no matter who or what was involved.

My favorite Dietz story is this… One night close to the end of shift, her and I and one other officer we escorting this guy off the premises. He was no ordinary guy, an easy 6’6″, 300 pounds, but in a linebackery sort of way, not in a couch potato kinda of way. Essentially, picture a stereotypical night club bouncer, complete with tight black t shirt and bicep tats. Throw in a few gold chains just for good measure. So we’re walking this guy down the hall, and he’s pissed because he doesn’t think he should have to leave, he’s all muttering things under his breath, lots of F bombs and what not. You can see him flexing his fists repeatedly, giving all the signs that he’s really getting worked up in hurry. Keep in mind, he’s not in  handcuffs or anything, as we’re merely escorting him out, the three of us walking behind this bicepy force of nature. All of a sudden, he spins around in a complete 180, and barks out “I COULD BEAT THE FUCK OUT OF EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU MOTHERFUCKERS” It was so sudden, I swear to god, I felt the fight or flight reflex working itself out in my head.  Some gland, somewhere in my brain contracted full force, I think its called the “OH, SHIT!” gland in my Netters, I could feel it squeezing out what ever juice it had to give and its was sympathetic discharge from head to toe in .5 seconds. When adrenaline junkies talking about that rush, I’m pretty sure this is what the mean.

But Dietz! She didnt’ flinch. She was right behind the guy while we were walking, who when he spun around, was now suddenly toe to toe with him. Now keep in mind, he was essentially twice as tall and at least 4 times as girthy, so if you were to imagine this little scene, you would be picturing a spike haired and flanneled  David vs rather pissed off Goliath. The reason why I loved Lt. Diets.. she just stood there, and stared this mofo in the eyes and said in a slow even monotone, all John Wayne like. ” Pard’ner Sir, you need to turn your ass around and march it out my door.” Now, I’m not sure if it was the glass eye messing with his head or what, but he did. He turned right around, and with out muttering a single thing, walked his ass right out the door and into the night.

About ER Jedi

I’m a resident doctor in Emergency Medicine and I’ve learned during the past few years that 1) I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences 2) I have a very bad short-term memory. So this blog is just a place for me to write about some of these experiences, from the ER, medical school, the wards and life in general. At least that way I’ll have some idea as to where I’ve been all this time. A scrap-book of sorts, a place to vent, organize some clinical tools and post a few good songs I’ve heard along the way.

Posted on April 24, 2011, in 10-4. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. WOW!! Reading this brought back a lot of memories! I literally lol’d when you describe the “glass eye”. It’s funny that you describe the night shift officers as “causing as many problems” as we fix! It’s so true, and I was exactly one whom you were referring to! Now, I supervise those coffee drinkers who like to sit around! After 12 years of this, the fighting got old. You remember how much I loved to go hands on when we worked together. I don’t like it at all anymore! However, I do miss the fun that we all had back in those days…

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