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How to Piss Off a Cop and Learn About Perspective

4 November 2009 Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz 3 Comments

Saturday night, this guy jumps out of the car at a stop light, points at the badge displayed prominently on his jacket, walks up to my car window and says, “You gotta problem!!!” Note: His words came with a sort of threatening tone.

Not even in Miami did I expect this.

Rewind just 3 minutes and my 13-year-old daughter and I are casually leaving the mall parking lot. Right in front us I see an old Toyota driving off with a red tie, scarf or something dragging along the ground. It seems to be stuck out the driver’s side door.

I speed up trying to catch the guy before he leaves the lot hoping to save the items from total destruction. At the next stop sign, I flicker my high beams and try to come up along side him. No use. He speeds away into traffic.

At the next light about a half block up, we hit a red and I again try to park up along side of him. That’s when I get the “You gotta a problem” and the badge pointing finger from a less than happy police officer. In a calm tone of voice I say, “You’re dragging a red tie or something out your driver side door.” He changes to a puzzled sort of look, walks back around his car looking down for the item, grabs it and drives away.

“Not even a thank you?” I thought to myself.

It’s interesting how two different people can see the exact same thing and perceive it two completely different ways. Naive, do-good-er me thinks to flash the high beams and drive up along side someone. Off duty police officer accustomed to dealing with a tougher crowd, maybe sees it as something resembling a gang ritual for identifying victims? Was it that his girlfriend just dissed him and he was looking to let off some steam? Who knows?

We are so accustomed to seeing things from our own perspective (the only perspective or point-of-view we really have) that we frequently fail to see the other person’s point-of-view. This affects the way we interact with our boss, fellow workers, our family and friends. Do we make a point of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes before judging or jumping to conclusions based upon our own perspective?

This can have a dramatic affect on they way people see us. Because we fail to appreciate other people’s perspective, are we seen as difficult? Easy going? Is our lack of seeing the other people’s point-of-view affecting how we are seen relative to our team? Are we seen as a team player or as someone who’s got their own agenda?

Let me know your thoughts on this.

Hope this helps.

Jorge Lazaro Diaz

Jorge Lazaro Diaz is the "Original" Career Jockey who started this blog and now serves as the Managing Editor. You'll find he enjoys focusing on professional and personal development articles and frequently covers motivational and spiritual topics.

You can learn so much about this author by clicking here.


  • Luis said:

    Great post Jorge
    Seems to be a popular subject….
    Gaining Perspective(s)
    31st October
    written by Steve Skojec

  • Carl E. Reid, CSI said:


    Excellent article. I agree with Luis. Perspective is topic that infiltrates our everyday life. That is because the human race spends much of their waking life making subjective decisions. Being objective [the opposite of subjective] about human interaction is a learned skill.

    I’m not a psychologist, but I’ve spent much time being a people watcher. This perspective issue starts when we are children. Parents focus on what a child has done, instead of why the child did it. When my daughter’s grades dropped in school, her mother wanted me to berate the girl on the poor performance. Instead, I focused on WHY or what the underlying cause of my daughter’s grades dipping.

    Bottom line is getting all the facts to get the perspective of both or all parties always produces a better outcome [i.e. a better decision on next steps].

  • Tony Ratagick said:

    Excellent Post – it happens all the time, but I never really thought about it. There’s a lesson in there.

    By the way, I love the re-design.

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