Woman Shames Police Officer for “Stuffing His Face” With Burger King During Work – His Comeback Goes Viral
Andre Owen highlights what life as a police officer is really like.
*Featured image contains photo by Liza Summer
We all make snap judgments, and all of us are probably guilty of having assumed something about another person that isn’t true. But, as one police officer reminded the world recently, you never really know what a person is going through until you walk a mile in their shoes.
Why a Police Officer Was Having a Rough Day at Work
This past summer, police constable Andre Owen was having a rough morning. The Sussex Police employee had been working since just after 7 a.m. when he was called to a serious job in Brighton. Then, he had to drive nonstop to Oxford for the same job, single crewed and without help.
In an interview with MirrorOnline, he revealed that half an hour into the return journey, he stopped at a service station with a Burger King. “[It was] my first toilet stop of the day. While there, I also got a double whopper meal, apple pie, Coke, and a cappuccino,” he said.
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It was around 2 in the afternoon, and at that point, Owen had been working for seven hours with no breaks. He was due to finish his shift at 3 p.m. but still had a mountain of paperwork waiting for him after his two-hour drive back. So the last thing he needed was someone commenting on him while he waited for his food.
“A lady eating her own food kept staring at me whilst I waited,” he explained. “I collected the food, and as I left, she said something similar to ‘whilst you’re in here stuffing your face, there’s criminals that need catching out there,’ I smiled and just walked away without saying a word.”
How a Police Officer Responded to a Rude Stranger
Owen was upset, but he knew better than to say anything to the woman and escalate the situation. However, he did want the public to know about the realities of being a police officer, so the 25-year-old shared his story on Twitter.
“To the lady that scorned me for buying food on duty… I’ve not stopped since 07:05 this morning, not even for [a] toilet break,” he wrote. “I’m over 100 miles from my station and I’m due off in 45 mins… with a 2 hour journey at least!!!! #policearehumantoo.”
Owen added a photo of his meal to the post. He later told MirrorOnline he didn’t do it for sympathy but to highlight the realities of his job. “The tweet gathered so much momentum with such positive support,” he added.
Even Burger King got in on the online action, offering to buy Owen and the entire squad some food the next time they were on duty.
Later, the officer also updated everyone on Twitter, thanking people for the support and revealing the trip back wound up taking him four hours because he had stopped to help a family whose car had broken down on the road.
“I stopped and assisted, stopping traffic so I could get the male, female, and their children to safety behind the safety barrier,” he added to the publication.
How One Police Officer Proved the Importance of Not Judging Others
Owen has since deleted his Twitter account, but before he did, his post went viral because of the message at the heart of it: we never know what someone else is going through, and that makes it essential to try and not judge others.
It’s not always easy, especially when we’re having a bad day ourselves and believe something to be true about someone else. In those instances, it’s a good idea to stop, take a breath, and ask questions or get to know someone before making an assumption or judgment.
That could mean not getting upset at a customer service representative who isn’t as chipper as you believe he should be. Or it could mean giving your kid’s teacher a break when she sends home surprise homework one evening. Maybe before you, someone had given that representative a hard time. Or perhaps that teacher had a lot to deal with in class that day and was just trying to stick with a lesson plan.
The point is we just never really know. But listening, being compassionate, and treating others how we’d want to be treated are always great ways to go about our days. And if someone unexpectedly judges you, just do what Owen did: smile and move on. After all, you never know what led them to judge you, either.