This is the official blog of ex-Sgt Ellie Bloggs. I was a real live police constable then sergeant for twelve years, on the real live front line of England. I'm now a real live non-police person. All the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't (or didn't) pay my salary.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

To Tea or not to Tea?

This dilemma is faced daily by our intrepid frontline officers. You go to a house and the offer of tea is on the table... do you accept? Here is a handy guide to solving the dilemma, as well as my tips for how to handle the situation where NO TEA IS EVEN OFFERED!

The questions to ask yourself:
  • Are you considering wiping your feet when you leave?
  • Is every available sitting/perching surface covered in uneaten food and rubbish?
  • Is the kettle covered with the results of their last domestic?
  • Is there any dogshit on the floor (believe me, a common occurrence)?
  • Are you about to arrest anyone?
  • Will you be there longer than five minutes? (Think about having to make up snippets of conversation whilst wolfing down a burning hot cup of tea for half an hour.)
If the answer to any of these is yes, DO NOT TAKE TEA.

Now for the best way to elicit an offer of tea without overtly screeching, "Are you out milking the cow? What does it take to get a cup of tea around here?” Here are my top five ways that ACTUALLY WORK:
  1. "What a lovely kitchen."
  2. “No problem coming out this early at all, Mrs Moochocka, although we did miss breakfast...”
  3. Wait until they are out of the room and switch the kettle on. When it boils, they will think of tea.
  4. "This might take a while..."
  5. "I'd love one." This can be in response to almost any question. They will be too embarrassed to put you right and will put the kettle straight on.
If you are cheeky and charming enough to pull it off, "How's about a cuppa?" can also get good results, but this is better used by MALE on FEMALE, especially if FEMALE is older and her husband is away for the weekend.

Just remember, if you are successful in your endeavours and tea is supplied, make sure to time the statement correctly for the number of cups you wish to drink. Even a one page withdrawal statement can be spun out for an hour, longer if biscuits are on offer.

Copyright of PC Bloggs.


Blogger PC South West said...

The worst thing is constantly making the excuses for NOT wanting to give yourself a bad case of salmonella or worse. I usually say I had one before I left the nick, it's usually the truth anyway.

26 October, 2006 16:53

Anonymous theoldman66 said...

When phoning from the nick to make sure the witness/IP is in:

"OK, I'll be there by the time the kettle boils"

26 October, 2006 17:41

Blogger ExtraSpecialCopper said...

"Wait until they are out of the room and switch the kettle on. When it boils, they will think of tea."

I love that one!!!! Might give it a go!

26 October, 2006 21:45

Blogger PC South West said...

Extra Special Copper,
What if they made a complaint of abstracting electricity? You know how people are.

26 October, 2006 22:14

Blogger Midlands PC said...

Bugger tea. A colleague of mine and I once went to a sudden death, where there two brothers in their 30's had come round for the weekly visit to grandad, only o find him out and very cold on the kitchen floor. The usual procedures happen, and we attend. They are very matter of fact about it, methinks it was expected for some time, and they start making inroads into his brandy collection. Tesco's own brand, not Courvosier, but hey. They kept offering us a brandy each, and professionals that we were, we kept politely refusing. As the Co-op came towards the very end of the shift, and we were getting on rather well, we eventually relented and said 'Oh go on then lads, we'll join you in a brandy. Imagine my surprise when older brother reached into the cupboard and passed us a bottle each with a cheery 'There you go lads, thanks for everything!'.
Cue a quick trip to single quarters to stash the booze so we didn't have to go back to the nick with it on board...

27 October, 2006 06:05

Blogger Andy said...

Strangely, everything written in this post applies equally to local newspaper reporters visiting houses on stories. Except for the arrests and the bit about missing breakfast, of course - you wouldn't get us up that early for anything.

27 October, 2006 09:15

Anonymous Joe Public said...

You should team up with PC Bitsearch, going by her blog she spends all day on tea patrol.

27 October, 2006 10:46

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The forward thinking, diversity leaning, eggheads in the HQ of one of the southern forces have come up with the stipulation that we CANNOT accept a cup of tea, chocloate biscuit, or even a piece of that lovely cherry cake from anyone as that could impinge(?) on the impatirality of the investigation! Policer offers can not be seen to be accepting anything which could be construed as a bribe (unlike other Police forces). I bet the Chief or any of the senior officers don't turn down a small sherry, cup of tea or other form of refreshment when they have their meetings. Does this mean they are subconciously bent?

27 October, 2006 12:12

Blogger Bitseach said...

We are allowed (almost encouraged) to accept a small snifter of rum if offered at Notting Hill Carnival so as not to offend but generally drinking on duty is still verboten. Anyway, I can't as I am usually on a motor vehicle, but tea? Hmmmm.... nice.

However I WAS once offered a nice cup of tea when standing on the world's coldest murder scene cordon from the FILTHIEST, cracked mug on earth, the tea was nasty and weak and it had too much milk. In short, foul.

However the nice old couple (who were, I believe genuinely not trying to kill me with this rancourous malodourous brew) watched, beaming, at giving a blue-white freezing PC a hot and wet one. So I had to touch it to my lips (without it actually touching them), beam back a "mmMMMmm lovely thank you!" and then poured it down a drain as soon as they turned away. The thought was there, it was good PR, and my prestidigitations ensured that no-one needed their stomach pumped the next morning.

29 October, 2006 00:20

Anonymous SpeedKuff said...

Nice one Bloggsy,

I used to know a SOCO who's opening line, when attending a scene, was "Did they nick the kettle as well love?"

It's a quandary though innit?

29 October, 2006 21:38

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew one copper who's opening line would be 'Do you hear that?' to the house holder. When asked 'Hear what?' He would reply 'The kettle boiling'.

31 October, 2006 00:02

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