It was a lark, a midlife course correction, the first day of the police academy was hell.
We were told we had one minute to get a drink of water and were sent to the fountain by squads. No one did more than wet their lips.
I was just getting my heart rate under control when the back door at the top corner of the room flew open. A metal garbage can was kicked down the classroom stairs and our class Sergeant stormed in. I thought the other guy was the sergeant but soon discovered my error. The new sergeant made the other look like a pansy.
“On your feet, I’m Sergeant Dickens and you will stand when I enter a room. You will address me as sir.” He had our attention. “Don’t eyeball me; you will look through me and not at me. Do you understand?”
“Yes Sir,” It came out weak. I wondered what the hell he meant. Through me, not at me? I guessed I would be learning.
“What did you say? Is everybody here capable of saying yes sir? Or maybe you don’t understand. Do you understand?”
“YES SIR,” louder this time.